After winning nine of their first 12 games of the 2023-24 season, including their ACC opener on Dec. 3 against Louisville at home, the Virginia Tech men's basketball team had 17 games remaining in the season, all ACC games. Saturday afternoon in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, they looked to improve to 2-0 against a Wake Forest team that was the only conference team not to play an ACC game yet.
It's safe to say that it was the worst 40-minute effort from Virginia Tech this season and following the game, fifth-year head coach Mike Young did not mince words.
Virginia Tech coach Mike Young is honest after a 23-point loss
"Don’t be misled. When you get your ass beat by 20 in the first ... no consolation prizes for going toe-to-toe with anybody in the second half."
In all honesty, the Hokies were lucky to be just down 20 points at halftime. Offensively, they had trouble running their sets, Wake Forest ran Hunter Cattoor off the 3-point line, turnovers were an issue and they had too many one-and-done possessions when they didn't turn it over.
In the second half, they got better open looks on the offensive end, but what was an issue last season and has already been an issue at times this season, defending on the defensive end. Wake Forest took advantage of mismatches, crashed the offensive rebound and finished with double-digit second-chance points, and had a lot of open looks. Not a recipe for success for Virginia Tech and Young acknowledged that Steve Forbes' team was ready to go from the tap.
"Steve’s team played better than my team from the opening tip to the end of it. We’ll be better, have to be better."
Wake Forest was prepared and ready to go. I'm not saying Virginia Tech wasn't prepared as Young does a good job of being prepared to go into games, but the Demon Deacons were the hungrier bunch and did everything right, while anything that could go, did go wrong for the Hokies.
They have a full week off before taking the court at Florida State next Saturday and it's safe to bet that this is going to be a long week of practice in Blacksburg.