BLACKSBURG, Va. -- James Johnson won his debut as Virginia Tech's basketball coach Saturday at Cassell Coliseum, and three Hokies scored in double figures in an 80-62 rout of East Tennessee State.
The Hokies won their 10th straight season opener and showed flashes of the up-tempo offense Johnson hopes to implement this season, which was a major departure from the mostly half-court set used by predecessor Seth Greenberg. A former Hokies assistant coach, Johnson replaced Greenberg soon after leaving Greenberg's staff to take an assistant coaching post at Clemson last spring.
Erick Green scored 21 points to lead the Hokies. Jarrell Eddie finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for his second career double-double. Robert Brown scored 16 points and hit a career-best four 3-pointers.
Johnson's fast-paced offense got off to a bit of a slow start, as might be expected in the first game under a new coach. The Hokies didn't hit their first field goal until 3:05 into the first half, but after Green's 3-pointer cut ETSU's early lead to 6-5, Tech rolled from there.
The Hokies led 20-15 midway through the first half before Brown knocked down a mid-range jumper to spark a 20-9 burst that pushed the lead to 40-24 with 3:39 remaining before halftime.
The Buccaneers trailed 43-28 at halftime and got no closer than 14 points in the second half. Tech took its biggest lead at 73-48 on an Eddie free throw with 4:01 left.
ETSU, which opened the 2011-12 season with a 64-53 loss at Virginia Tech, began this season with a revamped roster featuring just two returning starters to go with four freshmen, two junior college transfers and two sophomores who played limited minutes last season.
Lester Wilson led the Buccaneers with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Marcus Dubose added 12 points and four rebounds.
NOTES: Virginia Tech G Marquis Rankin missed the game due to family issues. His status for Monday's game against Rhode Island is undetermined. Rankin averaged 2.5 points per game as a freshman in 2011-12. ... Tech's Green needs 38 points to reach 1,000 for his career. ... Tech's Brown was playing his first game since missing 12 weeks in the offseason due to foot surgery. ... This was one of five games against power-conference teams this season for ETSU, which also plays Georgia, North Carolina, Ole Miss and Arizona. ... Tech leads the series 15-3. ... The Hokies last scored more than 70 points in a season opener in 2006-07 in a 94-43 win over Coppin State.