BLACKSBURG - Buzz Williams might as well have had a police escort and secret service surrounding him. Virginia Tech's new basketball coach was introduced in what was called a news conference but was more like a party. There was a Let's Go Hokies chant. A 1-2-3 Family chant. Cheerleaders. The dance team. Free pizza. "This is the easy part," Williams said. After shaking hands, signing autographs, and leading cheers, he'll have to get to work. Tech's basketball program needs to be rebuilt. On top of the fact the Hokies have only made the NCAA Tournament twice in the last 25 years, the current Tech team has finished in last place in the ACC three straight seasons. "We have a mountain of work to do," Williams clarified.
He undeniably can win over a room. People waited in line for almost an hour to meet him. It's exactly what new athletics director Whit Babcock wanted and needed - a new life and a new energy for a dormant program.
Williams will be compensated well. For his family of four kids and wife, he'll earn $2.3 million in his first year and that will steadily increase over the course of his seven-year contract.
OTHER THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
-Williams says he has been in contact with current Tech recruits Justin Bibbs and Jalen Hudson. He has left messages for T.J. Lang.
-Trevor Thompson, who just finished his freshman year at Tech, has indicated he would like to transfer but that is not a done deal yet. "I have texted back and forth with Trevor over the last few days," Williams said.
-VT legends Bimbo Coles and Ace Custis were in attendance.
-Williams says he trusts Whit Babcock and believes they share similar beliefs in how to build programs.
-Babcock said Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin played a big role in recommending Williams. Babcock said Cronin told him "Buzz can flat out coach."
-Babcock likes the old Big East style of basketball. He thinks that type of play will now be in Blacksburg.
-Williams says he'd like Tech to have 73-77 possessions a game, have less than 10 turnovers a game, and make more free throws in a game than their opponent attempts.