Virginia Tech basketball is this close to being a really good team.
The Hokies dropped a road tilt with Louisville on Wednesday night in frustrating fashion, giving away an early lead and falling just short in their comeback attempt.
Poor shooting was once again the problem. Virginia Tech hit just shy of 43 percent of their shots overall and went an abysmal 9-30 from three-point land. Players not named Jalen Cone were an even more dreadful 3-18.
Even still, Virginia Tech scored 71 points and lost by two.
Wednesday’s loss was just Virginia Tech’s second this season, but it was further proof that the Hokies are two-stepping the line between decent and really good.
The first loss, a blowout at the hands of Penn State, can be directly attributed to Virginia Tech’s 37 percent shooting in that game. A game the Hokies could have easily lost, their 64-57 win over VMI, Tech shot 35 percent from the field and 4-27 from behind the arc.
Shooting percentages fluctuate from game to game and no team is going to catch fire every night. But what we have seen is that Virginia Tech isn’t good enough to overcome those poor shooting nights — sorry, VMI doesn’t count.
However, Virginia Tech is close to overcoming those kinds of performances. And that’s an encouraging sign. The Hokies are nearing a breakthrough and fans might be lucky enough to witness it this season.
It’s a down year in the Atlantic Coast Conference — Louisville leads the way at 8-1 overall and 3-0 in conference games. Duke is 4-2 overall this season and has underwhelmed multiple times, North Carolina has lost four games already and Virginia is nowhere near their usual standard.
That’s a long way of saying the ACC is wide open. If Virginia Tech can push just a little further, they’ll make it over the hump and give themselves a serious chance of winning the conference.
I didn’t expect to be typing that prior to the start of the season, but this is a weird time. Let’s see if Virginia Tech can take advantage.