Mike Young spent 30 years of his career coaching in Spartanburg, South Carolina at Wofford University. The veteran coach will face his former team late Sunday afternoon when the Terriers come to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech.
This is going to be a good measuring stick for the Hokies who are 2-1 after wins over Coppin State and Campbell, sandwiched around a two-point loss to South Carolina on Nov. 10. Young will never admit it, but you can bet it’ll be an emotional Sunday on the inside.
Mike Young has a long history with Wofford
In his 30 seasons with the Wofford program, Young ranks first in wins with 299 and he led them to five NCAA Tournament appearances. He started as an assistant coach, then was elevated to associate head coach, then in 2002, he was named head coach, before making the move to Blacksburg in charge of the Hokies. He led them to their first-ever NCAA Tournament win in 2019 when they beat Seton Hall, 84-68, in the first round.
Wofford will be a tough test for the Hokies
The Terriers will enter Cassel Coliseum at 2-1 on Sunday coming off of their first loss, 81-62, at No. 7 Tennessee Tuesday night. Wofford has wins over Brevard (85-68) and High Point (99-98) in their first two home games.
Corey Tripp is averaging 28.3 points a game through three games and Dillon Bailey is averaging 25. Chase Cormier and Chase Martin are each averaging 23. Kyle Filewich and Jeremy Lorenz each are averaging 21 and Jackson Sivills is at 20. That’s seven players averaging at least 20 points a game.
One area that Young wanted to see an improvement in entering the 2023-24 season was more consistency on the defensive end. In their two wins, that has been the case, but against the Gamecocks, they failed to get stops late in the game and South Carolina escaped with the win.
Defending the 3-point line is going to be key for Young’s team and playing an explosive team that can fill up the basket is a good early-season test. This will also serve as a good test ahead of the ESPN Events Invitational Thanksgiving Weekend in Orlando, Florida.
First things first. Mike Young will learn a lot about his team with their performance against the Terriers and he’ll never admit it, but it’s going be strange looking at the team across from his and the name across the chest.
In the end, however, it’s all about getting an early season against a very good mid-major program and Young knows that.