Introducing the Virginia Tech Class of 2016

National Signing Day has come and gone. Despite Jawand Blue accepting Miami's last minute scholarship offer, and Korren Kirven deciding to head to Tuscaloosa, a place where he'll be able to achieve his goals, the Hokies closed strong, something the coaching staff struggled to do in previous years. They inked a class of 28 players including seven All-Americans (most since '07).

Ken Ekanem, after announcing he'd sign with Virginia Tech (via). There might be a four-spot on defense and offense these next few seasons.

Scoring output worst of Seth Greenberg era

I've been pondering our offensive woes this season, and wanted to compare this season's scoring to past seasons under Seth Greenberg.  While some of the numbers aren't drastically different, so far this season is the worst overall - I'm sure you're shocked.

In the below spreadsheet I listed the past 9 seasons and included team scoring, our 4 leading scorers each season, their contributions to scoring, and the percentages of their contributions against the team total.  I also included the final four teams from the last 3 seasons as a comparison.

No. 7 Duke "Preview"

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (12-9, 1-5 ACC) vs Duke Blue Devilss (18-3, 5-1 ACC)

When: Thursday, February 2 @ 7:00 p.m.

TV: ESPN (Mike Patrick, Len Elmore, Jeannine Edwards)

Where: Cassell Coliseum (9.847), Blacksburg, VA

Thanks to some technical difficulties on my end, my previously-written Duke preview disappeared last night. So, in lieu of a typical preview for this game, I'm using this space as a place for us fans to gather and talk about this team. After this weekend, we'll be halfway through the ACC slate, and Tech could be 3-5 and on the upswing or sadly, as bad as 1-7 and talking about whether the NIT is even a possibility at this point.

This is a defining weekend for our basketball team. And it all starts with the team that we earned our defining moment against last year. Our guys came out and showed just how well they could be if everything went right. Duke provided us with what is possibly the best day in the history of Virginia Tech basketball. Sure, it's a bit different this year with College Gameday not being in town, but this still could be a shining moment against an otherwise bleak backdrop.

National Signing Day, Primer Recap

This is certainly neither Frank Beamer nor Al Golden's first rodeo. Nothing should ever really come as a shock on National Signing Day. Let's be real, we're talking about 17 or 18 year olds making (what might be) their first major life decision. Sometimes, recruits change their minds. Sometimes - as in Jawand Blue's case - they decide to go to Miami instead of Virginia Tech. That's cool, and I wish him the best of luck. 

Then Al Golden decided to open his mouth

OH REALLY? That's cute. Let's talk about when this happened:

Quick Reaction and Analysis of a Wild National Signing Day

National Signing Day certainly turned into a festival atmosphere for Hokie fans, with tons of positives coupled with some negatives to give both the most ardent homer and the most disaffected crumudgeon plenty to talk about.

The Hokies were able to secure two of their top three remaining targets in multi-talented athlete Joel Caleb and bruising defensive end prospect Ken Ekanem. Meanwhile, Koren Kirven disappointed Hokie fans by joining Nick Saban's NFL machine down in Tuscaloosa. Finally, the Hokie blogosphere and twitterverse went crazy as MARGINAL linebacker prospect Ja Wand Blue decommitted and headed down to the Harvard of the South in Coral Gables.


Tomorrow is National Signing Day. Who's excited?

These guys, as I'm sure every other high school senior about to sign a National Letter of Intent, are. There won't be many surprises tomorrow. Beamer Co. has received verbal commitments from 27 players, two of which: J.C. Coleman and Donaldven Manning have enrolled early. Jawand Blue, who committed to Tech back in July, continues to be recruited hard by his home state Hurricanes.

Three-star OLB Jawand Blue of Boca Raton, Fla., will find out Tuesday if he'll get a scholarship offer from Miami, according to Blue, 6-0, 215, is committed to Virgina Tech but has been courted by coach Al Golden and his staff in recent weeks and hosted Miami's coaches at his high school last week.

As expected, Blue took his official visit to Tech last weekend, but no one can say for sure what a high school kid will do.

Three uncommitted targets remain for the Hokies: Korren Kirven, Joel Caleb, and Ken Ekanem.

Where will Hokie Tracks sign on Wednesday?

Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. Tech target Joel Caleb was unanimously voted as the top recruit from the Richmond Metro area.

"He's a great athlete. An elite athlete," one coach said. "He has size, speed — all those things. I think he's clearly the No. 1."

Another coach added, "He has great explosion and acceleration. He can run away from people."

If the receiver picks the Hokies on Wednesday, Tech will sign 4 of the 5 on the T-D's 2012 A-List. Caleb is 90% sure of where he'll end up. The Hokies are relentlessly pursuing defensive tackle Korren Kirven, who made his official visit to Tech this past weekend, but so are Alabama and Tennessee.

He made an official visit to Alabama last weekend. Tennessee coach Derek Dooley visited Brookville on Monday to make a final plea with the player, and Alabama coach Nick Saban was in Lynchburg on Wednesday to put in a final word for the Crimson Tide.

Maryland Preview

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (12-8, 1-4 ACC) @ Maryland Terrapins (12-7, 2-3 ACC)

When: Saturday, January 28 @ 2:30 p.m.

TV: ACC Network (Tim Brantt and Mike Gminski)

Where: Comcast Center (17,950), College Park, MD

The Opponent: Fresh off another excruciatingly close loss to a big-name non-conference foe, the Hokies jump back into league play with a trip to Maryland. The Terps are under the direction of first-year head coach Mark Turgeon, who came to UMD after four years (and four NCAA Appearances) at Texas A&M.

Maryland was a rather large question mark in that people don’t really know what to expect after the resignation of Gary Williams after last season. And in some cases, they really are still an unknown. This game can be viewed almost as another non-conference game because the Hokies have never faced a Mark Turgeon-run team. This won’t be the same Maryland team as the last 20 years or so.

This year’s edition of the Terps are currently on a three-game losing streak to Florida State, Temple, and Duke and are 2-3 overall in the conference. This team has shown potential (78-71 win over Notre Dame), but has had some questionable losses (89-63 to Iona). The Terps are rather young, with 10 of the 15 players on their roster being freshmen or sophomores.

Here’s a look at their projected starting lineup: