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Can Mike Young Bring Success to Virginia Tech?

Can Mike Young Bring the Same Pedigree to Virginia Tech?


Young played at Emory and Henry from 1982-1986 and then became an assistant coach the following two seasons. In 1988 he moved on to become an assistant at Radford for a season. Next, he became an assistant at Wofford for the next 13 seasons from 1989-2002. Further, in 2002 he became the head coach at Wofford where over the course of 17 seasons he had a successful run. This included five NCAA tournament appearances including his best season ever last year going 30-5 and getting to the Round of 32.

Keeping the Same Success

He will be looking to keep the same success Buzz Williams has established over the last five years. In order to have an environment of success, there will be a new mentality built at Virginia Tech. There was high intensity and the passionate environment under Buzz Williams now Michael Young will institute a steadiness and even-keeled mentality. In addition, the pieces of Jalen Cone and Wabissa Bede will be crucial to the immediate success in the backcourt. Also, Keve Aluma and Landers Nolley will solidify the perimeter with there versatility. PJ Horne will bring a toughness and as an undersized forward. Young has a solid nucleus returning to start building in the right direction.


Undoubtedly it will be very difficult to stay at the top of the ACC on a consistent basis, as the landscape for the ACC runs through Duke, North Carolina and Virginia. In order to rise in the ACC, there will need to be consistency at a very high level. Virginia Tech’s overall success will be determined by their success in the ACC.

Style of Play

The style of play of Michael Young’s previous teams is a spread offense with a lot of possessions. The brand of basketball that Young has played with is a very well spaced and organized offense. His style will take time to sink in with players adapting to a new system. This style of play will have great spacing and will allow for an offense that will be one of the best in the country potentially. Also, this will be a place skilled and IQ players will want to play with the free-flowing offense.

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Young has had success recruiting in the Virginia based area during his time at Wofford, even though Wofford is in North Carolina. Now, he gets to coach in the same state and gets to keep the recruiting ties that he has built since his time at Wofford. He must be able to continue to recruit highly skilled and IQ players, along with bringing in three and four-year player to help develop a more efficient system and chemistry. The ability to bring in stronger recruits than ever will allow for a better overall athlete. However, the skill development of players with time to develop the IQ is the type of player he’s used to recruiting. Young’s key will be to blend higher-level recruits with players to build with player development.


The job of Mike Young will be a challenge to replace the strong culture left by Buzz Williams. Also, there will be a difficulty to consistently compete at the top of the conference each season in a loaded ACC. In addition, the style of play will be an adaptation for the returning players adjusting to a precision offense. Continued there will need to be older teams to further develop the organization of his offensive scheme. Also, the development and chemistry of some returning and incoming players will be important. As Bede and Cone must have success in the backcourt along with Nolley and Aluma on the wings. Mike Young will have a solid nucleus to rebuild a program to stay in contention in the ACC.


Images Courtesy of, The Roanoke Times, Sports Illustrated

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