Let’s get one thing straight here from the start — Virginia Tech is not a basketball school.
That said, it sure is fun for Hokies fans to watch the basketball team carry the torch for the athletic program.
Virginia Tech basketball earned another sizable win on Tuesday night, knocking off No. 19 Duke in a 74-67 contest that moved the Hokies to 10-2 overall and 4-1 in the ACC.
The Blue Devils are not the same team you’re used to seeing in a Duke uniform. Duke hasn’t gelled at all since the season started and for a team full of freshmen and sophomores, that’s a problem.
However, those guys are still mostly four and five-star prospects. They’re a really talented bunch and they should improve as the season goes on.
It’s important to put Duke in perspective so we can properly discuss Virginia Tech, who is looking more and more like one of the top two-to-three teams in the ACC.
The Hokies are now just one of two teams with three or more wins against current top-20 teams. The other team is No. 1 Gonzaga.
Tuesday night’s win started with a blazing first-half for the Hokies — Virginia Tech shot 63 percent from the field and hit four threes before the break. The Hokies were much cooler in the second period, but they made just enough shots and free throws to hold onto the win.
Tech’s balance is what scares folks. Tyrece Radford dropped 18 points on 7-12 shooting, Keve Aluma scored 17 on 7-15 shooting and Jalen Cone scored 14. Nahiem Alleyne was the only Hokie who averages in double figures that fell short of that mark.
Unsurprisingly, Virginia Tech held a 15-point advantage in points off the bench. The Hokies also won the second-chance points, points in the paint, fast break points and points off turnovers categories.
Virginia Tech may not have dominated Duke on Tuesday night, but there was no question they were the better team.
So with another notable win on their resume, what’s stopping Hokies from believing this team can win the ACC? Mike Young seems like he’s on board.
“I’ve got a pretty good team. Let’s not beat around the bush,” Young said. “We’ve got a pretty good team. I think we’ve got a chance to be really good. We’re not really good right now. I don’t think it’s anything more complicated right now.”
Well said, sir. Well said.
A significant chunk of Virginia Tech’s conference schedule remains. Tech has at least one game vs. Virginia left on the schedule, two games vs. Florida State, another contest with Louisville and a road trip to North Carolina. But it sure is fun to believe, right?
So believe away, Hokies. Your basketball team is pretty good, just not really good. Not yet, at least.