Virginia Tech Basketball Recruiting Update: June 3, 2021

Rodney Rice, Virginia Tech
Rodney Rice visited Virginia Tech this week. (@rodneyrice__)

Not only did Virginia Tech football recruiting open earlier this week, but basketball recruiting began as well.  Mike Young hosted two key prospects at positions of need in Blacksburg, and more will likely be visiting very soon.

Click here for a link to last week’s basketball recruiting update.

Probably the biggest news of the week was visits from Rodney Rice and Tyler Nickel, who appear to be two of the top prospects on Virginia Tech’s board.

Rice is a guard who could play either guard spot as well as on the wing, but who most likely projects as a point guard for the Hokies.  He was coached at DeMatha by new Virginia Tech associate head coach Mike Jones.  Nickel is a stretch-4 (meaning he’s a power forward who can pass, dribble and shoot).  Both are top 100 players.  The snag with Nickel is that he plays for Team Loaded, a major Adidas school.

The fact that Nickel would take his first visit of the recruiting period shows his sincere interest in the Hokies, despite Tech not being an Adidas school.  I would expect VT to be involved with Rice for as long as his recruitment lasts, unless of course Tech gets a commitment from another point guard before Rice is ready to decide.  Both of those players are top 100 recruits and would be big gets for the Hokies in the 2022 class.

Donald Hand, Jr.
6-5, 180
Combo Guard
Landstown HS, Virginia Beach, VA
No. 72 recruit nationally by the 247 Composite system

Donald Hand, Jr. is the son of former UVA guard Donald Hand, for those of you who go back to the late 1990s.  He’s much bigger than his father (Donald Sr. was only listed at 5-11), and he could play either guard spot for Mike Young, though point guard would probably be his primary position.

You might think that Hand’s UVA ties make him a longshot for the Hokies, but he has consistently mentioned Tech as one of his top schools since last year.  He is scheduled to visit Blacksburg later this month.  VCU, NC State and Maryland are some of the other competition.

However, it’s worth pointing out that Hand is Nickel’s teammate at Team Loaded, a program that is heavily influenced by Adidas.  That’s why you see NC State (an Adidas school) heavily involved with both of those prospects. 

BJ Edwards
6-3, 170
Point Guard
Knoxville Catholic, Knoxville, TN
No. 101 recruit nationally by the 247 Composite system

Virginia Tech was one of the first programs to offer BJ Edwards back when he was a sophomore, and the Hokies are one of his top schools.  I’m not as familiar with Edwards as I am the guys who are more local, but it’s clear that Mike Young is high on him.  He was named the MaxPreps Tennessee Basketball Player of the Year this past season.

According to MaxPreps, Edwards has narrowed his list to Tech, Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Georgia and Wake Forest.  Tennessee is the local school and would probably be the popular pick, but we’ll see how it goes.

By the way, long-time TSL poster and basketball scout Rev.Zeke Vodka would love for Tech to sign any of Edwards, Hand or Rice.  Here’s his Tweet on the subject…

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