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Hokies Return Experience, but Will Also Welcome Fresh Faces
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #487, June 3, 2011

Virginia Tech's incoming freshman basketball class will enroll in school next month, and we could see a few of them play a prominent role on the team this year. The Hokies also bring back plenty of veteran players, so we should see a good mixture of youth and experience on the court next season.

Here's a look at a very early playing rotation prediction. Note that Allan Chaney isn't included, because he isn't expected to be able to play for the Hokies this season.

Hoops Roster, 2011-12
Pos. Player Ht. Wt. Yr.
G* Erick Green 6-4 185 Jr.
W* Dorenzo Hudson 6-5 220 r-Sr.
W* Dorian Finney-Smith 6-7 190 Fr.
F* J.T. Thompson 6-6 210 r-Sr.
F* Victor Davila 6-8 245 Sr.
W Jarell Eddie 6-7 209 So.
F Cadarian Raines 6-9 238 r-So.
G Ty Garland 6-1 170 So.
W Robert Brown 6-6 195 Fr.
G Marquis Rankin 6-0 170 Fr.
F C.J. Barksdale 6-8 220 Fr.
F Joey van Zederen 6-9 220 Fr.
*Projected Starters

The Hokies should have a very experienced starting lineup, with the exception of Dorian Finney-Smith. Erick Green started this past season and should be one of the ACC's better point guards, while Dorenzo Hudson and J.T. Thompson will be fifth-year seniors who have seen significant minutes since their first year on campus. Victor Davila will also enter his third season as a starter.

Off the bench, Tech will have three sophomores with playing experience. Jarell Eddie and Ty Garland got their feet wet this past season, while Cadarian Raines redshirted after seeing action as a true freshman the preseason year.

Eddie could also end up starting at wing for the Hokies, and expect true freshman wing Robert Brown to see action this year as well. How deep a rotation Seth Greenberg chooses to use remains to be seen. He won't play people he doesn't trust, even if that means shortening his bench. It's possible that someone like Jarell Eddie could be used in a combo forward role, if Greenberg doesn't trust incoming freshmen C.J. Barksdale and Joey van Zederen to provide post depth.

Expect Erick Green to play between 30-35 minutes per game next season, if not more. There won't be a lot of minutes available for a backup point guard, and it could be an interesting battle between Ty Garland and Marquis Rankin.

Garland was a scorer in high school who is still transitioning to running the point at the college level. He started out strong last season, and then seemed to hit a wall. Rankin is a terrific athlete, but he's not a shooter and he's still somewhat raw as a player. However, he could be the fastest point guard in the ACC from one end of the court to the other, and he has the potential to be a very good defender.

Perhaps the biggest concern will be finding someone who can knock down an outside jumper. Malcolm Delaney was the only player on the team who could make contested three-pointers. Erick Green and Dorenzo Hudson need space to hit outside shots, and even then they are inconsistent from beyond 15-16 feet.

The Hokies have a chance to be good, but between the lack of an outside shooter and replacing Jeff Allen's rebounding, there are still plenty of question marks heading into the season.


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