BLACKSBURG — When Mike Young won in Cassell Coliseum 17 years ago, he was in front of the visiting team’s bench.
On Friday, he was coaching the home team.
Young won his home debut as the Virginia Tech men’s basketball coach Friday as the Hokies cruised past Coppin State 74-42.
The Hokies improved to 2-0 under Young, including Tuesday’s win at Clemson.
Young has now won as both the home and visiting coach at Cassell in his career.
In 2002, in his fourth game as Wofford’s head coach, he steered the Terriers to a win over Ricky Stokes and the Hokies at Cassell.
The Radford High School graduate said Friday’s win meant “a heck of a lot more” to him.
“I walked through that building during the summer and [would] think about coaching the Virginia Tech basketball team. For that to come true in here, it was great,” Young said. “I can’t express how happy I am to have the opportunity. It’s awesome.”
Tech freshman guard Nahiem Alleyne scored a game-high 18 points and made a game-high four 3-pointers.
Alleyne enjoyed his home debut in front of a sellout crowd.
“It was amazing — the crowd, the atmosphere,” Alleyne said.
He was 6 of 8 from the field.
“I’m working on my game in the gym, getting up shots a lot. That went over to the game,” Alleyne said.
Alleyne, who had 11 points off the bench in the win at Clemson, started Friday in place of fellow freshman guard Hunter Cattoor.
“I inserted him in the lineup because of his defense,” Young said. “We thought he was the best we had on the floor in terms of being responsible on Tuesday.
“His defense was again very, very good [Friday]. … He’s going to be a really good scorer moving ahead.”
Alleyne averaged 17.2 points as a high school senior in Georgia last year.
Alleyne, who did not turn 18 until July, had originally planned to spend this school year on the postgraduate team at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.
But in June, he decided to reclassify into the 2019 recruiting class and play for Young and the Hokies.
“Me and my parents thought it was better to reclassify up and go … [through] that college transition,” Alleyne said. “The system that [Young] runs is like my high school coach [runs].”
Virginia Tech led Coppin State 35-12 at halftime.
The Hokies jumped out to a 25-3 lead with 10:06 left in the first half — and Landers Nolley had not even scored yet.
Nolley was coming off a 30-point game in the win at Clemson, which tied him for the third-most prolific outing ever by a Tech freshman in any game. It was the most points any Tech freshman had ever scored in his debut.
Nolley, a redshirt freshman, had 11 points and seven rebounds Friday.
Redshirt freshman guard Tyrece Radford scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds off the bench.
“Radford was nothing short of fantastic,” Young said.
Like Nolley, Radford had to watch from the bench last season as the Hokies won 26 games and reached the Sweet 16.
“I learned a lot from the older guys,” said Radford, who mentioned ex-Hokies Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Justin Robinson, Ahmed Hill and Kerry Blackshear. “They taught the game off the court … better than what they played on the court.
“It was the best thing that happened to me.”
Radford, who played for a high school in Louisiana, did not sign with then-Tech coach Buzz Williams until late May or early June in 2018. Radford said Tech was his lone Division I scholarship offer at that time because Florida State had backed off him.
Radford said he had to redshirt last season because the NCAA did not clear him academically.
Hokies junior point guard Wabissa Bede scored just three points Friday but had a career-high 10 assists and a career-high nine rebounds.
The 6-foot Bede led the team in rebounding for the second straight game.
“That’s not the Detroit Pistons’ front line we’re playing with out there, so it’s all hands on deck and he understands that,” Young said.
The Eagles (0-2) of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference shot 12.1 percent from the field in the first half (4 of 33).
The Hokies led Coppin State 33-5 with 3:56 left in the first half. The Eagles were 2 of 24 (8.3 percent) from the field at that point.