Welcome to the Hoos Place 2019 Summer Hoops Refresh, where we review last season and this summer's personnel moves for all 15 ACC programs in alphabetical order. To read program capsules already complete, you can click here. Today we look at the...
Virginia Tech Hokies
Fresh off a thrilling Sweet 16 appearance, it's back to square one for the Hokies with a new coach and almost entirely new roster. Mike Young is taking on a long term rebuild in Blacksburg, but is there any reason to think he might get the ball rolling this season?
Coach: Mike Young; 299-244 in 17 seasons overall.
2018-19 Record: Last season: 26-9 (12-6); ACCT quarterfinals (5 seed); NCAAT Sweet 16 (4 seed)
ORtg: 118.1 (11 of 353)
DRtg: 94.0 (20 of 353)
ORtg: 109.5 (3 of 15)
DRtg: 103.5 (8 of 15)
PG Justin Robinson (Graduated)
SG Jonathan Kabongo (Injury)
G/F Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Turned Pro)
SF Ahmed Hill (Graduated)
F Chris Clarke (Transferred)
F Ty Outlaw (Graduated)
F/C Kerry Blackshear Jr. (Transferred)
24 G, 29.5 mpg, 13.5 ppg, 5 apg, 42% 3P%
21 G, 4.9 mpg, 1.5 ppg, 0.2 apg, 32% 3P%
34 G, 34.3 mpg, 16.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 37% 3P%
35 G, 35.3 mpg, 13.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 39% 3P%
35 G, 29.5 mpg, 8.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 45% 3P%
35 G, 30 mpg, 14.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 51% FG%
G Wabissa Bede (JR)
G/F Isaiah Wilkins (SO)
F P.J. Horne (JR)
35 G, 25.3 mpg, 3.8 ppg, 2.3 apg, 35% 3P%
34 G, 14.3 mpg, 4.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 41% 3P%
29 G, 13.1 mpg, 3.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 13% 3P%
PG Jalen Cone (4-star FR)
G Hunter Cattoor (3-star FR)
G Nahiem Alleyne (3-star FR)
F Landers Nolley (4-star RS FR)
F/C Branden Johnson (RS SR Transfer)
C John Ojiako (3-star FR)
31 G, 16.9 mpg, 4.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 62% FG%
as a RS Jr at Alabama State
*Projected starters in bold
2019/20 ACC Opponents:
|Home & Away:||Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Miami, Syracuse, Virginia|
|Home Only:||Florida State, North Carolina, NC State, Pittsburgh|
|Away Only:||Georgia Tech, Louisville, Notre Dame, Wake Forest|
Hope Hokie fans enjoyed their magical run last year that was one missed Ahmed Hill tip-in from upsetting Duke to make the Elite 8. Because this season is going to go drastically different. This is, blunt as it may be to say, probably the worst roster in the ACC this year. Last time I so confidently predicted a roster to be the ACC's bottom feeder, Pitt went 0-18. Do I think VT will go winless? Probably not, because Mike Young is a far better coach than Kevin Stallings (to be fair, who isn't?). But conference wins are going to be few and far between.
It's just not feasible to see your entire starting lineup walk out the door without comparable replacements ready to step in and expect much else, especially when you take an additional loss with Kabongo's season-ending injury. Young had to spend his first month on the job scrambling just to get a team together, first convincing Bede and Nolley not to transfer out, and then having to go cobble together a last-minute recruiting class. There's some talent: Bede, Cone, and Nolley were all 4-star recruits. And Wilkins acquitted himself well as a freshman reserve forward despite his lack of buzz coming into the year. But beyond them, there are just too many questions about ACC talent level. Cattoor, Alleyne, and Ojiako all lacked competitive P5 offers, and it'll be an uphill climb for them to prove they belong on ACC courts. Grad transfer big man Johnson was barely a factor on a .500 SWAC team. There's just a worrisome lack of upside on this team that already has issues with depth (9 scholarship players) and youth (only three upperclassmen).
Mike Young is building for the future with Cone and Nolley in place along with a solid 2020 recruiting class inbound. But while there may be some legit reason for optimism come 2021 or so, this coming season is going to be a long one.