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Hokies Picked to Finish 10th in ACC Coaches’ Preseason Poll and Media Poll

Clearly neither the other 11 coaches in the ACC nor the media are expecting a big improvement in Blacksburg this season from last year.  The media picked VT to finish 10th, ahead of wake and bc; while Tech and wake tied for that coveted 10th spot in the league, with boston college pulling up the rear in the coaches’ poll.  And in no surprise to those that saw the end of last season and the continual wave of top notch recruits headed to Raleigh, it is nc state that was picked to finish first in the league in both polls, ahead of their Tobacco Road brethren.  In the Coaches’ Poll, state got 8 of the 12 first place votes, duke got 3, and unc 1.

Here’s where VT has been picked by the media year by year since joining the league, and where they finished (Year: Predicted finish / actual finish (seed if they were in a tie):

  • 2011-12: 6th / 4-way tie for 9th (#9 seed in ACC Tourney)
  • 2010-11: 2nd / tied for 4th (#6 seed in the ACC Tourney)
  • 2009-10: 8th / 4th
  • 2008-09: 6th / three way tie for 7th (#8 seed in the ACC Tourney)
  • 2007-08: 10th / 4th
  • 2006-07: 6th / tie for 3rd (#3 seed)
  • 2005-06: 8th / tie for 10th (#10 seed)
  • 2004-05: 10th (of 11) / tie for 4th (#4 seed)

The Hokies finished in a 4-way tie for 9th place last year (i.e. last place) with a 4-12 conference record, though 8 of those 12 regular season conference losses were by 4 points or less, or in overtime.

The coaches also picked an All-ACC First Team, and Erick Green wasn’t on it.  C.J. Leslie was the pick for POTY in both, and state also had the selection for ROTY with Rodney Purvis in both polls.

This marked the first time the coaches have picked a preseason poll for the league.

Here’s the full Coaches’ Poll:

  1. nc state (8)
  2. duke (3)
  3. unc (1)
  4. miami
  5. fsu
  6. maryland
  7. uva
  8. clemson
  9. georgia tech
  10. VT and wake
  11. -
  12. boston college
MEDIA POLL:
  1. nc state (26 of 53)
  2. duke (21)
  3. unc
  4. fsu (6)
  5. miami
  6. maryland
  7. uva
  8. clemson
  9. georgia tech
  10. VT
  11. wake
  12. bc

I think maryland is too high.  They are a year away for me.  I think Turgeon is a heck of a coach but losing Stoglin will be too much to overcome for this year.

I do think nc state is the best team and this should be a down year for duke and unc (by their standards), so it’s ripe for someone else to step up.

miami has had the same guys for 10 years now, and always underachieve.  Well, this is the last year for this crew of Johnson and Scott and Kadji so they better put it together this season.  I could see them finishing ahead of unc or duke based on their talent… or in the bottom half if they choke again early in the season.

fsu seems to be a top 4 team in the league every year now, and have talent back at guard with Michael Snaer, a 1st team preseason pick, and Ian Miller.  But they lost all their bigs – James, Kreft and Gibson.  Can they win without all those trees inside?  We’ll see.  They have 3 new 7-footers on the roster this year, two are freshmen including one named ‘Boris’ and the other is a Juco guy (Mel Turpin’s son if you remember him for those early 80s k-y kentucky teams) who redshirted last year.  I think they’ll slide a bit with the mass exodus inside and how much they are built on defense.

bc way overachieved last year, so let’s see if they fall back to Earth this season (or else that will show how good Coach Donahue is.

uva lost Mike Smith after 5 years of tormenting VT (literally).  But when you play 41-39 basketball, it isn’t that hard to replace his points.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1216 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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  • Jonnycat

    Like most of you I’ve heard the reports that JJ is really pushing the guys to be well conditioned in an attempt to play more up tempo. I know we used to hear that all the time from Greenberg but then ended up being all half-court, but I wonder with depth issues if we can play the up-tempo this year. I did hear JJ mention that this might not be the season to unleash a full-court pressing D.

    • Niemo

      Jonny – Greenberg quit on pushing the ball each year, and pressing, because that’s not his style. I think he did it because it was better suited to the more skilled players and athletes he was getting after a while at VT. But in the end, we’d struggle for a half at it, and he’d scrap it. He had no will to invest in that style of play.

      JJ, on the other hand, wants to play that way, so even if we struggle with it for a few games, he’ll stick with it. But as you said, this won’t be the year to unleash 40 minutes of hell, we simply don’t have enough bullets for that. We’ll pick and choose our spots to press/trap. Keep in mind, though, you can run full court defenses that aren’t really ‘pressure’ defenses and actually slow the game down as it eats up time before an offense can get in their set in the half court (it isn’t aggressive in nature gambling for steals). Could see some of that, too.

  • LJ

    Picked tied for 10th with Wake…not ahead of them…BC cant believe VT is picked ahead of them. We are headed for the bottom without a doubt

  • Les

    If they could’ve gotten Alex Len admitted last year, the team would have a hell of a three-headed center right now. Len, Raines, and Harrell with his 7-5 wingsman. Len has named starter for Maryland. Harrell is the backup center for 2nd-ranked Louisville.

  • Chris_atl

    Did 59% of the folks voting on this site really predict VT would finish in the top 4 in the ACC this year? Wow. Optimism abounds.

    • Niemo

      Ha – that poll is OOOOOOLLLLLLDDDDD. Need to update it.

      As for years until first NCAA – the scary thing is if we don’t make it this year, which we likely won’t, we’ll likely have a drop-off in talent due to a very average recruiting class this year. We could also have a chance of making next year if we only lose Green. I would say if we don’t make it by next year, we won’t make it in his first 4 years (and would he still be around after that point?). And remember – things only get harder with pitt/cuse/nd coming in.

      • Chris_atl

        I wondered if that poll was leftover from last year. Probably could change the categories to

        11th or 12th
        10,
        9,
        8,
        7th or better.

        Should get a nice bell curve centering on 9, just a guess.

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