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Dec 22, 2016

The last time Virginia Tech women's basketball was ranked in the Top 25 was the week ended January 23, 2006.

That means star guard Chanette Hicks was nine years old at the time, and coach Kenny Brooks was in his third year as head coach at James Madison University.

Times have changed in Blacksburg, Virginia. For many years perception, real or not, was that the University was a "football school," with some occasional men's basketball success, but really did not care very much about women's basketball.

It is certainly a football school still, but the hiring of Brooks, who had led James Madison to a .756 winning percentage and eleven straight postseason appearances, changes all that.

Brooks' success made him a sought after commodity, but the Virginia product waited until what he considered the right time to make a move, and Tech is the lucky recipient of this talented coach.

His players have bought into his style of playing; pushing the ball up court, playing good solid defense, and don't turn the ball over. They are encouraged to shoot the ball from various distances, and while not a deep team (only seven players average more than 15 minutes per game), they are outscoring their opponents by almost 20 points per game during the non-conference schedule.

Granted, the ACC will be tougher than most of their opponents to date, but for a team to gel as fast as this one, and earn wins over opponents like Tennessee, Auburn, and Nebraska like the Hokies have, is an impressive feat.

Sophomores Hicks and Regan Magarity lead the way, along with seniors Sidney Cook, Vanessa Panousis and Samantha Hill. All five have scored over 20 points in at least one game this season.

It is a pleasure to welcome Kenny Brooks back to Dishin & Swishin, his first visit as a Hokie coach. Topics covered include:

  • What's a Hokie?
  • Why the jump now from JMU, and why Virginia Tech
  • What he is most pleased about his team thus far
  • Virginia Tech's women's basketball history and University support
  • Looking ahead to the ACC schedule

Congratulations to coach Brooks for the great start, and a wish for continued success. One more quality team in the ACC is a good thing for sure; last year Syracuse surprised everyone with their run through the NCAA tournament. Why can't it be Virginia Tech this year?

Enjoy the podcast!