#61 Virginia Tech Hokies: College Basketball 111 in 111


virginia tech cheerleader

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Virginia Tech Hokies fans have to be asking themselves, “What will it take for us to get into the NCAA Tournament?”  For the third time in the past four years, the Hokies finished with a winning record in the ACC but had their bubble burst on Selection Sunday.  This season, VA Tech will be lucky to even be in the consideration for an invite to the Big Dance.

Last Season: T-4th, 9-7 in ACC, 22-12 overall
Predicted ACC Finish: 6th

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Victor Davila (Jr)/Cadarian Raines (So)/Joey van Zegeren (Fr)
F: J.T. Thompson (Sr)/C.J. Barksdale (Fr)
G/F: Dorian Finney-Smith (Fr)/Jarrell Eddie (So)
SG: Dorenzo Hudson (Sr)/Robert Brown (Fr)
PG: Erick Green (Jr)/Tyrone Garland (So)/Marquis Rankin (Fr)

Gone: PG-Malcolm Delaney, G/F-Terrell Bell, F/C-Jeff Allen, SG-Ben Boggs (transfer-Valparaiso), SF-Manny Atkins (transfer-Georgia State)

seth greenberg va tech

2010-2011 Outlook:
The injury bug bit Virginia Tech last season which played a part in their finishing just short of a tourney berth. J.T. Thompson and Allan Chaney were supposed to be key contributors but missed the entire year.  Dorenzo Hudson and Cadarian Raines suffered a season injuries during non-conference play further depleting the team’s depth.

All of those players are back this season except for Chaney whose career came to an end due to a heart condition.  Thompson, Hudson, and Raines will have to come back at full strength to help offset the loss of three senior starters.

Thompson was the team’s sixth man two years ago but will likely step into the starting frontcourt alongside Victor Davila who started all 34 games last season.  Both players are serviceable but the Hokies will certainly miss Jeff Allen inside.  Raines will compete with freshmen C.J. Barksdale and Joey van Zegeren for minutes off the bench.  Barksdale could become a key contributor right away due to his versatility and ability to knock down jump shots.

Highly-touted freshman Dorian Finney-Smith is expected to be a huge factor in his first season with the Hokies.  He will be backed up by sophomore Jerrell Eddie who showed flashes as a freshman but was rather inconsistent.

The experienced backcourt of Hudson and Erick Green will be asked to carry the bulk of the scoring load.  Hudson was a third team All-ACC selection two years ago but relies more on his slashing ability than three-point shot.  Green brings great size to the point and is a terrific defender.  He will take over the full-time ball-handling duties that heshared with Malcolm Delaney last season.  Green is not known as a shooter either which means the Hokies will be in search of an outside shooting threat.

Freshman Robert Brown will try to help fill that void at the two.  Tyrone Garland played sparingly last season and will battle newcomer Marquis Rankin for playing time as the back-up point guard.

This could be a vital season for Seth Greenberg.  If Virginia Tech once again falls short of the NCAA Tournament, he could be looking for a new employer come March.  With the lack of a true inside presence and no real three-point shooters on the roster, the NIT seems like the likely post-season destination.

Player to Watch: Dorrian Finney-Smith
The lengthy freshman is definitely the x-factor for the Hokies this season.  He has a smooth game and is capable of playing inside or outside.  If he can quickly acclimate himself to the college game, the trio of Green, Hudson, and Finney-Smith gives VA Tech a lot of talent on the wing.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/15 vs. George Mason (Pre-Season NIT)
11/23 vs. likely Syracuse (Pre-Season NIT)
11/25 vs. Stanford/Colorado State/Oklahoma State (Pre-Season NIT)
11/27 vs. St. Bonaventure
11/30 at Minnesota (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
12/4 vs. Kansas State
12/7 at Rhode Island
12/31 at Oklahoma State
1/25 vs. BYU

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#62 Clemson Tigers
#63 New Mexico State Aggies
#64 Tennessee Volunteers
#65 Iona Gaels
#66 Murray State Racers
#67 N.C. State Wolfpack
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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