Hokies Look Ahead to Promising 2010-11 Season

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With the NIT winding down, the Final Four set to start this weekend, and
spring football practice beginning today, it’s time to put the final touches on
our coverage of Virginia Tech’s 2009-10 basketball season. This is a look ahead
to next year, one of the most highly-anticipated basketball seasons in Virginia
Tech history, as the Hokies return all their starters and gun for an NCAA
tournament invitation.

Looking ahead to next season is reminiscent of the buildup to the 2006-07
season, which was also highly anticipated and resulted in an NCAA bid, the only
one Seth Greenberg’s Hokies have received in his seven seasons at Virginia Tech.

The 2006-07 team, which featured seniors Zabian Dowdell, Jamon Gordon, and
Coleman Collins, as well as underclassmen Deron Washington and A.D. Vassallo,
was loaded with talent and experience. They returned all five of their starters
and 97.8% of their scoring from the 2005-06 squad. An NCAA bid was the goal, and
the team didn’t disappoint, going 22-12 and advancing to the second round of the

Likewise, the 2009-10 Hokies will be loaded with talent: seniors Malcolm
Delaney, Jeff Allen, Dorenzo Hudson, Terrell Bell, and J.T. Thompson are next
year’s Dowdell/Gordon/Collins. The five rising seniors are supported by a bevy
of underclassmen, some with experience, some not. Next year’s team will return
all five starters, plus sixth man Thompson, and a whopping 98.5% of their

But comparisons to the 06-07 team stop there. That team three years ago was
coming off a dismal 2005-06 campaign fraught
with tragedy
, misfortune, and just plain back luck. While our
2006-07 preseason outlook was optimistic, the sting of ’05-06, when Tech went
14-16 (4-12 ACC), was fresh on our minds, so our expectations were tempered.

Not so with next year’s Hokies. This year’s team