5. Virginia Tech Hokies
It can be argued that the Hokies experienced their best season in history a year ago. They made the Sweet 16 for the first time since the 1966-1967 season and last year concluded a stretch under former head coach Buzz Williams that saw the Hokies make the NCAA tournament three years in a row. It was also the best three-year stretch in school history. In the offseason head coach Buzz Williams left Blacksburg to go home to College Station, TX to build up the Texas A&M program.
After their most successful three-year stint in school history and the man responsible for that no longer leading the team, regression would be expected. Well, the Hokies knocked the hire out of the park when they hired Mike Young from Wofford. Young built Wofford into one of the premier programs in the Southern Conference and was able to get them into the second round of the NCAA tournament a year ago. Even despite the hire, the roster attrition was too great and the Hokies had way too many question marks for anyone to consider them as a legitimate threat to finish anywhere but the bottom half of the league.
Coach White was able to keep superstar Landers Nolley and point guard Wabissa Bede on campus and secure a tremendous recruiting class. The Hokies all have bought into what their new coach is selling so much to start out at 6-2 this season. Guard Nolley has been better than advertised. In their first game at the Maui Invitational Virginia Tech was able to upset Michigan State and put themselves firmly into the conversation as a team everyone was wrong about. The Hokies are well-coached and there is a long season still to be played but Virginia Tech had a heck of a first month and have exceeded many’ s expectations already.