VT Basketball: After Long Courtship, JUCO Forward Shane Henry Decides On Hokies

Close the book on this year's recruiting class.

The Hokies 2014 recruiting class will now have two Atlanta, Georgia area products in the fold as March Madness strikes this November, when former Perimeter College (Decatur) forward Shane Henry joins forces with incoming freshman Ahmed Hill (Augusta). Eligible immediately, the wiry, yet powerful Henry should provide valuable depth for the Hokies next season.

Since Buzz Williams has taken over the coaching reins there has been a complete reshaping of the frontcourt, with Trevor Thompson, Marshall Wood, and Maurice Kirby all opting to seek other opportunities, and Cadarian Raines having exhausted his eligibility.

VT now looks to get more physical in the post, with incoming freshman Satchel Pierce expected to join the emerging Joey Van Zegeren in the middle, along with senior leader CJ Barksdale, Hill, and bench mainstays Will Johnston and Christian Beyer rounding out the depth.

This announcement comes just over two months after we wrote that Williams had offered Henry. Curiously enough, as other visitors came and went, Henry's name remained at large. We had heard murmurs that Henry's offer was rooted in contingency, that we would keep our options open and if other situations failed to present themselves, that he was a safe option.

247 sports had Arkansas listed as our major competition for Henry's services, so we didn't beat out the sisters of the poor. Henry had his recruiting visit over this past weekend, and the charm of Blacksburg and the new facilities obviously cemented his decision. This was a decent head-to-head recruiting get for Williams, who is rapidly rebuilding the Hokies national profile. The challenge will be in maintaining that profile, because as we all witnessed once upon a time with Seth Greenberg, interests can be fleeting.

Henry put up very good numbers for an interior player who only goes about 180 lbs. It's his leaping ability that stands out. His 4.7 blocks per game at the JUCO level will be difficult to duplicate in the ACC, but just being aware of the leaping ability of the backside defense can often prove deterrent enough for opponents to alter shots before they are even taken.

He scored the ball at an efficient clip, converting 51.3% of his shots for a productive 13.2 point per game. And the 12.5 rebounds per game he hauled in went a long way towards trimming Perimeter College's Windex costs. Per his game log he sank 7-of-16 three point attempts, so if someone gives him 10 feet of cushion on the corner three, we should be able to expect him not to embarrass himself.

Of concern is his turnover rate. For a big man, he turned it over at least three times in 10 of 29 games. There were five games of five or more. This indicates to me that he wasn't getting the ball in the spots where he felt comfortable scoring the ball. He was forced to put it on the floor and attempt to create. Hopefully, Buzz can alleviate the issues with where he receives it, and then drum the silly notion of him needing to ever "create" out of his head. Catch it and score it, or immediately pass out of it. Keep the ball moving. None on this team are yet talented enough to "operate" in the post, though I have my hopes for Brad Daugherty clone Satchel Pierce.

All that said, he displays a nice handle on a couple of these plays in the video, though I'd prefer to see more of the decisive one dribble, two step moves. Taking it to the cup all the way from the 3 pt. line, not so much. See for yourself:

He looks taller than his reported 6'8, but sometimes these videos can be deceiving. Here's another video of him, in mostly slo mo, so while somewhat trippy it enhances his rep as shot-blocker extraordinaire (i'd advise you to mute it, I'm pretty sure that's the hip hop genre, but without rhymes or beat it's tough to pin down, plus language, sigh):

In a nutshell, the athletic ability is fairly eye-opening. But we must temper this excitement by acknowledging that he is entering his junior year. He needs to be able to hit the ground running and produce immediately for this to be a good deal for Buzz. There is no learning curve for a player who will be gone before we know it. In the event he isn't up to the task, we'll have a scholarship invested in him that would be extremely useful towards building the program with young blue-chippers.

I am very pleased with Boss Babcock's new willingness to plug holes in the short-term with promising athletes who are looking for a second chance. I can only plead with Frank Beamer to possibly re-visit his own policies, as the football team has annually been much closer to taking that next step; only to be failed by personnel holes that could have otherwise been mitigated by dipping into the JUCO transfer pool. I ask of you folks, was there a problem with how Corey Moore or Kevin McAdam panned out?

Excellent news for the Hokies as Williams closes the 2014 class. It appears we have our team. We'll be back with much more on Hokie hoops as it comes here at Gobbler Country.

Mi Cassell es su Cassell.

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