Well ordinarily I'd tend to like the idea of Garland freeing up a scholarship. I thought we reached on him, after all we offered and got him almost immediately, sometimes an indicator of a kid saying "really!? Like seriously!? I can play for YOU guys! Sign me up!" BUT, Garland did have a scorer's mentality that we will miss if we get in a crunch or either of our 1's get injured. Hopefully we don't have a situation where a guy leaves like Boggs did last year and we get down to the knitty gritty and he could've played BIG minutes.
Although Garland has gone the route of former Greenberg castoffs Ben Boggs and Hank Thorns, he did have some value, and in college basketball, especially at Virginia Tech there is value in just having bodies on the floor. Now we are paper thin at guard. Read further to find out how this affects the Hokies in the near future, for both the remainder of this year and beyond.
The other real concern I have is because the '11 class was SO big, we don't have that many targets out there, and fewer of them are guards. Recruits also pay attention to the number of scholarships available, and before the Garland transfer we only had one remaining. Now we have two and with the very real possibility of J.T. Thompson not returning we may have three open scholarships for next year. It could be a good thing, but we're certainly getting a late jump. Our only two commitments are forwards, so we may be in a numbers crunch at the guard position because of the attrition of three transfers in two years!
Just for argument's sake, if our roster were to look like it does now, assuming no further attrition (no guarantees), and adding in our two commitments, here would be our makeup (note, only counting scholarship players).
SG- 1 (though Eddie could probably play down)
SF- 3 (I project incoming recruit Marshall Wood as more of a 3)
Post- 4, 5 if Thompson returns (decided to just say post since there's rarely a distinction at Tech, or in college basketball in general)
I can understand that Seth has seen what can happen to a team when a rash of injuries happen in the post, but today's basketball is more than anything a guard's game, and guard play is often the difference between the W and the L. Hopefully Seth can get on the horn and attract some stellar guard talent, because as of now the Hokies are pretty skinny there and there really aren't a lot of good ones out there on our radar this year. I wonder if he can work some transfer magic (though it has been far from magic for us in the past, excluding possibly JUCO transfer and absolute wrecking ball Terry Taylor!)?
Here is a link to our prospects and some of the offers we've handed out. Though it's not scientific, nor official, Scout.com does this pretty well and you can see it for free as opposed to Rivals. Garland was averaging 4.6 ppg. and just over one assist per game. He had a 1-to-1 assist to turnover ratio, most of which accumulated when he had to make a spot start for the injured Erick Green against ETSU (a SEVEN-turnover game...yeeeeesh). He was the eighth-leading scorer on the team, and he shot a very formidable 50% for a guard, especially one his size, but he was a black hole with the ball, incapable of running a set or the offense and forced up poor shots from deep, confirmed by his .222 percentage behind the stripe.
Garland was featured prominently in the Hokies first three games, in fact tying for the team scoring lead through two games at 15.5 ppg. after a 7-7 and 2-2 behind the arc performance against Monmouth, so yeah, he can score! However, his minutes tailed off after Green's return and he had seen one minute of action in the last three games, two of which he did not see the floor. I guess when he didn't play against Norfolk State, he saw the writing on the wall that Seth preferred Rankin's defense to his offense and decided to switch jerseys. He hasn't indicated where he'll be going yet, but a lot of Philly schools offered him out of HS as he is from there.