After last season’s breakthrough in only the second season of the Buzz Williams era, most in Blacksburg believe that the Virginia Tech Hokies can return to the NCAA Tournament next season especially with the only players departing being Jalen Hudson, Shane Henry, and Satchel Pierce.
However, Hokie fans are far from the only ones that hold that opinion with a few seeing Virginia Tech as a top 25 team next season.
CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein: #24 Virginia Tech
23. Colorado 24. Virginia Tech 25. Creighton
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 26, 2016
CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein has been a fan of the Hokies for a while and has called Virginia Tech a sleeper to keep an eye on. After having the Hokies in his 2016-2017 top 25 right after Villanova won the national title, the Hokies have remained there during this period of transfers and players leaving for the NBA.
NBC Sports: #20 Virginia Tech
NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster has been talking about the Hokies being on the brink of being as relevant in basketball as they have ever been and with Williams coming back for a third season along with most of the Hokies’ key pieces, Virginia Tech has the potential to surprise a lot of people.
On top of that, a couple of the key returners are arguably new additions for next season in Ahmed Hill and Ty Outlaw who both redshirted last season due to injuries. Hill is a hard worker guard that is tough on the defensive end and effective on the outside, and projects to be a starter while Outlaw gives the Hokies another quality scorer and more depth in the worse case scenario.
The Big Lead: #17 Virginia Tech
This is the highest ranking I’ve seen yet for the Hokies and The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre had some very high praise.
As long as there are no injuries, I’ll probably be viewing the Hokies as a Final 4 sleeper coming March 2017. Zach LeDay and Seth Allen are back, as is everyone else in the rotation.
Buzz Williams has brought national respect to Virginia Tech basketball and has built a team that is ready to do damage next season led by the experienced duo of Zach LeDay and Seth Allen. What may be scary to think about is the fact that the Hokies still have a couple of open scholarships that they can use on a remaining 2016 recruit, a JUCO player, or a grad transfer that can make an impact next season (or a regular transfer that won’t be eligible till the 2017-2018 season).
Expectations have soared quickly in Blacksburg and there is no doubt that the Hokies definitely have the makings of a team that should make the NCAA Tournament in a loaded ACC.