The Virginia Tech Hokies men’s basketball team returns in 2020-21 looking to bounce back from a season that saw some highs but a lot of lows, especially during conference play. The Hokies finished 16-16 on the year in Mike Young’s first season at the helm. Tech was young and undersized and teams found ways to take advantage of that roster deficiency, especially in league play.
The Hokies overachieved in the early portion of the 2019-20 season before things evened out throughout the course of the rest of the season. Tech defeated the No. 3-ranked Michigan State Spartans in the Maui Invitational, marking a 6-0 start under first-year head coach Mike Young before things returned to normal rather quickly upon returning home.
The Hokies would go on to finish 7-13 in ACC play, before falling in the first-round of the ACC Tournament to the North Carolina Tar Heels, 78-56 to finish the season. After starting the conference slate 4-2, Tech lost 11 of their final 14 games and while some came by double digits, it showed there’s still work to be done as head coach Mike Young continues to build the program.
The 2020 offseason has worked wonders for the Hokies basketball team, at least on paper. Tech signed two grad-transfers in Cordell Pemsl (Iowa) and Justyn Mutts (Delaware) to their 2020 recruiting class to bolster the frontcourt, which was a huge hole in 2019-20. In addition to the newcomers via transfer, 6-foot-8 forward Keve Aluma will be available after sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules.
As a team, the Hokies ranked 12th in the ACC last season in rebounds per game (33.1) and 11th in blocks per game (3.0) despite leading the league in 3-pointers made per game (9.8) and ranking third in 3-point field goal percentage (35.2 percent). With some depth and experience coming into next season, look for things to even out a bit for the Hokies’ men’s basketball squad as Mike Young continues to build the program to his liking.
Projected Starting 5:
G Wabisse Bede
G Tyrece Radford
G Naheim Alleyne
F Justyn Mutts
C Keve Aluma
Key Losses: Landers Nolley, PJ Horne
Key Newcomers: Keve Aluma (Wofford), Cordell Pemsl (Iowa), Cartier Diarra (Kansas State), Justyn Mutts (Delaware)
Projected Bench: Jalen Cone, Hunter Cattoor, Cordell Pemsl, John Ojiako, Joe Bamisile, Darius Maddox, David N’Guessan
Year 2 should trend in a more positive direction under head coach Mike Young for the Virginia Tech Hokies. They’ll be much more prepared in the frontcourt for ACC play, which should bode well for their ability to make 3-pointers at an efficient rate. Granted, they’ll lose their best scorer in Landers Nolley II, but they now have options to replace what he brought to the fold in 2020-21.