Here is my grading of this season:
- MVP: None- I’m sorry, but teams that go 5-13 in ACC play (including the Tourney) don’t have a MVP. The obvious choice here would be Erick Green, but he was 3/16 on FGs at the end of halfs and didn’t have any game-winners. He actually averaged 2 more PPG in VT’s 12 ACC losses he played in (he missed @bc) than in their 5 wins (16.5 in losses, 14.6 in wins). His assists per game and steals had minor differences – they were both +0.2 in wins compared to losses. In other words, the better he did scoring wise, the worse Tech did, and the his input in other areas had almost no impact.
- Best Player: Erick Green – He was the only Hokie to garner ACC Honors, other than Doe Doe who made the All Freshman Team. Green was 2nd Team All-ACC, leading VT in scoring (15.6 PPG — 4.7 ahead of #2), assists (2.8 per game — almost 1 ahead of anyone else), and steals (1.3). He also appeared to be the closest thing the Hokies had to a leader on this team.
- Most Improved: Cadarian Raines – I gave him this honor at midseason because of how much he meant inside to the Hokies, who were usually thin in the post. Jarell Eddie had better numbers, but again, I thought Raines had shown the most progress of any player. Well, we hadn’t seen anything yet. When Davila went down with 3 weeks to go, Cadarian exploded given the extra minutes. He averaged 11 PPG in Tech’s final 7 games and showed very developed post moves (lefty hook, up-and-under move, pick and roll). He looks like he could be a real force next year in this league and easily contend for All-ACC honors.
- Freshman of the Year: Dorian Finney-Smith – I gave it to Robert Brown at midseason because I felt he most consistently performed each night. But Brown averaged just 4.8 PPG in ACC play (almost 8 out of conference) and really seemed to hit the wall in league play. Doe Doe really struggled to adjust to ACC competition and went through a stretch in the first half of ACC play where he scored just 14 points in 9 games and missed 25 consecutive shots at one point. But then Dorian refound his stroke and averaged over 8 PPG in Tech’s final 11 contests, plus 7 boards per game. He even averaged more than 2 assists per game in VT’s final 6 games. Doe Doe really needs to get stronger (he was often pushed away from the hoop on offensive and was overmatched on defense) and he needs to develop a midrange jumper (I’m not sure he hit a single shot from between 12-17 feet in ACC play). But we finally started to see the progress down the stretch. He looked like it was starting to click. Can he develop in a C.J. Leslie-type player next year? We’ll see.
- Offense: D- – Tech never reached 70 points in regulation in their final 20 games. That’s pathetic. They couldn’t execute a fastbreak to save their life (outscored 32-0 in fastbreak points in their final 2 games and scored just 40 fastbreak points in their 9 home games in 2012). Even VT’s FT shooting, which was best in the league for a long while, collapsed down the stretch. This was a team that couldn’t score in the half court or in transition and finished last in ACC play in FG% (the only team under 40%). The one redeeming thing is their 3-point shooting – Tech finished 2nd in the league in 3-Pt % for the year, and 3rd in ACC games. Well, one other positive was Turnover Margin – Tech was 2nd in the ACC so they protected the ball.
- Defense: D+ – Usually a staple of Tech teams, but the Hokies were poor in ACC play on the defense end. They finished 10th in the league in FG% Defense in ACC play. Even 3-Pt% Defense, which was #1 in the nation entering ACC play, was just 5th in the league. The Hokies were dead last in the league in Defensive Rebounding %, too. In Tech’s final 9 games, 4 teams shot over 50% against VT, including 3 hitting more than 55% of their shots. For whatever reason, Tech really took duke out of their game — the devils shot 39% and 37% in the teams’ two meetings down the stretch. But other than those games, there were too many easy layups for teams, or fastbreak buckets (that often were a result of lazy perimeter passes on offense or guys not coming to receive the ball).
- Coaching: D – Never really saw progress in terms of improvent in our weaknesses mentioned on offense and defense. Although out of bounds plays on the offensive end were very effective late in the year. But offense got worse if anything as the year went on, and defense seemed to digress, too. Next year is Bust Or Brackets for this staff, I’m afraid.