Nov 12, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies guard Ben Emelogu (15) grabs a rebound over West Virginia Mountaineers guard Eron Harris (10) and forward Devin Williams (5) during the second half at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Virginia Tech basketball seemed to be in a fairly awful state after the loss to USC Upstate but the Hokies came out today and proved that the sky isn’t falling and that the future is actually fairly bright. Most fans didn’t expect the Hokies to beat rivals West Virginia today but James Johnson’s job security increased as the Hokies surprised everybody and beat the Mountaineers on ESPN. Virginia Tech was led by three of their young guards who should all be in the starting lineup for the next game and beyond after their performance today.
The biggest star today was true freshman guard and team captain Ben Emelogu. The fact that Emelogu was named team captain as a true freshman just shows how good of a leader and example he is. Emelogu was recruited by mostly small mid-major schools like Weber State with Virginia Tech being the one major program that grabbed him from Texas. Now, Emelogu has gone from three-star prospect to potential star player and team captain which showed today against West Virginia.
Emelogu was an effective lead scorer unlike Jarell Eddie and proved that he should be starting with Adam Smith and Devin Wilson as a third true guard. Emelogu was 7 of 16 from the field but was even more effective from beyond the arc as Emelogu made 3 of his 6 3-point attempts. Emelogu also made 5 of his 6 free throws which was a big boost after free throw shooting cost Virginia Tech against USC Upstate. Emelogu may have had 4 fouls but he did have 6 rebounds and 3 blocks which just shows his huge potential. Ben Emelogu is showing that he can help lead a major turnaround of Virginia Tech basketball during his 4 years in Blacksburg.
Adam Smith is now in his redshirt sophomore season after transferring from UNC-Wilmington and Smith showed how big of a player he will be for Virginia Tech. Smith had a very solid game overall but Smith made some big plays down the stretch which were critical to the Hokies pulling off the big win over West Virginia. Smith had 19 points and was 7 of 12 from the field which is quite impressive for a guard. Smith also made some big shots down the stretch that Virginia Tech needed to take down West Virginia. Smith played a lot better today than he did against USC Upstate and showed how big of an impact he can have for the Hokies.
The third player is another true freshman guard in Devin Wilson who was only a two-star recruit coming out of high school last year. Devin Wilson struggled in his first career collegiate game but Wilson played a lot better today as it seems like nerves affected Wilson in the opener. Wilson had 16 points and was clutch from the free throw line with all 8 of his free throw attempts going in today. Wilson had 16 points total and did a good job at the end of the game of avoiding a fifth foul. Emelogu, Smith, and Wilson showed today that Virginia Tech basketball will only be getting better over the next few years.