Grading the 2013-14 Virginia Tech college basketball season should have been an easy enterprise. After all, any sign of life out of the Hokies that would have taken Virginia Tech out of the ACC cellar would have been enough for a decent grade, not to mention it might have been enough for now former head coach James Johnson to keep his job. Instead, however, the Hokies went 2-16 in the conference and just 9-22 overall. The conference winning percentage of .125 was Virginia Tech’s worst since the Hokies went 1-11 in the old Metro Conference in the 1992-93 season.
Here’s a look at Virginia Tech on each side of the basketball and a final analysis of the Hokies’ season.
OFFENSE: Ugh. We cover this side of the ball because we have to. Virginia Tech was one of the worst offensive teams in the country, averaging just 62.9 points per game, among the bottom 25 of the 350-some Division I teams that play college basketball. While some teams don’t score a lot of points because of their chosen style, the Hokies were 326th in the country in field goal percentage, hitting just more than 40 percent of their shots. Virgina Tech only cracked the 70-point mark once in the last 18 games, and that was in a loss January 22 to Wake Forest. Leading scorer Jarell Eddie led the club at 13.3 PPG, but that was only a point per game more than he averaged as a junior the season before, and he hit just 35.5 percent from the field, which pretty sums up the season. GRADE: F.
DEFENSE: On the other side of the ball, Virginia Tech was far from an embarrassment. The Hokies finished in the top 100 in the nation in scoring defense at 67 PPG, and were 46th in the nation in defensive rebounding. Virginia Tech found itself in many games that talent and matchups would suggest it probably shouldn’t have been in because the defense usually came to play. Close losses to Pittsburgh, Virginia and North Carolina saw the Hokies give up no more than 62 points in any of the games, and that’s with the loss to the Panthers going double overtime. Rising junior Joey Van Zegeren led the team with 1.7 blocks per game. Rising sophomore Devin Wilson led the Hokies with 25 steals. GRADE: B-.
OVERALL: As hard as Virginia Tech competed on defense, the Hokies’ lack of offense wasn’t enough to let them compete in the very tough ACC. In any game, opponents were one 10-2 run away from putting Virginia Tech away. It’s impossible to give them an F, because so little was expected. But going 2-16, dismissing Johnson in favor of Buzz Williams, and losing talent via transfer recently casts quite a shadow on this season. GRADE: D.
Twitter-style … the 2013-14 Hokies in 140 (or less): “Stingy defense, ugly offense, coach fired. Virginia Tech must start over again. Again.”