Saturday was a very rough day for the Virginia Tech Hokies in the Richmond Coliseum as the Hokies were absolutely demolished by VCU by 30 points, including a 20-point deficit at halftime. This was one of the worst games the Hokies have played in a while and once again proved that Virginia Tech is still not the best college basketball team in the state of Virginia. However, there are a few things we learned about the Hokies this past Saturday that could be valuable for the rest of the season or may not end up making a difference. So, what did we learn from this past Saturday’s blowout loss to the VCU Rams?
1. Adam Smith is better as a starter and not a backup.
James Johnson has been tinkering with the Virginia Tech starting lineup throughout the beginning part of the season to maximize his team’s talent. Adam Smith has came off the bench for the last two games and the redshirt sophomore guard has struggled with only 11 total points in his last two games. Smith has shown that he can be the third big time scorer to go with Jarell Eddie and Ben Emelogu but Smith needs to be in the starting lineup to get the momentum he needs to be an effective scorer. Virginia Tech fans should not be surprised if Adam Smith is back in the starting lineup in the next game against UNC Greensboro.
2. James Johnson is giving everybody a chance.
James Johnson has a focus on making sure this team is ready for what will be a tough slate of games in the ACC this year and Johnson is making sure all of his players are ready for that challenge. Cadarian Raines was a starter at the beginning of the season but did not play a single minute yesterday while Will Johnston has been gaining more minutes in the last few games. The Hokies used 11 different players against VCU in this blowout and the experience the younger, role players gain could be valuable later on in the season.
3. Remember, this is a young team.
After a slightly better-than expected start, expectations had started to go up some but this game reminds us to keep some of these expectations in check due to a lack of experience. The Hokies have a true freshman as the captain in Ben Emelogu which is unheard of just about everywhere except probably Kentucky. The lack of experience showed with the Hokies committing 27 turnovers against the Rams which is even more than the Rams normally force anyway. This team will need some time to develop and while some games will not be pretty or easy to watch, Virginia Tech could very well be building a team that could go to the NCAA Tournament next season.