The Buzz Williams era begins tonight at 7pm when the Hokies host Maryland-Eastern Shore in Cassell Coliseum. Both teams are breaking in a lot of newcomers, and both head coaches will coach their first game at their new school. Here’s a quick primer on the Hawks.
Bobby Collins is the head coach at UMES. He has a lot of experience, going 180-167 in his career as a head coach. He took Hampton to the NCAA Tournament back in 2005-06, and he also took Winston-Salem State to two Division II NCAA Tournaments.
Collins will be looking to turn around a UMES basketball program that went 5-23 a year ago, finishing #347 in the RPI out of 349 times. In short, this is one of the worst and least talented programs in college basketball. The Hokies beat the Hawks 82-66 last year in one of their nine wins, and it was a 46-23 game at halftime.
UMES has two newcomers that they hope will bolster their lineup this season…
Mike Myers (6-9, 245, r-Sr.): Myers hasn’t played since the 2011-12 season, but that year he averaged 20.3 points and 9.1 rebounds for Angelina College. He had 19 points in the Hawks’ 70-51 exhibition win over Division III Salisbury State.
Devin Martin (6-4, 205, Jr.): Martin enrolled at UMES after playing two years at Monroe College. He scored 20 points against Salisbury State.
Here’s how the UMES lineup is expected to look…
G Isaac Smith III (6-1, 170, Sr.)
G Devon Walker (6-4, 215, Sr.)
G Devin Martin (6-4, 205, Jr.)
F Dominique Elliot (6-8, 260, Jr.)
F Mike Myers (6-9, 245, r-Sr.)
The Hawks are very big for a small conference team. In fact, they are bigger than the Hokies. Tech hasn’t released a starting lineup, but here’s my best guess…
G Devin Wilson (6-4, 190, So.)
G Adam Smith (6-1, 170, r-Jr.)
G Malik Muller (6-3, 220, r-Fr.)
G/F Justin Bibbs (6-5, 225, Fr.)
C Joey van Zegeren (6-10, 235, r-Jr.)
UMES has a size and experience advantage on the Hokies. However, Tech clearly has the talent advantage. I worry about Mike Myers, particularly if he’s matched up against Justin Bibbs. However, this is a game the Hokies should clearly win.
Also, note that Virginia Tech legend Ace Custis is an assistant coach for UMES. Make sure you give him a big hand.