Improved Depth Gives Virginia Tech Basketball More Lineup Options

Mike Young, Virginia Tech
Mike Young will have more lineup options at Virginia Tech in his second season. (Ivan Morozov)

Depth means something different to many people. Depth to a diver means simply how deep the water may be. Depth can describe how detailed someone may be when looking into a subject (“in-depth”). Obviously, depth has a different meaning to sports fans, coaches and athletes. Most fans hear “depth” and think of it in terms of how talented the players are behind the starters. This is very much a correct way in thinking, but there is another way to look at depth (a “deeper” meaning, if you will).

Depth allows you to be versatile in your lineups, and when you are a system coach like Mike Young, the ability to be versatile within a system can make your team hard to prepare for. I’ve talked a bit about versatility helping increase your chances with regards to going “deep” in March. But today I wanted to take a more in-depth look at why that is the case, and how this team of Hokies might match up with other teams’ lineups.

First, let’s take a look in a general sense at how depth helps. If we were to assign completely arbitrary ratings (1-10 scale) to each of the 13 players on Virginia Tech’s roster it could look something like this:

1) 8
2) 8
3) 7
4) 7
5) 6
6) 6
7) 6
8) 6
9) 5
10) 5
11) 5
12) 5
13) 4