Virginia Tech Basketball Recruiting Update: May 3, 2022

Virginia Tech and Mike Young are navigating the transfer portal just like everyone else. (Liam Sment)

It’s been a month since the end of the 2021-22 college basketball season. Since then, offseason attrition has picked up, and Virginia Tech has been heavily involved. Let’s get up to speed on what players have transferred in and out of the program, the Hokies’ scholarship situation and who they are pursuing in the transfer portal.

It’s important to note that the spring signing period ends on May 18. High school recruiting has mostly come to an end, and any additions for Virginia Tech will most likely be made through the transfer portal. On top of that, May 1 was the deadline for current student-athletes to enter the transfer portal, so the names floating around will not change now.

Ins And Outs For Virginia Tech

Below is a list of Hokie players from the 2021-22 season, organized by their projected 2022-23 class, and their announced decision. Six players are leaving the program, one has yet to make a decision, and there are five newcomers.

Players that are staying with the team, like Hunter Cattoor, Darius Maddox and Sean Pedulla, are not listed.

OUT (6):

Storm Murphy (6-0): Graduated
Keve Aluma (6-9, Gr.*): Entered NBA Draft
Nahiem Alleyne (6-4, Sr.*): Transferred to UConn
John Ojiako (6-10, Sr.*): In transfer portal
David N’Guessan (6-9, Jr.*): In transfer portal
Jalen Haynes (6-8, So.): Transferred to East Tennessee State

TBD (1):

Justyn Mutts (6-7, Gr.*): Undecided

IN (5):

John Camden (6-8, r-Fr.): Committed from Memphis
Darren Buchanan Jr. (6-7, Fr.): Signee
MJ Collins (6-4, Fr.): Signee
Rodney Rice (6-4, Fr.): Signee
Patrick Wessler: (7-0, Fr.): Signee

*Indicates player has an extra year of eligibility due to COVID

Scholarship Situation

Here’s a snapshot with two different tables – one by class, one by position – that portray Virginia Tech men’s basketball’s future scholarship outlook:

Pending the Mutts decision, the Hokies have three open scholarships for 2022-23. Should Mutts decide not to return to Blacksburg, Tech would have four slots available.

Names Off The Board

Like all schools, Virginia Tech has targeted a handful of transfers this offseason. The eight prospects listed below are players the Hokies reached out to or had a previous connection with, but they have all committed elsewhere.

Efton Reid (7-0, So.): LSU to Gonzaga
Ali Ali (6-8, Jr.*): Akron to Butler
Johni Broome (6-10, Jr.*): Morehead State to Auburn
Ben Vander Plas (6-8, Gr.*): Ohio to Virginia
Darin Green Jr. (6-5, Sr.*): UCF to Florida State
Fardaws Aimaq (6-11, r-Jr.*): Utah Valley to Texas Tech
Gus Okafor (6-6, Gr.*): SE Louisiana to Wichita State
Rahsool Diggins (6-2, So.): UConn to UMass

Mike Young & Co. heavily pursued Reid, an LSU transfer from Richmond, and he visited Blacksburg on April 22, the same weekend as DeMatha Catholic’s Tyrell Ward (committed to LSU) and John Camden of Memphis. Camden committed to Tech on April 25.

Potential Targets

Below is a list of seven potential transfer portal prospects that are on Virginia Tech’s radar.

The program obviously has multiple scholarships to hand out, so the actual list is likely larger than seen below. However, this is a compilation of players that have reported Tech reaching out to them in the past few weeks.

Grant Basile, Wright State: 6-9, r-Sr.*, Pewaukee, Wis.
Osun Osunniyi, St. Bonaventure: 6-10, Gr.*, Pleasantville, N.J.
Morris Udeze, Wichita State: 6-8, Sr.*, Houston, Texas
Mylyjael Poteat, Rice: 6-9, Jr.*, Reidsville, N.C.
Mo Njie, Eastern Michigan: 6-10, So., Centerville, Ohio
Gabe Dorsey, Vanderbilt: 6-6, So., Westminster, Md.

Individual Backgrounds

Basile is high on Tech’s list, and he visited Blacksburg on April 13. Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Iowa State appear to be the other three schools in contention, and it’s important to note that he’s a Wisconsin native. Basile has two years of eligibility remaining if he chooses to use his COVID year. He entered the portal on March 22.

Osunniyi had eight points (4-6 FG) and four blocks in 21 minutes when the Hokies and Bonnies met in December. He was named the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons and averaged 11.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game this year. Osunniyi has one year of eligibility remaining and entered the portal on April 30.

Udeze is a 6-8 forward with one season of eligibility remaining. He listed his top eight schools on April 20 and Virginia Tech was included in the mix. Maryland, LSU, Texas, New Mexico, UNLV, Georgia Tech and Ole Miss are the others. Since, Udeze has visited UNLV. He entered the portal on April 6 after averaging 10.1 points and 6.1 boards this year.

Poteat has three years of eligibility remaining, and he recently visited Pitt. Pittsburgh Sports Now reported that he will also visit UMass and Virginia Tech. He started all 33 games for the Owls this season, averaging 7.7 points and 4.2 rebounds.

A former 3-star recruit in the 2020 class, Njie entered the portal on March 25. SMU, Pitt, BYU and Tulsa are among the schools in pursuit. He was a MAC All-Freshman Team performer this season, averaging 6.6 points and 5.3 rebounds. Before playing at EMU, he spent a year at DME Sports Academy. He has three years of eligibility left.

Dorsey entered the portal on April 22 after averaging just 6.4 minutes per game this season in Nashville. He saw action in 22 games for Vanderbilt, though only played 10-plus minutes on three occasions. He was a three-star prospect out of prep school in Pennsylvania who held an offer from the Hokies. 

Sean Pedulla will be crucial to Tech’s success in 2022-23 and beyond. (Liam Sment)

Point Of Emphasis

As of now, Virginia Tech has lost six scholarship players from its 2021-22 ACC Championship team. On top of that, three of the six were starters – two in the backcourt, one in the frontcourt. However, there is plenty of depth at guard on this team.

Sean Pedulla, Hunter Cattoor and Darius Maddox make a solid backcourt trio. That doesn’t even take into account the talent that Rodney Rice and MJ Collins provide. The Hokies are set there, even if Cattoor decides not to use his COVID year of eligibility next season. Every other guard has at least three years of eligibility remaining.

In the frontcourt is where it gets tricky. Three of the four veterans have departed, and there’s a good chance Mutts doesn’t return. Tech will have gone from two really solid frontcourt starters with decent depth to a group of four players with 18 total Division I appearances (17 from Lynn Kidd, 1 from Camden).

That’s the main target this offseason for Tech, and the aforementioned list, which features five players 6-8 or taller, proves that. The good news is that three scholarships remain and immediate playing time can be appealing. Hitting on a player with the experience and of the caliber of Basile, Osunniyi or Poteat is crucial to the Hokies’ success next season.

13 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I like those African kids because they grow up playing soccer which conceptually is the same game as basketball (I’m a soccer ref.) Despite the obvious skill differences, when I watch basketball I see soccer. Btw, basketball players make great GK’s. .

  2. Is all this player turnover a positive for a “system” coach? I thought the idea was get players who would mature in the system and be here 3 or 4 years. So far, so good, but I think we have lost more this year than any year since MY has been here.

    1. A good question or questions, I’m thinking some of the turnover is from Mike’s first year(s) when he needed to fill roster spaces, some of those guys worked out great like Aluma and Mutts, others not so much like Ojiako (I thought for a while we’d be team Ojiako, but even with two years left see his moment as passing) Still, on the other hand, there should be a couple Fr-soph bigs on the team right now, even if developmental project guys. Four schollies hanging out there is concerning. Do we go after the graduate student guys? or the guys with 2-3 years left? That is, does VT get trapped into some sort of grad one-and-done cycle or establish a four year developmental cycle? Of all of them, wished N’Guessan had stayed.

  3. Mike will go whatever route that gives him enough front court size to compete…even if it means playing some guys tat would not start under better circumstances.

    He remembers the pain of running 4 guards and a forward year one.

  4. What to make when we see players staying at our competition, i.e. UVA and UNC, while our guys hit the pavement? Disappointing that more didn’t want to stay and play for the defending champs while these other schools somehow talked their fellas into staying…

  5. Wessler, Camden and Buchanan are going to be a formidable trio if they stick together. Hoping we get at least one of the experienced bigs still available.

  6. Cattoor is a straight-up senior “next season” (2022-23) no? so he’d have 2023-24 for his covid year if he wished to take it if that’s what you meant. Kinda have that feeling that this will be VT’s MO, pursuing portal players for our front court every year, (or will MY go for short termers hoping to get a 4 year big?) get used to it I guess.

    1. Oh, you were listing NEW players IN, not current players staying IN.
      My bad.

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