Scouting Report: Virginia Tech’s 2017 Basketball Class

Nickeil Alexander-Walker.

College scout Rev.Zeke Vodka, who has kept TSL subscribers up-to-date by scouting Virginia Tech signees for many years, weighs in with his scouting report on the Hokies’ 2017 recruits.  The 2017 class is one of the highest-rated in Tech history, and Rev.Zeke is high on all three prospects.  

Guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, 6-foot-5, 185-pounds

Virginia Tech broke through on Nickeil Alexander-Walker in several areas. They get a very highly-rated prospect, the type that the program is generally unaccustomed to securing in the past. They get a very high-caliber prospect with a Canadian background, an important breakthrough for assistant coach Jamie McNeilly, and in securing the services of Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech possibly could be looking at its first early departure type kid as well. That latter aspect is yet to be determined, and will be determined at the college level, but for a program that in the past has never even had to consider any prospect staying less than four years, this is an important possible breaking of the glass ceiling as well.

Alexander-Walker is a skilled scorer, plain and simple. While he certainly needs to get stronger through the upper body especially, he nonetheless is a very good scorer with range and consistency with his stroke. I would envision him getting most of his minutes at the 2-position (shooting guard), where he matches up better right now defensively. He can also play the 3-position (small forward) – which I am sure we will see – and even has the handle to fill in some minutes in emergency type situations at the point. But he is best suited to play the 2, or some 3, as a freshman in my opinion. 

As he fills out, I think we will see him penetrate and attack the rim more. He does that now, but he picks his spots. Added strength will assist him there.  His stroke is reliable both from mid-range and deep. He is very good as a catch-and-shoot guy, but has the ability to take people off the dribble and that makes him a multi-dimensional threat on the floor. He moves well without the ball and doesn’t stick in the same spot for long stretches. All shooters are streaky for the most part, and Alexander-Walker is no exception, but his barren periods just don’t seem to occur as often as most. In fact, the more you watch him play, the more surprised you become when you see him miss more than a couple shots in a row. His confidence has greatly increased over the past year or so, and I would expect him to challenge for early minutes as a freshman at Virginia Tech.