Why is Virginia Tech Barely An NIT Team? The Reasons Are Plentiful.

Good morning, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) fans!!!



Let’s talk about Virginia Tech men’s basketball.  At 2-4 in the ACC, the Hokies need a bunch of wins to save their season from going any farther south that it has.   Let’s be real about where Virginia Tech is at right now:

Why is Virginia Tech men’s basketball in a funk right now?  There are plenty have areas that need improvement right now, including offense, defense, and special teams (just kidding on that last one – I wanted to see if you were reading) – the numbers are going to tell a big story.  Also, Virginia Tech has some personnel that are not available and the team is missing some leadership.


In ACC play, the Hokies offense is somewhat of mixed statistic.  The Hokies are 2nd and 6th in the ACC in field goal percentage and total scoring total points per game in conference play, respectively.  However, the Hokies are 2nd from the bottom in the ACC in “rebounding offense” (commonly referred to as 2nd chance points – getting points on the misses – points at the rim after misses – that sort of thing).  That of course is because Virginia Tech is last in offensive rebounding in ACC conference play.


In ACC play, the Hokies defense in conference is dropping like the 1920s stock market.  The Hokies are 2nd from the bottom of the conference in the total number of points given up each game.  The Hokies have the worst three-point field goal percentage defense in conference play.  I don’t question that the Hokies players aren’t playing hard – I think they are – because if you aren’t playing hard for Buzz Williams, you will be pulled from the lineup right away.  But from the average fan’s viewpoint, it seems like opposing ACC teams always have their career shooting day vs. Virginia Tech.  Maybe that’s because the players aren’t rotating properly on defense, or spending too much time on help defense because of the team’s lack of size (also important to note that the Hokies are 4th from the bottom in defensive rebounding), or simply because the players are in the wrong positions on the court?  I don’t know – but if this isn’t fixed, the Hokie are going to have a hard time even getting an invite to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT).

Personnel Not Available and Missing Team Leadership

There are some players that Virginia Tech expected to have this year that aren’t playing.  Khadim Sy, for example, would have provided some more size and strength in the post and he is a player that Virginia Tech expected to have at the beginning of the season (he is coming back next year).  Additionally, Ty Outlaw, a 6’6″ small forward and senior, tore his ACL and is out the entire 2017-18 season.   That said, the Hokies have an interesting lineup that they have to deal with right how – and our buddy, Jay, is right:

I also said something similar:

Who picks up the void for Virginia Tech?  Those were major leaders that Virginia Tech lost.  Seth Allen was the ACC’s 6th man of the year.   Here’s what Zach LeDay said in March 2017 after the loss in the NCAA tournament to Wisconsin (via @WashingtonPost):

“I literally dedicated my whole life to this program this season, this past year,” LeDay, the team’s leading scorer (16.5 points per game) and best defender, said Thursday with emotion as Allen, second in scoring at 13.3 , nodded in agreement next to him. “I don’t have any regrets. I wish we could have won — I’m really mad we didn’t win. But at the end of the day, these are my brothers for life, and Coach Buzz is like a father to me. I’m thankful I was able to come here and glad we got to this point.”

Those are tough leaders to replace – they did all the hard work on offense and defense to get Virginia Tech some wins.  I think Kerry Blackshear is on his way to being one of those leaders – he is the most skilled player on the team – but needs to stay out of foul trouble.  At times, it’s hard sledding for him because Virginia Tech doesn’t really have any other option in the post.  Virginia Tech has the consummate floor general in Justin Robinson – he can also be one of those major leaders.

Looking At The Rest of the Schedule

As we said earlier, the Hokies have to win 6 of their next 12 games to be in the NIT.  Virginia Tech has home games vs. North Carolina (tonight – and this is a BAD matchup for the Hokies), Miami, NC State, Clemson, Louisville, and Duke.  The Hokies have road games at Notre Dame, Boston College (no longer a gimme), Virginia, Duke, Georgia Tech, and Miami.  Your guess is as good as mine if the Hokies can find 6 wins here (quite frankly, I think it would be an upset to find six wins here).   Virginia Tech’s back at a point where it was the last two seasons where it has to take each possession – go 1-0 in that possession – put a string of good possessions together – and then go 1-0 in each game.


My confidence in Buzz has not faltered one bit – he is an A-list coach – people know that – and hopefully some of these issues are fixed.

Have a great day!!  What are your thoughts?  Tweet us at @AllSportsDACC.

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