Originally reported as a rumor late last night on Twitter by @HillcrestHokie
Basketball news coming— HillcrestHokie (@HillcrestHokie) March 25, 2013
And early this morning confirmed by Eric Avissar
Virginia Tech shooting guard Robert Brown plans to transfer.— Eric Avissar (@EricAV15SAR) March 26, 2013
and the Washington Post's Mark Giannotto
#Hokies G Robert Brown has asked for a release from his scholarship and will transfer to a school closer to home, his father just confirmed.— Mark Giannotto (@HokiesJournal) March 26, 2013
Robert Brown, Sr. called James Johnson and his staff "very professional." Said JJ has been willing to call other schools on Brown's behalf.— Mark Giannotto (@HokiesJournal) March 26, 2013
Robert Brown has decided to transfer from Virginia Tech.
Brown, a sophomore, started 29 games in his two year career with the Hokies, 25 of which in 2012-13. While Brown improved his point, rebounding and assist totals, all of his other statistics save his free throw percentage dropped from his freshman to sophomore years. Brown shot an unreal 33 percent from the floor and an underwhelming 24 percent from deep in 2012-13, though as mentioned above, improved his free throw shooting percentage from 62 to 64 percent.
Brown was ineffective for long periods of time in 2012-13. After scoring double figures in seven of the team's first eight games (the only game he did not score double figures was a 9-point effort against Appalachian State), Brown was only able to reach double figures eight times in the remaining 23 games in which he played. He also suffered through one of the longest shooting droughts in recent memory, going 17-82 (or just under 21 percent) from the floor over a nine-game stretch between December and January.
Coming in, Brown was touted as a long-range ace and all-around scorer offensively, and occasionally lived up to those expectations. But too often Brown was trigger-happy and even shot his team out of games. He was eventually exposed as more of a volume-shooter/scorer, despite showing good form from deep as a freshman and early as a sophomore. Despite these inadequacies, Brown finished the season as the team's third-leading scorer with 8.3 points per game, behind only Erick Green and Jarell Eddie.
Brown was projected to be the starter at shooting guard once again next season, and was expected to one of the featured players on a team losing the nation's leading-scorer in Erick Green. His transfer, however, puts the Hokies in a bind, as they have no experience coming back at that position save walk-on Will Johnston. Brown was also the Hokies' best-returning ball-handler and passer among those who had seen the floor. Brown's transfer also looks ominous as he becomes the second starter in as many years to transfer from the program. Seeing starters transfer from a power conference school in Division I basketball is exceedingly rare, and reflects poorly on the program.
The Hokies will likely try to replace Brown's void with some combination of Adam Smith, a transfer from UNC Wilmington, fresh off of sitting out a year due to transfer regulations, and Donte Clark, a four-star incoming recruit. Including Clark, the Hokies also bring in three guards in their 2013 recruiting class, but it is unclear how many of them will be ready to play in 2013-14, though they may be pressed into early action.
For more information via updates and posts as the situation develops, make Gobbler Country your Virginia Tech basketball home.