The biggest question surrounding the Virginia Tech basketball program for the last few weeks has finally been answered. Kerry Blackshear, arguably one of the best players in program history, has left to play closer to home with the Florida Gators. Now the questions looming are who we will be playing during the season. The ACC has released their in-conference schedule for the year. The Hokies will play against rivals Virginia and Miami twice next year. They will also have double dates with Boston College, Clemson, Syracuse, and Duke. ACC teams that the Hokies will play once include Florida State, North Carolina, NC State, Pitt, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Notre Dame, and Wake Forest. These matchups will most likely be the last 20 games of the '19-'20 campaign.
Earlier in the season, Virginia Tech will travel to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational. This years field includes a wide range of competition level. Lower level teams include BYU and Dayton. A few years ago, Tech lost a close game to BYU in the NIT, but no members of the current team were members of that one (Kerry Blackshear was a member, but recently transferred). Middle of the pack teams consist of Georgia, UCLA and the Hokies. Georgia boasts having the projected number one overall pick in next year's draft, Anthony Edwards. UCLA coach Mick Cronin was considered for the head coaching vacancy at Tech, which was given to Mike Young. Lastly ,the top tier teams in the tournament are Kansas and Michigan State, both projected to be in the preseason top 10. The last team in the invitational is Chaminade, the division 2 host that has knocked off high quality teams in the past is always a threat in the tournament. It looks to be a competitive field.
I would like to see the team schedule some high talent, power five conference teams, for the out of conference schedule. The past few years, Tech has played Ole Miss, a low level SEC team. They have also scheduled contests with Washington in the past, a team that was the best in the PAC-12. A game against teams like Marquette and Villanova could help our resumé. The team does not need to play games against teams like Kentucky and Maryland. An interesting game to see would be the Hokies vs Memphis. Penny Hardaway's team is stacked with young talent, but could they hold their composure in an intense environment like the Cassell. Hopefully Babcock, Young and the Hokies can schedule some marquee games next year.