Despite the loss of last year’s leading scorers Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen, Virginia Tech junior point guard Erick Green expects better basketball from the Hokies, the kind that can propel Virginia Tech to its first NCAA tournament since 2007.
In three of the last four seasons, the Hokies have reached 20 wins only to be denied admission to the Big Dance.
Virginia Tech enters the 2011 season ranked sixth in the ACC, two spots below where they finished 2010, but with two starters back and the nation’s 13th best recruiting class, Green thinks the Hokies have as strong a shot as ever to make it to the postseason.
“People say without Jeff and Malcolm we’re not going to be as good of a team,” Green said. “I think honestly we’ll be better. We won’t rely on one or two people to score the ball.”
Forty-six percent of the Hokies’ scoring came from Delaney and Allen last season.
Freshman Dorian Finney-Smith is the most highly touted newcomer for the Hokies. He was ranked eighth among all small forwards in the recruiting class of 2011.
Rounding out the recruiting class is point guard Marquis Rankin, power forward C.J. Barksdale and shooting guard Robert Brown, who all played alongside UNC freshman P.J. Hairston at Hargrave Military Academy.
While injuries have plagued the Hokies over the past few seasons, the Hokies will benefit from the leadership of medical-redshirt senior Dorenzo Hudson after foot surgery sidelined him for most of last season.
Hudson holds himself responsible for pushing younger players on every play because he has seen the slim margins by which Virginia Tech has missed the NCAA tournament before.