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It’s Bombs Away For The Hokies

Virginia Tech is firing up threes at a record-threatening rate

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NCAA Basketball: Mississippi at Virginia Tech
Dec 11, 2016; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech guard Tyrie Jackson (1) and guard Matt Galloway (33) react following a three point basket in the second half against the Mississippi Rebels at Cassell Coliseum. 
Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

There may be a trend brewing here.

About a third of the way through the 2017-18 season, Virginia Tech is converting 3-pointers at a .467 rate. This would not mean much trendwise except this is the third straight year an ACC school has made better than 40 percent from the bonusphere, something that hadn’t been done even once since North Carolina in 2005.

What’s more, this is the second straight season the Hokies boast better than 40 percent accuracy on threes. Only Pitt makes good on a higher portion of its field goals from beyond the arc (.337 versus .321). Only BC, Pitt and Duke have launched more 3-pointers.

Finally, Virginia Tech’s accuracy from long range at this juncture is the best by an ACC club in the 32 years the shot has been in effect throughout college basketball. (North Carolina hit at a .468 clip in 1983 with a shorter, experimental 3-pointer.)

This embrace of threedom may be a reflection of coach Buzz Williams’ uptempo philosophy, in the vein of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. So far Virginia Tech leads the ACC in scoring with a gaudy 95.3 points per game.

Or, the Hokies’ prolific and accurate 3-point shooting may reflect the return of three of last year’s four top outside marksmen – Ahmed Hill, Justin Robinson and Justin Bibbs. (The last two are not to be confused with Justin Time, who helped the Hokies win in an extra period at Oxford, Mississippi, on Dec. 2.)

Or, perhaps, Virginia Tech’s style reflects both its coach’s approach and the talent he recruited to play the way he prefers. Hill and Robinson are juniors, Bibbs a senior. This is Williams’ fourth year at Blacksburg.

While results after 11 games aren’t definitive, they are suggestive, and well worth following to see if the Hokies have hit a preferred stride, with potentially record-breaking efficiency.

Most Accurate 3-Point Shooting ACC Teams in History
(Virginia Tech Stats Through Games of Dec. 16)
3 Pct. School Season 3At-3Made
.467 Virginia Tech 2018 113-242
.448 Clemson 1987 203-453
.436 North Carolina 1987 213-488
.434 Duke 1992 171-394
.432 N.C. State 1990 180-417
.4300 North Carolina 1988 169-393
.4295 Maryland 1988 195-454
.423 Georgia Tech 1988 154-364
.42071 Wake Forest 1996 260-618
.42069 Maryland 1987 122-290
.419 Wake Forest 1989 152-363
.415 N.C. State 1991 267-644
.413 N.C. State 1987 164-397
.4105 North Carolina 1995 266-648
.4098 N.C. State 1988 125-305
.40896 Wake Forest 1987 146-357
.4032 North Carolina 2005 277-687
.4031 Georgia Tech 1990 260-645
.40287 Virginia 2016 224-556
.40277 Virginia Tech 2017 290-720
.40222 Wake Forest 1993 181-450
.40217 Duke 1987 148-368

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