Today is a banner day for the Virginia Tech basketball program. Four players
faxed in their letters of intent to head coach Seth Greenberg Wednesday, and those players
represent one of the best recruiting classes in school history and one of the top
classes in the nation this year. The talent haul includes two four-star
players (on a five-star scale) and two three-star players.
The four signees are 6-7 forward Jeff Allen, 6-4 shooting guard Dorenzo Hudson, 6-3 combo guard Malcolm Delaney, and
6-7 wing player Terrell Bell. A fifth VT verbal, 6-9 center Gus Gilchrist, was not included on the
signing list released by Virginia Tech Wednesday, and his status at this point is unknown.
Gilchrist has until November 15th, the end of the early signing period, to send in his LOI.
The Virginia Tech coaching staff did an excellent job finding players that
fit their system, and filling out the roster at their positions of need. Each
player is capable of playing more than one position, and all five positions (assuming Gilchrist signs) are
represented in this recruiting class. Let’s take a closer look at each player. Note that the class rankings in the
following text apply to the five-man class, including Gilchrist.
Virginia Tech Signees (LOIs sent in)
PF/SF Jeff Allen, 6-7, 235
Allen is a very seasoned player who has a lot of experience against big time
competition. He spent time at DeMatha High School in Maryland, where he played
with current Virginia Tech freshman guard Nigel Munson. DeMatha is one of the
top high school programs in the country.
Allen then transferred to Oak Hill Academy for his senior season, where he
was a standout on a team of standouts. Other players on that team included Nolan
Smith (Duke), Ty Lawson (UNC), Michael Beasley (Kansas State, and the #1 recruit
nationally by Rivals) and Landon Milbourne (Maryland). This season Allen is
prepping at Hargrave Military Academy, and he will face more top competition. He
is rated the #1 prep school player in the country.
Allen is a combo forward who can play with his back to the basket, or on the
wing. He is an athletic player who can move in the open court and handle the
basketball. He can knock down the open three pointer, and he also does the dirty
work on the inside on the glass.
Jeff Allen is a unanimous Top 100 player. Some scouts believe Allen is one of
the Top 35 players in the nation. Rivals rated Allen the #88 player in the
country, and that ranking is low compared to all other services. PrepStars lists
Allen as the #60 recruit nationally.
Whatever his ranking, Allen is expected to have an immediate impact on the
SG Dorenzo Hudson, 6-4, 210
Hudson is a big, physical guard who is playing with Jeff Allen at Hargrave
this year. The two have reportedly become good friends, and they are meshing
well on the court as well. Hudson is best described as a scorer. He is a good
shooter who can shoot the three pointer.
Hudson’s midrange scoring game is outstanding. He is also very good at
coming off screens from three point range. His size and physical play make him a
very dangerous guard when he gets into the lane. TSL basketball expert Rev. Zeke
Vodka describes Hudson as “a matchup nightmare.”
Simply put, Hudson is a big-time scorer who can beat a defender in a number
of ways, and he is a good bet to be the top scorer of this recruiting class.
Hudson chose Virginia Tech over offers from schools such as Boston College,
Georgia, Wake Forest, South Carolina, NC State, Miami and Clemson, as well as
Some recruiting experts rank Hudson even higher than Jeff Allen. PrepStars
has Hudson the #58 player nationally, while Van Coleman ranks him #59. Rivals
has Hudson at #104, the lowest that you’ll see him rated. Scout.com lists him
PG/SG Malcolm Delaney, 6-3, 170
Delaney is an extremely valuable member of Virginia Tech’s recruiting
class because he can play both guard positions. He will continue the tradition
of the combo guard after Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon depart following their
Delaney is expected to share the point guard duties with Nigel Munson when he
first arrives in Blacksburg. He could also potentially see time at shooting
guard. Delaney is known for his ability to shoot the three pointer. At the Peach
Jam event back in July, he shot 77% from three point range.
Because of his ability to play both guard positions, Delaney will see the
court quickly when he arrives in Blacksburg. He could potentially be a backup at
both guard positions as a freshman, or even start.
There should be no problem with Delaney’s qualification status, as he
carries a GPA of over 3.0. He chose Virginia Tech over offers from Iowa State,
Indiana, Maryland and Clemson.
Delaney is ranked in the top 100 by some scouts. Rivals.com rates him #89 in
the nation. PrepStars lists Delaney at #112 nationally.
SF/SG Terrell Bell, 6-7, 190
Bell is the least heralded of Virginia Tech’s recruits, but he is a
perfect fit for Seth Greenberg’s offense. Bell, a wing from Stone Mountain,
Georgia, could potentially play small forward or shooting guard, though his
future is probably at small forward.
Bell is very good in the open court. He is an outstanding passer for his
position, and is perfectly content to set his teammates up for the easy shot
rather than score himself. In some ways, he could be considered a point guard in
a small forward’s body. In fact, some consider his biggest flaw to be his
Bell is a solid outside shooter who can hit the open jumper if the defender
backs off of him. His is a very good ball handler at this stage in his career,
which makes some believe that he will eventually play the shooting guard
position at Virginia Tech.
Bell chose Virginia Tech over Cincinnati, Providence, Georgia, Tennessee and
Vanderbilt. Van Coleman rates Bell as the #56 player in the nation and the best
of Tech’s signees. PrepStars has Bell at #113 nationally.
Other VT Verbals (LOI Pending)
C Gus Gilchrist, 6-9, 235
Gilchrist is the closest thing to a true center that the Hokies recruited
this year. He has already filled out quite a bit since he committed to Seth
Greenberg, and Mike Gentry and his staff will make him even bigger and stronger
after he arrives in Blacksburg for the 2007-08 season.
Gilchrist is a major defensive presence on the inside, with long arms and a
physical nature to battle opposing post players. On the summer AAU circuit, he
played Patrick Patterson, one of the top 15 players nationally, better than any
other big man in the country.
Gilchrist is also known for his ability to rebound the basketball, and that
is something that Virginia Tech has been sorely lacking. Because of this
ability, he’ll be a contributor from day one. He made progress on his low post
arsenal over the summer, but he still needs to develop some more post moves.
Gilchrist committed to Tech early in the process, before he began impressing
on the summer camp circuit.
Scout.com rates Gilchrist the #54 player in the country. He is #110 in the
Rivals rankings, #101 by PrepStar, and #98 by Van Coleman.
The Class as a Whole
Without a doubt, this is the best recruiting class that Virginia Tech has
signed since Dell Curry’s group came aboard, and it is arguably better than
that prestigious class. And it certainly is the best back-to-back classes the
Hokies have put together when you factor in the 2006 recruiting class of Nigel
Munson and Lewis Witcher, both top 100 players.
This class not only helps fill the roster with young, talented players, but
it will also give the Hokies a number of options at each position in 2007-08.
Virginia Tech should have the most depth at small forward, where Deron
Washington will be a senior, A.D. Vassallo will be a junior, and freshmen Jeff
Allen and Terrell Bell will be capable of playing the position.
On the inside, the Hokies will have plenty of bodies with Robert Krabbendam
(r-Jr.), Lewis Witcher (So.), Cheick Diakite (Jr.) and Terrance Vinson (r-So.),
with freshmen Jeff Allen and Gus Gilchrist. Allen is expected to factor in at
power forward early in his career, and could possibly play small forward later
in his career.
The Hokies will be thin at guard, where each player will be a sophomore or
younger. But there will certainly be a lot of ACC-caliber talent on the court.
The Virginia Tech recruiting class is beginning to receive some major press.
Last week, Van Coleman named the Hokies’ recruiting class as the #10 class in
the country, and the #2 class in the ACC, behind only Duke in the conference.
Scout.com’s rating system has the Hokies at #12 in the country. Here is a list
of how the Hokies stand in some well-respected recruiting rankings (remember, these rankings include Gilchrist, who has
not yet signed as of this writing):
Recruiting Class Rankings
Virginia Tech already has two verbal commitments from 2008 recruits. 6-6 J.T.
Thompson, a likely small forward, is an early member of the 2008 top 100. He is
the cousin of 2007 star Dorenzo Hudson. The other 2008 commitment is shooting
guard Shamarr Bowden, who is currently listed as a top 150 recruit.