The Hokies made headlines this week with the firing of their head coach Seth Greenberg, who almost took Virginia Tech to a handful of NCAA Tournaments, but instead had to settle for one. We all know "almost doesn't count", especially in terms of wins and losses because Greenberg had the team on the wrong side of the bubble four of the last five years, with last year's 15-16 campaign being downright dreadful.
But not everything is dead in Blacksburg. Whomever is selected as a Greenberg's replacement has a couple of building blocks to work with, pending they all stay put, in getting the program back to respectability. Point guard Erick Green is one of the ACC's best guards, averaging a team-high 15.6 points last season, shooting 44 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point range. With a lack of a great supporting cast around him, Green doled out less than 3 assists per game, but managed a near 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio. Given a more productive senior year, especially seeing the floor and distributing the ball a bit more, he could be a second-round pick in 2013.
The real key to the future of this program lies with rising-sophomore Dorian Finney-Smith; a potential NBA forward down the line, is a bit of a tweener playing both frontcourt positions at 6'8" and under 200 pounds, but if he can physically mature and take his offensive game forward a step or two, Finney-Smith should be a nice, pleasant surprise in the ACC. He led the team in rebounding as a freshman, posting three double-doubles in the process. With his length, he can be a disruptive force in the passing lanes or protecting the rim and adding muscle to his frame will be crucial in these areas.
Don't expect instant improvement from either player, especially with the uncertainty moving forward with a head coach, but Virginia Tech is a couple of steps closer to competing in the ACC once again.