The Virginia Tech basketball team received a lot of news Monday, including their new AP ranking, which players made the All-ACC rosters, and Buzz Williams’ place in the coach of the year voting.
Virginia Tech Ranked 16th in Latest AP Poll
The latest AP poll (released Monday, March 11) has ranked the Hokies as the #16 in the country. Virginia Tech dropped just 1 spot from last week’s ranking after a 1-1 week in which they fell to Florida State and defeated Miami.
Both Kansas State and Nevada moved ahead of the Hokies, while Kansas dropped below the Hokies into the #17 spot.
Virginia Tech is one of five ACC teams to be ranked in the poll. Along with the Virginia Tech, Virginia is #2, UNC #3, Duke #5, and Florida State #12.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. and Nickeil Alexander-Walker Make All-ACC Teams
Virginia Tech had two players make All-ACC teams on Monday. Kerry Blackshear Jr. was named to the second team, and Nickeil-Alexander Walker received third team honors.
Kerry Blackshear had an outstanding season in which he averaged 14.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game overall. In ACC play, Blackshear did not miss a beat. In fact, his 15.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.6 rebounds in conference play alone are all better than his out of conference marks.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker was a little bit of the opposite. After an incredibly strong start to the season, his numbers dipped off a bit in early conference play before coming back around towards the end. Still, he averaged 16.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.9 assists overall on the season. In ACC play, Alexander-Walker averaged 15.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game.
Duke’s Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, Virginia’s Kyle Guy and De’andre Hunter, and North Carolina’s Cameron Johnson made up the first team. The full list of the three All-ACC teams can be found here.
Buzz Williams Finishes Second in ACC Coach of the Year Voting
Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams was the runner-up for ACC Coach of the year. Without Chris Clarke, Landers Nolley, and Justin Robinson for a large part of the year, Williams led the Hokies to a school record 12 ACC wins and a 5th place finish in the conference.
When starting point guard Justin Robinson first went down, the Hokies offense struggled mightily. However, after Williams altered the offensive scheme, Virginia Tech was still able to go 6-4 without their starting point guard.
Of those four losses, three came to ranked opponents, and the other was against Clemson on the road. They also defeated #3 Duke at home without Robinson. Those accomplishments are what helped Buzz Williams receive 12 votes for coach of the year and finish as the runner up.
Virginia’s Tony Bennett won the award after leading his team to a 16-2 ACC record. He received 30 first place votes for the award. The Cavaliers tied with North Carolina for first place in the conference. Virginia’s head-to-head win over North Carolina gives them the #1 seed in the ACC Tournament.
The Hokies will begin ACC Tournament on Wednesday at 2 pm. They will take on the winner of Miami and Wake Forest, who play at noon on Tuesday.