The Virginia Tech men won the ACC tournament.  Now they want more.

The Virginia Tech men won the ACC tournament. Now they want more.

CHARLOTTE — Seven months have passed since the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team reached unprecedented heights, and while winning the school’s first ACC tournament championship remains a defining achievement, the Hokies are vowing to do much more than simply relive past glories.

The message in part from Coach Mike Young entering this season has been to grow the profile of the program even more by making deep runs in the ACC tournament a habit after claiming supremacy in a conference traditionally ruled by blue bloods North Carolina and Duke.

Virginia Tech walloped both those schools in the final two rounds last spring at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, winning four games in as many nights to complete one of the most improbable runs in ACC tournament history.

“It comes up a lot, and I want it come up more,” Young said Wednesday morning during ACC media day. “But there comes a time when those wonderful experiences with a group of people that I admired so much, with some luck and good health, we’ll get back together 10 years from now, 20 years from now, and it’ll be a lots of fun. …

“But it’s time to move on. This team has a lot they want to accomplish.”

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The most pressing concern has been establishing a regular rotation after the departure of two of the most impactful players in Young’s three seasons in Blacksburg, Va.

Gone are Keve Aluma and Storm Murphy, both of whom had been with Young at his previous stop, Wofford.

Aluma, a 6-foot-9 forward, finished as Virginia Tech’s leading scorer for a second straight season, averaging 15.8 points and earning second-team all-ACC honors. He also was the defensive centerpiece, often bailing out teammates at the rim when assignments went awry.

Aluma’s shining moment came in the ACC tournament championship game against the top-seeded Blue Devils. He had 19 points and 10 rebounds in an 82-67 triumph, producing his second double-double of the tournament.

“I don’t stay up at night fretting about it,” Young said of how the starting lineup will take shape without Aluma. “This team is different. The personality is different. Aluma was a really talented player, but there should be — you hope there are always other talented people coming through the ranks.”

Also gone is Murphy, who provided not just skilled ballhandling as the point guard but also served as an extension of Young on the court and as a steady veteran presence in the locker room.

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Murphy played in 162 career games, the most of any player in last season’s NCAA tournament. He started all 36 during his only season with the Hokies and was selected to the ACC all-tournament second team after compiling 13 assists with just three turnovers in the final two games.

The Hokies did get a glimpse of their point guard from the future last season in Sean Pedulla. The sophomore played in every game, capped by a team-high 19 points during a loss to Texas, 81-73, in the NCAA tournament’s round of 64 in Milwaukee.

“We should have an exciting backcourt this year,” Hokies guard Hunter Cattoor said. “I’m excited for Sean and Darius [Maddox] to kind of take a bigger role this year than last year. They’ve got a lot to prove, and I’m excited for them. They’ve been doing good in workouts and practices, so it should be a fun year.”

Cattoor contributed significantly to Virginia Tech earning a spot in the NCAA tournament for a fifth consecutive time last season. The senior emerged from a shooting lull to score a career- and game-high 31 points on 11-for-16 shooting for the upstart No. 7 seed in the ACC tournament final. That included making 7 of 9 three-point attempts. Over the first three games of the ACC tournament, Cattoor had scored a combined 18 points on 6-for-17 shooting.

The Hokies, according to NCAA tournament analysts, had been a long shot at best to be included in the field of 68 based on their body of work during the regular season.

“It is crazy,” Cattoor said. “But that’s just the beautiful thing about March and especially the ACC tournament. You have so many good players, so many good teams there, and all you have to do is win the tournament, and you’re in the big dance. So I think for us to go do that and really lock in and accomplish that was a big feature for us.”

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