Feb 15, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies forward Maurice Kirby (21) and forward Greg Donlon (14) react on the bench to the dunk by forward Trevor Thompson (32) against the Miami Hurricanes in the second half at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
College basketball is back and there is optimism about the future of the Virginia Tech Hokies after the hiring of Buzz Williams as the Hokies’ head coach this past offseason. Many fans are hoping to see a big turnaround and belive that it will happen over the next few seasons.
However, a key word for this season is patience, especially when the Hokies get into ACC play.
Virginia Tech is a young team that still has a lot of work to do to become a contender in the ACC. However, this Hokies’ team will definitely be better than what Virginia Tech fans saw last year in what was one of the worst seasons ever for the program.
Early on in the season, Virginia Tech should be able to have a really good record especially due to the fact that their toughest game before Christmas will either come in the Cancun Challenge against Northern Iowa or Northwestern depending on what happens in that tournament. The Hokies only play one road game before Christmas at Penn State in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge which is a game the Hokies can win.
The Hokies have the talent and bad enough early season schedule to have a record of anywhere from 9-3 to 12-0 after the first 12 games of the season. Personally, I think the Hokies will be at 10-2 after the first 12 games. However, Virginia Tech plays their toughest non-conference game by far right before ACC play by making a trip to Morgantown where an underrated West Virginia will get some revenge for last year’s loss.
One thing that will be big throughout the season and ACC play is the development and maturing of this team despite the likely struggles that they will face. This is a team that could have some struggles early on in ACC play but young players like Justin Bibbs and Ahmed Hill will get better and better as the season goes along.
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Buzz Williams will have to keep his team focused no matter the struggles they face throughout this season. It will be tough for the Hokies to find a way to end up with a winning record but there is the potential for the Hokies to make a late surge with their two final games being at home against Boston College and Miami.
I expect that the Hokies will win 14 to 16 games in Buzz Williams’s first season though a few less is a possible or maybe a they will win at least 16 or more and find their way into a postseason tournament like the CBI or possibly the NIT.
The key word for Hokie fans this season is patience. This team will not instantly become good just because of the arrival of Buzz Williams but Williams is rebuilding this program into a stronger team than ever before than consistently contend. The future is bright and we will get to see some glimpses of that throughout this season.