This is the primary of a -element collection in which I analyze the capability professionals and cons for Buzz Williams re: his selection to either live at Virginia Tech, or depart to educate some place else next season. Full disclaimer: There can be some uncomfortable thoughts on this publish, but none are meant to suggest that I want him to leave, or am rooting for it. If you come back away with that concept, you have misinterpret. The 2d a part of the series, The Case for Buzz Williams Staying at Virginia Tech, must drop the following day.


It’s been simply over five years to the day (March 21, 2014) considering Buzz Williams changed into employed as the head instruct of the Virginia Tech Men’s Basketball application, and in spite of some occasional hiccups and missteps (See Trevor Thompson being launched from his scholarship over his cellular phone ringing, Buzz’s handling of damage reviews this 12 months, blocking off lovers—inclusive of yours genuinely for some motive in the last forty eight hours—and those who cowl the program with distinguished social media money owed, which seems petty and a telegraphed pass aimed at cauterizing the wound of him leaving, and giving some definitely trash takes about his capability exit, failing to assure his return to Virginia Tech, then positing that the media has completely made up the narrative that he gained’t), it has with the aid of-and-large been an unmitigated achievement.
Buzz has directed the Hokies to a a hundred-sixty nine record over his five years with this system (The 100 wins for a train are in the back of only Charles Moir (213), Seth Greenberg (170), Chuck Noe (109), Howie Shannon (104), and Bill Foster (one hundred and one) in Virginia Tech Men’s Basketball history, and the .592 triumphing percent is in the back of best Noe (.681), DeVoe (.662), Moir (.642), and Shannon (.605) among coaches who’ve coached a hundred games in Tech’s Men’s Basketball history as well), and Hokie Nation continues to be reeling from the infinitesimally near loss to Duke within the Sweet sixteen, tied for the furthest the Hokies have ever been within the NCAA Tournament in program records. To say that Buzz has been a revelation for basketball in Blacksburg is an understatement. Without him, it’s fair to marvel if the Hokies would nevertheless be inside the post-Seth Greenberg doldrums.
The rent—way again in 2014 via the newly-minted AD Whit Babcock—signaled the Hokies were critical approximately getting their basketball software lower back on target, after former AD Jim Weaver efficiently enforced the loss of life penalty at the application in 2011, firing Seth Greenberg, the second one-winningest coach in software records, a month after guaranteeing his task, because he didn’t want to be on the hook for the assistant coaches’ salaries with the train’s lame duck repute. Let that sink in: Seven years in the past, Virginia Tech’s Athletic Department was quibbling over the status of assistant coaches’ contracts in making head training hiring/firing choices, and Friday, Virginia Tech performed inside the Sweet sixteen. That’s how some distance we’ve come.
So consider the response of the Tech basketball fanbase (Or what became left of it) when Babcock got here in and committed serious cash to a longtime coach proper off the bat. It changed into euphoria (Or as tons as it could be, considering that most of the people of the folks that idea they had been entitled to an opinion approximately Tech basketball were going to video games disguised as empty seats). Tech turned into both going to be applicable again in basketball, or pay large greenbacks and strike out attempting—the kind of big, formidable move that enthusiasts regularly respect except it is going wrong. And it didn’t. It worked. In many methods, the beyond 4 years—while taken collectively—were the high-quality within the history of the program. But now, with all those accomplishments in the bag, there is a brand new suitor come calling for Buzz to revitalize their application, additionally willing to pay the large dollars. What have to he do? Well, he need to go away—or at least, we’re going to explore why leaving might make experience.
The Case for Buzz Williams Leaving Virginia Tech
Yes, Buzz has accomplished plenty for Virginia Tech basketball—doubtlessly an immeasurable amount. But what’s the upward mobility of this system beyond the Sweet sixteen (Yes, I realize that is going to be study as a horrific take, however listen me out on this)? Could Virginia Tech have gained all of it this year? If they hit the buzzer-beater and beat Duke in extra time, yeah, I really suppose they may have—or at least might’ve had as exact a shot as anybody, given the field. But, does Buzz consider that, mainly going ahead? With all of the gamers and enjoy the Hokies are set to lose—and clearly, beyond that, the cohesion and potential of this organization to paintings collectively—does Buzz see the ceiling of this team as one that may take him similarly than a Sweet sixteen run, five years deep, as a final fruits of what this team might be? Because, if he does, would he live, all things same? That’s an critical query that nobody apart from Buzz Williams can answer. But, it’s far well worth noting that there are different factors in play. Let’s take a look at a number of them beneath, we could?
Why Texas A&M:
Without necessarily assuming with a 100% diploma of certitude that the program Buzz would go away the Hokies for might be Texas A&M, because that is what has been always mentioned, let’s do count on that is the case. Otherwise, anything can be coming Williams’ and therefore Hokies’ manner may be some thing surprising and totally out of left field. Here are, I consider, the relevant elements for why Buzz would take into account leaving the confines of the Cassell for College Station:
If they pay more
It’s tough to understate what cash means in this current and age. For you or I, this will appear to be a merciless and unfeeling manner to observe this choice. If you’re like me, your loyalty to Virginia Tech comes before all else, and you wouldn’t leave for a dime or a million dimes extra if you had been on this position (In theory, at least. It’s tough to say unless you’ve been there). That’s the whole purpose that as a baby, upon meeting Michael Vick at the Jacksonville Landing earlier than the Gator Bowl, I requested him to stay (But he had $72 million reasons no longer to from his gambling agreement alone). But, the reality of the scenario is that this: Frank Beamers don’t grow on timber. Look at the cutting-edge education panorama in case you wanted any indication of how rare “software” or one-job guys are. Beamer become an alumnus of Virginia Tech, stayed for almost 30 years, but even he admits he had open dalliances with not most effective expert soccer teams (For example, the Green Bay Packers), but also different colleges (The University of North Carolina). So as much as we, as Tech lovers, revere the “men like” Beamer, it’s clean that the ones men don’t exist in the sport, and that even Beamer won’t had been just like the Beamer that’s been placed on the pedestal the way he has in that regard. I accept as true with John Calipari said it first-rate when he stated of university coaches, “We’re obnoxiously paid.” Side note: John Calipari is the very best-paid train in any collegiate recreation. So truly, even the irony of that assertion doesn’t make him need or feel the need to take a pay cut. So to summarize here, Buzz Williams is human, not a Virginia Tech alum, and has no connections otherwise to hold him right here at Virginia Tech outdoor of those he’s fashioned when you consider that 2014.
7-of-the Aggies-pinnacle-eight probably go back (Assuming Buzz will need them returned/they don’t transfer)
Unlike the situation Buzz is possibly to face with the Hokies ought to he return to Virginia Tech (Where he loses at least 3 starters—his three seniors—and a probable lottery pick in Nickeil Alexander-Walker), Williams would be inheriting a program that brings returned essentially each large player from their team closing year. That, my buddies is a stark distinction, and from a process security standpoint, comforting. Even for what Buzz has completed in his brief time at Tech, there has been constantly nearly certainly going to be a backslide to a few diploma if he returned to Virginia Tech, without a doubt primarily based on the roster production by means of elegance (Just study what happened to Justin Fuente after the boatload of Beamer leave-behinds gradually exited this system). He had deliberate for it, and the 2019 recruiting magnificence (More on that later), in addition to delaying Kerry Blackshear’s return to the floor as a sophomore whilst he was healthful, (And to a lesser degree Devin Wilson’s redshirt as a senior after he became accomplished with soccer), says as an awful lot. Buzz likes coverage, and he loves to stagger his guys with the aid of magnificence when he looks like he doesn’t have enough. That’s each clever, ahead-thinking, and sure, a bit unfeeling (There’s that word once more. I could get used to it, because there’s quite a few that in sports activities) and ruthless. But if he’s being judged on wins, and he is, it’s also probably a smart method. All matters identical, if you had been dropping doubtlessly your pinnacle-5 (Also more on that later) vs. Preserving 7-of-your-pinnacle-8 (And I realize that expertise comes into play here), which might you pick? And that’s where recruiting ratings rear their ugly head:
How Texas A&M’s Recruiting Matches Up to Virginia Tech’s
Despite best having been inside the recruiting web page era re: basketball for 3 training tenures at Virginia Tech now (It changed into in its infancy whilst Ricky Stokes changed into on the helm, so I’m no longer going to be counted that), it’s miles well worth saying that Buzz Williams has done a pretty top activity relative to the scores (And an even better job when you do not forget how those gamers have regularly handed their recruiting rank upon arriving in Blacksburg a l. A. The football software). The point is, the ones ratings are frequently incorrect, and it’s arguable to what impact they may be dealt with as any form of dependable aid for judging a player’s fee (Other than that they’ve a strong correlation to achievement, if no longer motive). For something price you would love to position on said rankings, right here’s what they say about the 2 packages:
Going again to the 2015 elegance (As, for either faculty, that’s the earliest elegance for which gamers currently on their respective teams remain), the Hokies have presently have (Excluding the seniors) four gamers on their roster who were rated as 4 stars or better via at least one of the 3 main recruiting websites (Scout has now been absorbed with the aid of 247), and every other set to enroll in as members of the 2019 recruiting elegance (These numbers do no longer be counted Chris Clarke, who turned into rated as a consensus 4 superstar prospect, but whose repute with returning to the crew subsequent 12 months is uncertain). The numbers do, but, encompass contemporary Tech freshman Landers Nolley, who needed to sit down out all season due to a phantom NCAA issue regarding the perceived legitimacy of his ACT scores. It is uncertain whilst or whether or not he will be cleared to play inside the future by means of the NCAA Clearinghouse.
By assessment, A&M currently has three players on their roster with such status, and, well…An uncertain wide variety of 4 big name players of their 2019 class. How is that viable you might ask? Well, apparently Rivals, 247, and ESPN greatly disagree about who is truly a part of this magnificence, with Rivals preserving their elegance has most effective one member, 247 including an extra member, and ESPN affirming that the elegance is constructed from 3 members, now not inclusive of the member that 247 sports delivered. This in 2019. Per Rivals, the lone incoming freshman is a four famous person, as he additionally seems on ESPN. The simplest trouble: so are the alternative contributors of the class that neither of the other sites point out as dedicated to the faculty. Therefore, AT LEAST one more four famous person rated player is on his way to College Station next 12 months. Of the three major recruiting websites, simplest ESPN prefers the Aggies’ 2019 elegance to the Hokies’ 2019 haul, and again, that is with two gamers that the alternative sites do no longer have dedicated to Texas A&M (Rivals had the Hokies twenty ninth and the Aggies 77th, and 247 has the Hokies 25th, and the Aggies 69th). In simplest one preceding season over the past four do the recruiting sites as a whole have A&M’s elegance ranked advanced to Virginia Tech’s (2016), and none of those gamers are nevertheless currently on the Aggies’ roster. So, in precis on this trouble, Texas A&M has basically saved tempo with the Hokies if we’re being attentive to ESPN, and has both been somewhere among slightly to a truthful diploma behind Tech if we’re giving credence to the others.
Would Buzz Take His 2019 Virginia Tech Recruiting Class With Him?
He did at Marquette after all (Or tried) is the argument I have heard. This is quite common in college basketball. Seth Greenberg did it when he left USF (And talented us that 2003 magnificence with Zabian Dowdell, Jamon Gordon, and Coleman Collins). More frequently now, players switch while coaches leave. That, for diverse motives that are too prolonged to get into, also relates to recruits. Ultimately, it’s too quickly to speculate, as Buzz hasn’t even OFFICIALLY taken the process yet, but to be clean, yes, I suppose he would try to take a number of his personal guys with him—likely even such as Kerry Blackshear as a graduate transfer, a rumor that has percolated nonstop during the last 48 hours, although I generally tend to think that Blackshear is likelier to just declare for the draft if it were positioned to me.
Buzz is From Texas
I’ll spare you the clichés and speculation based totally off of this assertion, and rather just make the assertion itself: Brent Langdon “Buzz” Williams is from Van Alstyne, Texas (A a long way-flung suburb of Dallas, in the direction of the Oklahoma nation line than the aforementioned North Texas city). Van Alstyne is, consistent with Google, over 3 and a 1/2 hours away from College Station, which is a ways nearer to Austin than Dallas. What if anything this indicates for Buzz and his circle of relatives, I haven’t the slightest. Some human beings definitely revere their domestic country and lifestyle. Some reject it. Some don’t care one manner or the other. I’ll only posit that if it topics to Buzz Williams, it may be a element in his decision.
His Connection with Texas A&M
Buzz did teach at Texas A&M, technically two times (Once at Texas A&M–Kingsville in 1998-ninety nine, and once at the flagship college, from 2004-06). So there is a history at A&M, however short. One additional notice, former Buzz Williams fee and Hokies’ (And most-currently Aggies’ assistant) Isaac Chew left the group in January for “family reasons.” He left Virginia Tech for A&M in 2016, being hired by using Billy Kennedy, who’s the head train that A&M just fired. It is unclear if Buzz might be interested in reuniting with his former assistant, if Chew might need to reunite with him or go back to A&M, and or if the Athletic Department would log out on that (Without knowing any of the details right here). Chew no longer works for the university, but I do assume it’s well worth bringing up considering he was a instruct on this previous 12 months’s body of workers as well as on Williams’ preceding VT staffs, even supposing it’s doubtlessly, and probably, meaningless (i.E. As Chew is correctly a “loose agent,” he can sign a agreement to coach wherever he would really like, including Virginia Tech if Williams selected to stay and wanted him again).
So Why Leave Virginia Tech?
To sum all of it up, it comes down to three, perhaps 4 things:
Firstly, if Virginia Tech doesn’t suit the money that the Aggies give you (Based at the pronounced figures, the Aggies aren’t providing a whole lot more than Buzz’s modern-day agreement at Tech, but then again, I’m now not willing to accept as true with unsourced reports on such things until they’re established real), Buzz can also depart. This is the maximum essential factor—just ask Marquette fans who appear to assume Buzz is simplest in it for the money (Granted, there’s a big confirmation bias at play there and probably some bad blood towards him in that fanbase). If the University DOES in shape the Aggies’ discern, and Buzz comes to a decision to go away anyway, I consider there could be a real Kevin Garnett-Ray Allen feeling among Hokies enthusiasts.
The Hokies may lose their entire beginning 5, something that I don’t assume is getting as a good deal play because it need to. I will be writing a piece of writing approximately this later within the week, but all I can say is, don’t absolutely cut price it.
If Buzz locations value in dwelling in Texas and going domestic
If Buzz legitimately thinks there may be the equal or better possibility at Texas A&M than there may be at Virginia Tech
These are leader, to my thoughts at the least, the various motives why Buzz Williams might take into account leaving Virginia Tech. Feel unfastened to percentage your mind inside the comments section, and watch out for my counter argument to this put up, The Case for Buzz Williams Staying at Virginia Tech, which should drop tomorrow. In the imply time, examine this impassioned plea for Buzz to stay by Managing Editor, The Mighty Fahvaag.

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