Hidden Valley grad Luke Hancock looks ahead to UVA, VT basketball seasons

College Sports

Roanoke-native Luke Hancock still finds plenty of ways to stay involved with the sport he loves.

The Hidden Valley product is entering his second season as a college basketball studio analyst for ACC Network, years after his prolific career at Louisville came to an end.

And with the schedule set to get underway on Wednesday, Hancock spent time with reporters on an ESPN conference call to discuss the upcoming season.

With regards to Virginia Tech, Hancock thinks there’s potential but it’ll be difficult for the Hokies to compete against some of the top talent in the league.

“I think they’ll do better by just sharing the ball a bit more and playing Mike Young basketball. What he’s done for a very, very long time. He can get good shots from those guys and as long as they can knock down some open ones Virginia Tech is going to be a solid basketball team,” Hancock said.

The departure of Landers Nolley, who transferred to Memphis, will have a big impact on the Hokies this year, according to Hancock.

“I still think they’re going to struggle a little bit this year. They certainly don’t have the star power that some of the teams in this league has but I think they have a fantastic coach in Mike Young,” hancock said. “He’s building something special. I think they need a few more pieces to make a big jump but I think Virginia Tech basketball is going in the right direction.”

Meanwhile, Hancock expects Virginia to contend for an ACC title and a national championship.

“This team has great pieces to the puzzle but it’s how do you replace Mamdi Diakite and Braxton Key?” Hancock said.

The Cavaliers finished with a 23-7 record last year before the pandemic stopped them short of beginning their postseason run.

“And I think Jay Huff’s development is a huge, huge piece of that and I think that’s what Tony Bennett does,” Hancock said. “Guys get better and better every year and when it’s their time, they always seem to step up.”

Hancock, who first played for George Mason before transferring to UL, was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 Final Four, which the Cardinals won before the NCAA title was vacated due to multiple recruiting violations.

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