Shooting Guard Ahmed Hill has been released from his letter of intent with Marquette and has reopened his recruitment.
Hill is rated the No. 54 player in the country in the ESPN100 and will be a highly sought after guard during the current spring contact period that runs until May 21. Hill, a 6'5", 190-pound shooting guard from Aquinas High School in Augusta, Ga. is a scorer and strong rebounder for his size.
He put up over 3,000 points in high school and is one of the top prospects in Georgia. He announced that he wouldn't be attending Marquette in a classy Twitter post (don't laugh) Wednesday evening.
Attention all MU fans!!! I'm truly sorry!! pic.twitter.com/8Yku5scWCe— Ahmed Hill (@MedHill_14) April 17, 2014
Hill received interest from an array of top programs including scholarship offers from North Carolina State, Florida Florida State, UConn, Indiana and Missouri among others.
Obviously it's a good sign for the Hokies that he mentions the importance of his relationship with Buzz Williams and Issac Chew as both are now on staff at Virginia Tech (more on that below). Some speculation says that Missouri may be Tech's chief competitor because Hill's good friend and ESPN100's No. 53 prospect JaKeenan Gant signed with the Tigers.
That's where rumors about Missouri head coach Frank Haith come into play.
Tulsa has zeroed in on Missouri's Frank Haith, sources told ESPN. "Job is his if he wants it."— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 17, 2014
And now there's this article from CBSSports.com saying that Tulsa is indeed negotiating with Haith and they expect an announcement later this week.
If Haith were indeed to leave, that would create even more havoc but might help Tech's chances to land Hill. Regardless of how the dominoes tumble, there's certainly a chance for the Hokies to land Hill which would give the program two top 100 guards. That's one way to take razor-thin backcourt depth and turn it into the strength of the program.
Williams' Coaching Staff Coming Together
As mentioned above, Former Marquette assistant Issac Chew will join Buzz Williams' on the Hokies' bench.
Chew spent time at Illinois, Missouri, Murray State and his alma mater Avila University before spending two years under Williams at Marquette. Chew has also coached in the junior college and AAU ranks. Those connections have no doubt contributed to his reputation as a tremendous recruiter.
The other name made public so far is Steve Roccaforte. The former head coach at Lamar University, (where former Hokie small forward Tic Price was just named head coach) Roccaforte most recently served as an assistant coach at South Florida.
USF assistant Steve Roccaforte switches from the AAC to the ACC and joins Buzz Williams staff at Virginia Tech— Russ Wood (@RussHoops) April 16, 2014
His previous coaching stints include stops at Centenary, Tulane, Wyoming and Memphis where he proved to be an invaluable recruiter.
From his South Florida bio:
Known as a relentless recruiter, Roccaforte has put together top 25 recruiting classes at USF (No. 12 being the highest), Tulane (No. 8), Memphis (No. 1) and Lamar (No. 6). Memphis had the nation’s top-rated recruiting class in 2001. Lamar’s class in 2004, the first full recruiting class with Roccaforte on staff, was rated among the top 10 in the country by HoopScoop.com.
That's an impressive history and clearly Tech is assembling a first rate group of recruiters.
There's still one slot open on the assistant staff and Williams will likely look for someone with mid-Atlantic recruiting ties. Virginia and North Carolina are the most important areas for the Hokies and even with a top notch staff like this one is turning out to be, it's near impossible to come in without any previous relationships and beat out ACC programs for top level talent.