If you’ve read it once, you’ve read it a million times:
Eight wins in the ACC far exceeded anyone’s expectations, Seth Greenberg is
doing a great job with the Virginia Tech program, the Hokies are competitive in
the ACC, yadda-yadda-yadda. That’s all true, but it’s not all sunshine and roses
just yet. There is a ton of work to do before Virginia Tech can become a true
ACC basketball program. Here’s a straight-talk evaluation of where the VT
basketball program stands right now, and the challenges that lie ahead.
If you had told me before the season started that Virginia
Tech was going to go 8-8 in the ACC and enter the ACC tournament as the fourth
seed, I’d have had you committed. If you had repeated it to me after the Hokies
dropped a January 8th game at FSU, a game that the sloppy, undisciplined ‘Noles
seemed intent on losing, I’d have had you committed "with authority,"
as they say on SportsCenter. VT was 0-2 in the ACC, 6-6 overall, and displaying
very few signs of life.
Dowdell and company, there
was lots to celebrate in 2004-05.
We all know what happened after that. The Hokies ripped
off five straight wins, four straight in ACC play, including a road game at #12
Georgia Tech. That boosted VT to an 11-6 record, 4-2 in the ACC, and the Hokies
were on their way. Tech sputtered at times, but every time they looked like they
could be left for dead, they surprised everyone by bouncing back. In the end,
they finished 16-14 (8-8), good enough for an NIT bid, the Hokies’ first
postseason action in nine years.
The Hokies’ season peaked on Wednesday night, February
2nd, when they knocked off Miami in Coral Gables to go to 12-7, 5-3 in the ACC.
At that point, the coveted 14-win season, and the .500 record and NIT bid that
came with it were all but a lock. VT was alone in fourth in the ACC, and the
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