2007 Virginia Tech Hokies Basketball Preview
The Virginia Tech Hokies (22- 12 overall, 10- 6 ACC) made great strides last season, tying for third in the ACC and going to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1996. The club defeated Illinois 54- 52 and lost to Southern Illinois in the second round 63- 48. This season, Seth Greenberg (67- 56 in four years at VT, 280- 226 in 18 years) is coaching a team composed of two seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and eight freshmen. He’s lost one of the best starting backcourts around. What should fans expect?
With two four-year players manning the guard positions, the Hokies controlled the ball nicely and led the league in turnovers last season, committing only 10.9 TPG. They finished second in scoring defense, allowing only 64.1 PPG and were first in turnover margin at plus-4.62. But rebounding and scoring was weak. Tech’s rebounding margin was minus-0.6, ranking them 11th, and their 71.5 PPG was 10th in the ACC.
Small forward Deron Washington (12.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 50.3 FG%) is a senior who can dunk with the best of them. This season look for Washington to have added a jumper and developed his ball handling skills. Freshman power forward Jeff Allen arrives ready to play and to be a difference maker for the team and the college basketball betting odds. The post will be manned by sophomore Lewis Witcher (2.9 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 45.0 FG%) and junior Cheick Diakite (2.9 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 56.9 FG%).
Slash and cut will be the new style for this team and their guards. Freshman Hank Thorns, who was highly recruited, is a pure point guard. Junior A.D. Vassallo (11.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 44.1 FG%) brings leadership and a pure shooting stroke. Freshman guard Malcolm Delaney will be in the mix immediately.
Coach Greenberg spent all summer studying film and trying to get to know his new and returning players. Ball control, something the Hokies excelled at last season, could be a problem with so many inexperienced players on board. It will take a lot of fine coaching for Virginia Tech to get back to the March Madness picks.