Photo Credit: Liam Sment
Virginia Tech continues to piece together their 2020-21 non-conference basketball schedule as CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported that the Hokies will host George Washington.
Source: Virginia Tech will host George Washington as part of its 20-21 non-conference schedule.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 5, 2020
The Colonials will venture to Cassell Coliseum next season for the first time since December of 2007, the last time the two programs met.
Some might call this a reigniting of an old rivalry. VT and GW have met 72 times since their first meeting in 1920, which Tech won in Washington D.C. The series is tied at 36 wins apiece.
The two schools played every year from 1945-66 as adversaries in the Southern Conference until the Hokies left in 1965 to become an independent. They occasionally crossed paths from 1970-91 until they became conference foes once again in 1995 when Tech joined the Atlantic 10.
The programs only met twice after the Hokies left for the Big East in 2000 – in D.C. in 2006 and in Blacksburg in 2007. The home team won both games.
While it’s bringing together an old rivalry between Virginia Tech and George Washington, it’s a bit more than that: it’s a reuniting of an old coaching tree – the late Bob Johnson’s, to be specific.
The former Emory & Henry men’s basketball coach and athletics director served the Wasps for 30 years, creating a coaching tree in the process.
As that NBC Sports article from 2017 says, the five coaches from Johnson’s tree – Young, Jimmy Allen (Army), Nathan Davis (Bucknell), Jon Coffman (Purdue Fort Wayne) and Christian – never overlapped at Emory & Henry, yet all have been successful Division I coaches.
Both Young and Christian are in similar positions. They’re both in their second year at their respective school – Young ventured to Blacksburg from Wofford last April, while Christian made his way from Siena to the nation’s capital in March of 2019.
On the basketball court, this will be a solid non-conference game for both programs. The Colonials are on the rise in the A-10 on Christian’s watch and picked up some transfers from LSU and Vanderbilt this offseason. On the other hand, Tech has the potential to surprise some folks in the ACC this season.
George Washington is the second A-10 team Tech will face next season, joining Davidson. Young and the Hokies have built up a solid non-conference schedule for 2020-21 so far, with the likes of Oklahoma State, Marshall, and Maine.
Young’s connections like Mike Boynton (Oklahoma State), a former assistant of his at Wofford, and Christian, through Johnson’s coaching tree, have paid off so far in assembling his non-conference schedule.
That combined with coaches being at home and more available than usual to arrange games due to the coronavirus pandemic has made it easier to assemble schedules sooner as Mike Young stated recently to the media.
“The schedule is done,” Young said during a teleconference on April 27th. “That’s a consequence of this crisis – everyone’s at home. You can get people on the phone. Most years, you’re finishing your schedule in July and early August. We put that thing to bed a couple of weeks ago. … Never, ever in my career have I finished the schedule in April and I’ve got to be honest with you, I feel great about that.”