Virginia Tech Hokies
2021-22 record: 23-13, 11-9 in the ACC
Head Coach: Mike Young
Tenure at Virginia Tech: Fourth season
Coaching record: 353-280
Home court: Cassell Coliseum
Starters: G Sean Pedulla, G Darius Maddox, G Hunter Cattoor, F Justyn Mutts, F Grant Basile
Bench: G Rodney Rice, G Camden Johnson, G Michael Collins Jr., F Mylyjael Poteat, F Darren Buchanan, C Patrick Wessler
Overview: After catching fire in the Barclays Center, the Hokies suffered a first round tournament exit for the second year in a row, this time to Texas. Virginia Tech was one of five ACC teams that went dancing last March, and it will look to extend its current tournament streak to six in Mike Young’s fourth season leading the Hokies.
Virginia Tech returns two starters, Cattoor and Mutts, from last year’s ACC championship squad. Darius Maddox and Sean Pedulla gained experience as part of that team’s rotation, and Grant Basile, the graduate transfer, rounds out the starting lineup. The loss of Keve Aluma to the NBA is a tough one for the Hokies, and they will be looking for someone to step up offensively if they wish to improve their tournament luck. However, Virginia Tech is known for its ferocious defense. It ranked second in scoring defense in the ACC during the 2021-22 season, only allowing 62.8 points per game. If the Hokies’ leading rebounder from last year, Justyn Mutts, can replicate his defensive performances and someone can step in to fill the scoring gap left by Aluma, this Hokie team has the potential to wreak havoc in the ACC and NCAA tournaments.
Team ceiling: Mutts continues his improvement on the defensive end, moving up the ACC rankings in rebounds and steals, and Pedulla and Cattoor can match Aluma’s offensive productivity level. This team can make a run in the postseason.
Team floor: The Hokies were a flash in the pan, and last year’s conference championship was a fluke. Mutts cannot match his defensive efficiency, and the loss of Aluma leaves too much on the table offensively to be made up. Although an exciting and scrappy team under Young, Virginia Tech falls short in the tournaments and gets overshadowed by the powerhouses of the ACC.
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