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ACC tipoff underway in Charlotte, men’s basketball headlines day 1

Virigina head coach Tony Bennett laughs during NCAA college basketball Atlantic Coast Conference media day, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Matt Kelley)
Virigina head coach Tony Bennett laughs during NCAA college basketball Atlantic Coast Conference media day, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Matt Kelley) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

CHARLOTTE, NC – Mike Young’s Virginia Tech team seems to get better every year. After a loss in the NCAA tournament, the Hokies return almost their entire team, plus some new additions, and of course, confidence.

“There’s also been people who have built up our mental health, building up our confidence, and that’s honestly what makes a great shooter, you know, that confidence,” Virginia Tech’s Justyn Mutts said. “That’s been the main thing for both of us, but obviously all of our team, all of our confidence has gone up so much since last season, and that will show on the court.”

But there’s always room for improvement in 2021.

“Our defensive numbers were very, very good. I think we can get better,” head coach Mike Young said. “We will miss Bede in that regard. Bede was a terrific defender. We’re in the early stages of putting all this together, I’m encouraged by our first ten practices and really fired up about where this team is heading.”

Virginia’s season ended in a first round loss to Ohio in the NCAA Tournament. In the offseason, the defense drive Cavaliers have lost three great shooters, and will have to find other ways to evolve with a new team.

“How do you have to play to have a chance go be competitive first, then be successful?” head coach Tony Bennett asked. “Each year you evolve to that and form your identity. And of course, defense will be apart of it, you have to play great defense. You know, you change things, and I’m excited to see the new opportunity for our newer guys.”

But one way to be successful is through chemistry, which Reece Beekman says is the biggest difference in this team.

“We’re just gelling together quicker than I thought,” Beekman said. “That helps us on the court as well as we gel outside the court. Using that is going to help us win a lot more games.”

Virginia opens their season on November 9th against Navy. Virginia Tech opens on November 9th against Maine.


About the Author:

Brooke Leonard is the newest addition to the 10 Sports team, joining in June 2019.