The Lights Out Virginia Tech OffenseFebruary 24, 2017
The ACC is full with talent this season that will continue to shock the nation in this year’s tournament. But there’s one team in this Conference that has been underhyped all year. In fact, they have only been voted into the top 25 ONCE (at 21), despite receiving a significant amount of votes from both the AP Top 25 and the Coaches Poll. The Virginia Tech Hokies are an underrated threat that has recorded multiple impressive wins in what many consider the most talented Conference in College Basketball. The Hokies are currently 8-7 in the ACC, are only 4 games out of 1st with 3 games left in the regular season, and are 1 win away from recording a 20 win season. But the most impressive stat isn’t how they’re staying in Tournament contention. despite having to face some of the nation’s best teams multiple times in the regular season, their absolutely lights out 3 point shooting has made this Blacksburg based team one of the most feared squads in the country. A vast majority of their significant wins have come from an impressive high percentage of 3 pointers made. With some of these coming at crucial times, especially late in the 2nd half, it’s clear that this Virginia Tech team is one of the most dangerous teams beyond the arc.
If you watched last Tuesday’s game against Clemson, you would’ve seen Seth Allen show the effectiveness of Virginia Tech’s 3 point shooting with a last minute shot to give V Tech a 71-70 lead, ultimately becoming the game winning basket. This isn’t the first time Allen has used his remarkable shooting from 3 point territory to win a game. 3 of the Hokies’ last 4 games were won by Allen taking a game winning shot. Even against teams that guard the perimeter extremely well, like the then ranked #5 Duke Blue Devils and the then ranked #12 Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech’s offense was still able to play as an unstoppable threat.
Of course, Seth Allen isn’t the only impressive scorer for Virginia Tech. Ahmed Hill, Justin Bibbs, and Ty Outlaw have all been having a prominent seasons from 3 point range. With every player listed, including Seth Allen, shooting above 40% from beyond the arc (Outlaw 41%, Bibbs 42.2%, Hill 40.3%, and Allen an astonishing 48.4%), the Hokies are proving to the rest of the nation that they have a lot of offensive threats, and they know how to use them. Especially in an intense home game vs #12 Virginia, the impressive, cold blooded shot selection from these V Tech players has been lethal for their opponents all season. With a Hokies team that averages 39.8% from 3 point range, it’s safe to say that this deep range threat is always present, regardless of who is on the court. Of course, the Hokies still have a dominant presence in the paint, with Chris Clarke almost single handedly carrying Virginia Tech to a win against Georgia Tech and Seth Allen recording multiple in the paint game winning shots, but what truly is their most effective weapon is their dangerous accuracy from 3 point range. Virginia Tech has recorded a handful of both notable losses to big teams, some more embarrassing losses that they should’ve found ways to come away with a win, and of course their record in the ACC is far from outstanding, but their play style and ability to expose even the most challenging teams’ defensive weaknesses will definitely help them after the regular season.
The Hokies have a fairly easy end to the regular season. Their last away game is against one of the worst Basketball programs to ever play in the ACC: Boston College. Then a strong Miami team and a pesky Georgia Tech team both come up to Blacksburg to finish out the rest of the season. If V Tech can continue this dominant play style, then there’s no reason why they can’t win out in these last 3 games. Essentially, to earn a NCAA Tournament appearance, they would need to win at least 2 of these 3 games (especially if one of those wins is against Miami) and upset at least one more ranked opponent in the ACC Tournament. However, not only are the capable of achieving this, but I believe they will continue this lights out playing style well into the NCAA Tournament, further upsetting other notable programs on College Basketball’s biggest stage. Virginia Tech’s underrated squad embodies everything that March Madness stands for, and if they can punch their ticket to the big dance next month, I guarantee we’ll see some extremely memorable games out of this team.
Written by Erik Clark