Fixing basketball: it’s more than just coaching

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James Johnson was all smiles after the Miami win, but there's a lot of work to be done.
James Johnson was all smiles after the Miami win, but there’s a lot of work to be done.

When the search committee that hired Whit Babcock was formed, one of its mandates was to hire an AD who could “fix the basketball problem.” Time will tell if Whit is the man to do that, but I’ve noticed that as the Hokies were mired in their ten-game losing streak, all the talk centered around whether Whit would give head coach James Johnson another year or two to improve, or if he would pull the plug on JJ right away, at the end of this season.

That’s not necessarily the right debate. It isn’t all about the coaching. There are many steps Whit Babcock can take to fix the basketball problem, and coaching is only one of them.

Having said that, I’m going to spend most of this article talking about what it will mean if Whit does (or doesn’t) dismiss JJ at the end of the season, and I’m going to give you some things to think about to frame your opinion on whether or not Whit is “fixing the basketball problem.”

Please note that I’m not going to address the women’s basketball problem … which does exist. Under Dennis Wolff, the Hokies are 28-57 in two-plus seasons, just 8-38 in the ACC (1-11 this season). Attendance, which was 4,196 during the 2004-05 campaign, has fallen to just 1,304 this season.

But for this article, we’ll