The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team kicks off its 2023-24 season Monday night, Nov. 6, at home at 8 p.m. against Coppin State. The Hokies are looking to turn things around this season after a frustrating 2022-23 season that saw them fall short of their goal of reaching the NCAA Tournament.
The preseason predictions have been pouring in ahead of the season-opener and a lot of the experts have a promising outlook for the Hokies. Monday, ESPN analyst and you can also call him an expert, Jay Bilas ranked the top 69 teams entering the season and Virginia Tech made the cut.
Jay Bilas ranks Virginia Tech in his preseason top 69 teams
The top of the list was loaded with a lot of the teams you would expect, however, Bilas ranked Virginia Tech No. 61. Here is what he wrote about Mike Young’s team.
"After losing leading scorer Grant Basile, the Hokies will turn to Sean Pedulla to lead the offense during the 2022-23 campaign. He averaged 15 points per game last season, second on the Virginia Tech roster, and is always a 3-point threat. Coach Mike Young put an emphasis on defense this summer after a disappointing 19-15 record last season."
Bilas is right, losing Basile is a big loss that the Hokies are going to have to recover from, but Pedulla is certainly someone who can step up and fill some of the scoring void that he leaves. Hunter Cattoor is another player who can shoot the 3-ball and is another player that Young will be leaning on to score.
A focal point for Young and his staff this season will be improving the defense. It hurt the Hokies last season in some games where they were not able to get stops late in games. Virginia Tech went 9-11 in the ACC and the gut feeling here is that they will improve on that in 2023-24 and if they can get 11 or 12 conference wins, it going to be difficult for them to be kept out of the NCAA Tournament.