Virginia Tech Heads To Charleston

Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech will play in the Charleston Classic this weekend. (Kate Haas)

Virginia Tech men’s basketball is 3-0 with three easy wins over Delaware State (95-57), Lehigh (78-52) and William & Mary (94-77). Through three games, the Hokies appear to be pretty much what we thought they would be, but there’s still plenty that we don’t know about this team.

The three teams that Tech has beaten have combined to go 0-6 against Division I teams so far this season, so it’s not like the Hokies have been sufficiently challenged. People remember VT starting slowly last season, but that wasn’t really the case. They actually started 5-0 before running into trouble. Here were their five wins…

Maine: 82-47
Navy: 77-57
Radford: 65-39
St. Francis (PA): 85-55
Merrimack: 72-43

Like this year, the 2021-22 Hokies appeared to be what we thought they would be through the first five games. However, as the schedule toughened up, we found out otherwise. Tech lost four of its next six games and seven of its next 10. They started the ACC slate with an 0-4 record. It’s hard to imagine the Hokies doing that this year after watching their first three games, but it was also hard to imagine them doing it last year after watching their first five games.

Virginia Tech was No. 25 in the Ken Pomeroy ratings after the first five games last season. This year they sit No. 20 in the Pomeroy ratings. There are plenty of differences between this year’s team and last year’s team, of course, but strictly from a numbers and record standpoint, so far we’re the same as we were last year at this time, so in truth that means none of us know exactly how good the Hokies are right now. We know Tech can be quite good, but are they quite good now? We’ll have a better idea after this weekend.

The Hokies are currently No. 9 in Pomeroy’s adjusted offensive efficiency (out of 363 teams) and No. 50 in adjusted defensive efficiency. Again, that doesn’t mean too much right now, but that’s about where Tech was last year, and that’s about where my eyes tell me they are this year. I think my basic thought on the team so far is that they are about where I expected them to be offensively, or perhaps a tick better, and about where I expected them to be defensively, or perhaps a tick worse. My perception may be right or wrong. We won’t know until the Hokies face some better competition. And whether my perception is right or wrong right now may not matter a month from now, because things could be totally different at that point.

The Charleston Classic

The first real step in the learning process is the Charleston Classic. Those three games will most likely tell us a lot more about this Virginia Tech team than the first three. The only opponent that we know for sure that the Hokies will be playing is Old Dominion. The Monarchs are 2-1 on the season with wins over Maryland Eastern Shore and Virginia Wesleyan, and a 12-point loss to Drexel (who lost to Penn, who lost to Towson…not that the transitive property means anything).

I don’t expect ODU to be a huge test…at least they shouldn’t be a huge test. They’ve gone 13-19 in two of their last three seasons, including last year, and none of their performances this year have stood out in a positive light. They beat Maryland Eastern Shore by 19, but everybody does that, and they won by 14 over Virginia Wesleyan, a private DIII school in Virginia Beach. It would be disappointing if the Hokies lost to the Monarchs, especially considering what happened during football season, but I don’t expect that to happen.

I’m not going to spend time talking about what could happen on Sunday, because the Hokies