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Hokies Report: Can lightning strike twice?

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Hokies Report: Can lightning strike twice?

Check back every Wednesday for the Hokies Report to get all the biggest Virginia Tech headlines for each week, a recap of last week's game and a look ahead at next week's contest.

Virginia Tech 0-0, (0-0) in the ACC

In the news

Virginia Tech considers fining players, then reconsiders: For a brief moment, Virginia Tech caught the ire of the entire college football world with the news that they were considering fining players for disciplinary violations. That would have been a neat trick considering the players aren't paid. The policy was completely tone deaf to the current climate of college sports and athletic director Whit Babcock put an end to that policy as quickly as it came out. Luckily for Virginia Tech, Cincinnati doubled down on their own fining policy. You can read more on this very brief firestorm here.

Virginia Tech to honor WDBJ shooting victims: Virginia Tech will honor the memory of the two WDBJ journalists tragically killed during a live broadcast with special helmet stickers for their season-opener against Ohio State on Labor Day. The WDBJ station is located in Roanoke, approximately 40 miles from the Virginia Tech Campus. You can read more on the Hokies' tribute here.

Jerseys for opener revealed: Virginia Tech revealed their look Wednesday for the opener. The game has been dubbed an "Orange Effect" which evidently refers just to the helmets.

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Season outlook

If Frank Beamer is going to return this team to national prominence, it's now or never. Not just because patience is staring to wear thin in Blacksburg, but because this year he has the roster to do it.

Virginia Tech will have one of the best, if not the best defense in the nation this year. Kendall Fuller is perhaps the best shutdown corner in all of college football and with the return of Brandon Facyson, teams will not be able to throw around Fuller the way they were able to last season. With a defensive line of Luther Maddy, Dadi Nicolas, Corey Marshall and Ken Ekanem on the defensive line, this defense is going to be in the face of every quarterback they face this season.

The defense, however, is always great. The problem has been the offense and this year there is reason for optimism on that side of the ball as well. Isaiah Ford, Cam Phillips, Bucky Hodges and J.C. Coleman all return to provide lot of weapons at the skilled positions. Quarterback Michael Brewer was largely inconsistent last year, but he only had an abbreviated amount of time to learn the offense as a transfer. With a full year under his belt, he should look much better.

The offensive line remains a question mark, but given how good the defense will be, the Hokies don't need their offense to be great, they just need it to be average.

The defense is what will win games for Virginia Tech this year, it's the offense's job not to lose any.

The Coastal Division should be a two-horse race between Georgia Tech and the Hokies and with no Jameis Winston juggernaut on the other side of the conference, an ACC championship is not out of the question for Virginia Tech this season.

Next game vs. No. 1 Ohio State, Mon. 8:00 p.m. ET

Preview

On paper, it's hard to like Virginia Tech's chances. The Buckeyes are the defending national champs and were considered a year ahead of schedule as they marched their way through Alabama and Oregon in the College Football Playoff. They have perhaps the best offensive line in the nation, an absolute monster in Ezekiel Elliott running the ball and not one, but two proven quarterbacks who both will play.

Still, the Hokies have a lot going for them heading into this matchup.

Ohio State will be without several key players for this game. Of all the talented Buckeyes, Joey Bosa may be the best of the bunch. He would likely have feasted on Virginia Tech's suspect offensive line, but he will be serving a one game suspension along with Corey Smith, Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson.

Without Smith, Marshall or Wilson, Ohio State will have only one of their five leading receivers from last season. The position also took another hit with the loss of receiver Noah Brown due to injury. The Buckeyes still have Michael Thomas and add Braxton Miller, the former quarterback, so they are not suddenly devoid of options, but to have Miller potentially go up against Fuller or Facyson in his first game as wideout is a lot to ask. Urban Meyer will likely try to find a way to get him away from the Hokies' top two corners.

As is well documented, Virginia Tech was the only team to beat Ohio State last season. Perhaps that means nothing for this year's matchup, but perhaps it does. Bud Foster managed to find a way to befuddle J.T. Barrett in a way that on one else was able to. Virginia Tech will be better both offensively and defensively this year and will have the crowd on their side.

It would still be a major upset for the Hokies to pull off, but there's reason to believe it is at least possible.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Cavaliers Report: Running the gauntlet

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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USA TODAY Sports

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

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Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.

After historic season, Virginia's Tony Bennett named AP Coach of the Year

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USA TODAY Sports

After historic season, Virginia's Tony Bennett named AP Coach of the Year

SAN ANTONIO -- Virginia coach Tony Bennett isn't going to waver from his foundation, whether it's the philosophy that built the Cavaliers into a contender or the big-picture perspective that helps him handle the sting of a historically improbable loss.

Both ends of that approach are fully on display now as he is named The Associated Press men's college basketball coach of the year.

Bennett won the honor Thursday after his Cavaliers set a program single-season record for wins, dominated the Atlantic Coast Conference and reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the Ralph Sampson era. Yet that wildly successful season ended abruptly in the most unexpected way: with the Cavaliers falling to UMBC to become the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16-seed in NCAA Tournament history.

"They experienced things a lot of guys don't," Bennett said in an interview with the AP. "That kind of success? Oh my gosh. And then that kind of loss? ... But again, their body of work deserves to be celebrated.

"And then so much of what society looks at -- it begs the question -- is it just about how you do in March? Or is it about the whole thing? It's a fair debate (on) what matters. But I told them: I wouldn't trade this team for anything. Even the experiences, as hard as they are, this is part of the process."

Bennett was the runaway winner for the award, which is being presented at the Final Four. He earned 50 of 65 votes from AP Top 25 writers with ballots submitted before the start of the NCAA Tournament.

Tennessee's Rick Barnes was second with five votes after leading the Volunteers to 26 wins and an NCAA bid despite being picked to finish 13th in the 14-team Southeastern Conference. First-year Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann was third with four votes.

This marks the second time Bennett has won the award, the other coming in 2007 when he was at Washington State.

In Bennett's ninth season, the Cavaliers (31-3) went from being picked to finish sixth in the ACC to winning the regular-season race by four games -- the first to win the ACC by that wide a margin since 2000. It then won the ACC Tournament to complete a 20-1 run against league opponents.

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Virginia also reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time since December 1982 and stayed there the final five weeks of the regular season, the last two unanimously.

And yet, the 48-year-old coach knows much of the focus will be on how things ended: that 74-54 loss to the Retrievers while playing without ACC sixth man of the year De'Andre Hunter.

Dealing with a roster of players in pained disbelief, Bennett said he has told them that they have "an unbelievable captive audience" waiting to see how they would handle it.

"I said how you respond to this will matter to your mom and dads, to your brothers, your sisters, your friends," Bennett said. "If they see that you're not fake about it, that yeah, of course you're going to be discouraged and down after a loss like that, but that you're OK. You can live with it.

"I said: you don't know the power that that's going to have in their life and in your life."

Bennett said he appreciated other coaches offering support, which included Syracuse Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim noting: "If I could hire a coach in this country and I could get Tony Bennett, there would be nobody in second place."

He said he's still reviewing what worked and what didn't, but "certainly you don't overreact" by changing everything that had brought the Cavaliers to this point.

This is, after all, a program that has been a 1-seed three times in the past five seasons with three ACC regular-season titles.

And Bennett won't be deterred from chasing more, even if it means stumbling a few more times on the way to reaching his goals.

"You better have something beyond the opinion of man or just how you feel, because this stuff is fleeting," Bennett said.

"So that's where obviously my faith is everything to me. You hear people talk about their faith in the lord and the relationship with the people that they care about, their family and their trusted friends. Those things stand the test of time. And that's what you have to draw from. And then you move on."