Like much of HokieNation, I'm bummed we're not ranked. I think the team deserves to be. The 7-0 record, Tech's best start since best 1982-83, speaks for itself. The win over now #23 Oklahoma State, Tech's first win over a ranked non-conference opponent since 1995, will be a bullet point on the Hokies' resume come March. Naysayers will point out weak competition to start the season, and they would be correct. However, teams can only play their schedule, and Tech beat Iowa and Oklahoma State, their two biggest challenges to date, by double-digits.
The Hokies play an up-tempo, fun brand of team basketball, and their leader is receiving a lot of attention from the national media after his 7th game of putting up 20-plus points.
Rob Dauster of CollegeBasketballTalks named Erick Green his Player of the Week.
Enter Erick Green. The star point guard for the Hokies has gone from one of the ACC's best-kept secrets the past two years to a guy that is legitimately deserving of all-america consideration. After going for 24 points, five boards and five assists in a win over Iowa in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and following that up with a 28 point performance in a win over a ranked Oklahoma State team last week, Green is averaging 24.9 points, 4.4 assists and 40 boards. He's also shooting at ridiculous rates (51.6/37.5/87.7 are his splits) while posting a 2.2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. For those that are into the stats, he's currently the most efficient player in the country that uses more than 28% of his team's possessions.
Making those numbers all the more important is that Green is spearheading a new style of attack. He told CBSSports.com that the team's motto is "bring your track shoes", which makes it all the more important for Johnson to have an efficient, talented ball-handler. Undefeated Virginia Tech is one of the nation's most surprising teams, and Green is the biggest reason for that. This week proved it.
Seth Davis of SI.com did the same.
Green had been putting up stellar numbers all season, but he had yet to prove himself against top-level competition. Consider him proven. Green had 24 points, five rebounds and five assists in a win at home over Iowa Tuesday, and he followed that up by going for 28 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's big win at home over then-No. 15 Oklahoma State. Remarkably, Green only played 26 minutes against the Hokies because of foul trouble, and he did not score a field goal in the final 16 minutes, 53 seconds. He also made a combined 20 of his 22 attempts from the free throw line in the two wins. Thanks to Green, the Hokies under first-year coach James Johnson are 7-0 for the first time in 30 years.
Andy Katz and Jeff Goodman also had nice things to say about E.G.
Erick Green continues to be the story out of the ACC as the 7-0 Hokies ride his 28 points to an upset over Oklahoma State.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) December 1, 2012
Virginia Tech pulls the upset over Oklahoma State at home. Rookie coach James Johnson stays undefeated -- and Erick Green becoming a star.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanCBS) December 1, 2012
A win on the road against West Virginia (2-3), a game that will be nationally televised, might be enough to show pollsters Tech belongs among the nation's best. Either way, I'm going to enjoy watching one of the best guards in the country, and a selfless team that bought into what a fiery, savvy, first-time head coach was selling.