Update: JT Thompson’s charlotte team is playing in the NIT (though he’s out for the season with another knee injury) and Allan Chaney will be playing in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament for high point. That means Manny Atkins (georgia state) is the only one of nine former Hokies/commits who’s team isn’t playing in the postseason.
While Virginia Tech missed the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive season (and 16 of 17), six guys who formerly played, or almost played, for the Hokies did make the Big Dance.
The table below shows the nine current Division I players who either: a) played for the Hokies at some point (this includes seven of the nine and I included Allan Chaney, who sat out two years at VT waiting to be cleared to play but never actually played in a game for VT), b) signed with Tech and were later released (Montrezl Harrell), or c) verbally committed to VT but never signed (Momo Jones).
I’ll repeat — of these nine guys, an amazing SIX will be playing (or redshirting as is the case with Doo Doo Finney-Smith) in the NCAA Tournament. And we aren’t just talking about basketball powers like louisville and florida, we are also talking about iona (2nd straight trip), jmu, valpo, and la salle (getting an at large bid, no less!).
While we are happy for some of these guys, in many cases it is a bitter pill to swallow and think “what might have been” had they stayed or even arrived at Tech. For example, Momo Jones averaged 23 ppg this year for iona, third in the nation behind our Erick Green and McDermott of creighton (he averaged just 6.6 ppg his freshman year at arizona — so he had a similar rise in scoring to Mr. Green). And Montrezl Harrell was the MVP of the Big East Championship Game in their win over syracuse Saturday night — as a freshman! Sure would have liked to see his big body in orange and maroon.
|Atkins, Manny||Played 2 years at VT||georgia state||No||Jr||14.2 ppg|
|Boggs, Ben||Played 1.5 years at VT||valparaiso||YES (14 seed), won Horizon||Sr||5.3 ppg|
|Chaney, Allan||Never cleared to play||high point||No||Sr/Jr||14.4 ppg|
|Finney-Smith, D.||Played 1 year at VT||florida||YES (3 seed), at large||RED||Redshirted|
|Garland, Tyrone||Played 1.5 years at VT||la salle||YES (13 seed), at large||Jr||12.9 ppg|
|Harrell, Montrezl||Signed; then released||louisville||YES (1 seed), won Big East||Fr||5.7 ppg|
|Jones, Lamont||Verballed, never signed||iona||YES (15 seed), won MAAC||Sr||23 ppg (3rd)|
|Swindle, Gene||Played in 1 VT game||jmu||YES (16 seed), won CAA||Sr||4 pts in 18 G|
|Thompson, JT||Played 3 years at VT||charlotte||No||Sr||4.1 ppg; injured|
It is another disappointing season for the Hokies, and the days of being on the bubble are a distant memory now. Tech is closer to 10 years ago than their Humpty Dumpty days of a few years ago.
In other news, uva’s and maryland’s bubbles burst. uva’s finish to their season (home win over duke, struggle the rest of the way, not making the Big Dance) was a carbon copy of Tech’s situation two years ago. It was good to see at least uva was punished the same way VT was.
The ACC ended up with just four teams in the Big Dance — [Correction: 5 Atlantic 10 and Mountain West teams made the NCAAs! More than the ACC! How the mighty have fallen].