Virginia Tech men’s basketball signed two prospects in the early period (Nov. 8-15) for the class of 2024.
Per 247Sports, the class is the 10th-best in the ACC and 46th in the country. Tech is one of eight teams in the conference with two 2024 commits; four schools — Notre Dame, Clemson, Miami and North Carolina — have three each, while Duke has five.
Here’s a look at the two signees:
6-5, 190, G
Commitment date: Aug. 30, 2023
High school: Oak Ridge
Quick facts: Johnson visited Blacksburg in late August and committed soon after. He’s a top-200 prospect, according to 247Sports, and a top-20 player in the Sunshine State. He held offers from Appalachian State, Clemson, Florida Atlantic, Illinois, Louisiana Tech, Texas Tech and UCF, among others.
Johnson is a player of a mold similar to John Camden and Tyler Nickel, though he’s not as lengthy; those two are 6-8 and 6-7, respectively. He’s bigger than current Hokies guards Jaydon Young and MJ Collins, too, who are each 6-4. As a junior, he averaged 17 points and nine rebounds per game and guided the Pioneers to a regional title.
6-8, 225, F/C
Commitment date: Oct. 2, 2023
High school: The Rock School
Quick facts: The fourth-highest-rated recruit in program history, Jones picked Virginia Tech over Florida, though he had a plethora of offers, ranging from LSU, Miami, NC State and Illinois to Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Louisville and Xavier. The three Tech prospects with higher ratings: Dorian Finney-Smith, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Landers Nolley.
Jones is a consensus four-star and top-100 talent by recruiting services. He’s the third top-100 signee for the Hokies in the Mike Young era, joining Joe Bamisile and Rodney Rice. Though he’s only 6-8, he’s a big, physical body inside and will mainly play the five, and he can stretch the floor. He won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2021 FIBA Americas U16 Championship
Transfer Portal Needs
Here’s the roster breakdown for Virginia Tech with the two 2024 signees:
How the Hokies attack the portal — or even try to add another high school player — depends on how Young views the strengths and weaknesses of his group. They’ve currently used up nine scholarships. Lynn Kidd and Mylyjael Poteat each have the option to return too.
Do they need another point guard? Not necessarily, but there may be some situations where another ballhandler would be nice to provide Sean Pedulla and Brandon Rechsteiner with some help. Bringing an old head into the fold who can provide some veteran wisdom could be beneficial to that duo.
Amazingly, next season will be Young’s first at Tech without Hunter Cattoor. It’s shaping up for Tech to have three options in the backcourt next year with MJ Collins, Jaydon Young and Johnson. Adding an experienced guard out of the portal to complement Pedulla would be helpful.
After that, there’s a gap in the roster between Camden and Nickel, who can play the three and four (but aren’t exactly suited to guarding bigger forwards), and the fives — Kidd, Poteat, Patrick Wessler and Jones. If there was any position where the Hokies were going to add multiple players from the portal, logically, it would be at the four.
The two currently on the roster — Robbie Beran and Mekhi Long — are in their last year of eligibility. They were brought in to replace Justyn Mutts, who was a crucial cog in Tech’s machine for three seasons. Can the staff find someone similar?
While the program is set at center, especially with the addition of Jones, the biggest question for next season is at forward. The Hokies need to hit on one or two players out of the portal that can have an immediate impact.