Is Undefeated Virginia Tech Actually Good?
You know when you spend a whole offseason criticizing a team, saying things like “the talent around (Erick Green) is sub-par to say the least,” and there’s very little reason to believe they can be better this year than they were last year, and they were absolutely awful last year. Have you ever done that and been wrong?
The team that I picked to finish dead last in my ACC Preseason Power Rankings, the Virginia Tech Hokies, are now 7-0, and after a huge win over number-15 Oklahoma State on Saturday, I’m starting to back-pedal on my harsh criticism.
I’ve long acknowledged that they have one of the best guards not only in the ACC, but in the country, in Green, and while he’s averaging 24.9 points per game on the early season, he’s getting more help than I ever could have imagined.
“Coach Johnson told us that we could do anything we wanted if we put our mind to it as a team, and everyone is putting their minds to one game at a time and winning that game,” said sophomore guard Robert Brown, who happens to be averaging 13.4 points per game, after Saturday’s win. “We’ve done it so far.”
With Green, the Virginia Tech’s only senior, leading the way, juniors Jarell Eddie and Cadarian Raines have given the Hokies the most formidable frontcourt they’ve had in years, averaging 17.1 points and 7.4 rebounds, and 9.1 points and 7 rebounds respectively. This is VT’s first 7-0 start since the 1982-83 season, and Saturday’s win was their first nonconference victory against a ranked opponent since defeating now conference foe Virginia in December of 1995.
“I think people were sleeping on us because of the coaching change and because of the players that left,” said a happy and humble Green, after dropping his season high 28 points on OK State. Much like last year, where Green led VT in most statistical categories, he’s leading the team in scoring, minutes, assists, and steals, and has scored 20 or more points in each of the Hokies seven games so far. “I hope that we’ve shown people we can play with anybody and that we’re a great team.”
Looking great so far.
For hoops, hip-hop and other random sports and pop culture commentary, follow Jared Mintz on Twitter @JaredMintzTruth
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