Virginia Tech Basketball: Mixture of Youth and Leadership Provides Promise

Cody ElliottContributor IIOctober 15, 2011

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 11:  Erick Green #11, Malcolm Delaney #23 and Paul Debnam #32 of the Virginia Tech Hokies celebrate their 52-51 win over the Florida State Seminoles in the quarterfinals of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 11, 2011 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Virginia Tech won 52-51 in regulation.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Virginia Tech basketball kicked off its 2011-2012 season on Friday with their annual media day and first practice. With the start of the season comes uncertainty from fans but raised expectations within.

The Hokies lost Malcolm Delaney, Jeff Allen and Terrell Bell to graduation after four years with the team. All three players started for the team and made huge contributions over the years.

With the loss of three guys of such magnitude, many fans believe that this season will be another average year without any real shot at the NCAA tournament. However, they could be wrong.

It is believed by many close to the program that this Virginia Tech team could be one of the better ones in recent years. Despite the loss of such key components, this team possesses a team-first mentality that is focused on one thing only and that is winning.

This year’s team is highlighted by the stout freshman class that came in this year. Dorian Finney-Smith is the star of the group as he ranks as the highest recruit to ever come to Virginia Tech under coach Seth Greenberg.

The leadership with this team will come from seasoned veterans Erick Green, Dorenzo Hudson and Victor Davila. The blend of this leadership with the youth could make for a very good team in Cassell Coliseum.

Delaney was known for his abilities to get to the free-throw line and put up big numbers on the scoreboard. Often times, however, he was criticized for too many shots and not getting the team involved as much as desired by fans.

This year’s team has been praised by Greenberg throughout the preseason for their teamwork, and it is believed that despite the lack of a true star player, this team could be the first go to the NCAA tournament in five years.

With the first game less than a month away, the ability of the freshman to adjust to the college game quickly will be key to the team’s success. The schedule certainly isn’t friendly this year and with young players, the ability to adapt will be the primary focus of the success on this squad.

It’s been five years since the Hokies have been to the NCAA tournament. This year, Seth Greenberg and his young team can change that.