Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Buzz on Williams

In today’s culture of big money athletics, it’s about wins and losses. And the new Hokie men’s basketball coach, Buzz Williams, brings winning credentials to the Virginia Tech program. He took over the Marquette basketball program, which was already playing in one of the toughest conferences in basketball at a high level, and took them to even greater heights. The Golden Eagles, during Williams’ tenure, played in the tournament every year and more importantly, with the exception of one season, they played as far or further into the Big Dance every year, culminating in making the Elite Eight last season. 

The question that comes to my mind is “How?”. As I’ve progressed in my own career, the principles of leadership have become more relevant and more important to me and so I have studied them. It’s not like James Johnson wanted to fail. He had been in coaching for 19 years and though this was his first job as a head coach, he’s a good recruiter and understands basketball fundamentals. But his time leading the VT basketball program was absolutely awful. So I wanted to learn about why Buzz Williams has had the type of success that he’s had, see what he has in common with other great leaders and what he may do differently. To that end I’ve spent the past week watching every Buzz Williams clip I could find and reading stories about him all the way back to his first head coaching gig at New Orleans in 2006. And for those fans expecting the Hokies to come out and start competing for NCAA tournament berths right away, I’ve got a surprise for you - that isn’t likely but even if it happens, it’s not what Buzz Williams is working on with the 2014-15 Hokie basketball team right now I can assure of you that. 

Sunday, February 09, 2014

The 2014 Recruiting Smacktacular

The Year of Getting Better

The Class of 2014 has been long awaited. The Hokies have been recruiting super stud defensive players for years, because, well, Bud Foster. And what else needs to be said there, right? And make no mistake, there are a few stellar defensive players coming to Tech in 2014 as well. But competing for top talent on offense has been very hit or miss for a few years for Virginia Tech. Finally, this year’s class has OFFENSIVE prospects from around the country that the Hokies went head-to-head with other top schools on and came out on top. Unfortunately the Hokies lost OLine coach Jeff Grimes but went 4 for 5 in keeping his prospects (very rare these days). And Scot Loefler got to put his stamp on the offensive side of the ball in the class. Very key was the fact that the Hokies also re-recruited and landed their two best prep-school prospects from the 2013 Class. Both of those players were highly touted and pursued by the top schools in the country by the end of the year and both decided to stick with Tech. The Hokies lost DB Cequan Jefferson to Temple, but if you read our 2013 Recruiting Smacktacular, then you already know that wasn’t much of a loss.

Of course, it’s ironic that there were a few misses on the defensive side of the ball that would have had this go down as the best recruiting class in VT history, but it’s obviously still an extremely strong class. And there’s more to be said about the recruits inside the state of Virginia, which we’ll cover in the wrap-up. There were also still a few players chosen that don’t look ready for college football in this class, but very few.

As always, check out our friends at Rivals for the full measureables on each prospect. What you'll read about below are my insights after reviewing every scrap of tape I could find on these prospects from Youtube, from high school coaches, from ESPN and from BeamerBall's site itself. It's taken a month but I love it and if you do too, read on.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Recruiting Smacktacular Inbound

Just a heads-up that the complete breakdown of the Hokies 2014 Recruiting Class is in process and will be posted here sometime this weekend. Get excited about many of these future Hokies!!