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Virginia Tech Basketball Recruiting: Hokies Still Offering 2015 Prospects

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Tech coach Buzz Williams continues to look for immediate help to build his program.

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The Hokies already inked three very talented prospects during college basketball's early signing period in point guard Justin Robinson, forward Kerry Blackshear and wing Chris Clarke —considered a top 50 player in the nation and the top recruit in Virginia.

Couple that with freshmen Justin Bibbs, Jalen Hudson, Ahmed Hill and Satchel Pierce, and you can see a strong nucleus forming around head coach Buzz Williams.

Tech already needs to free up one scholarship to make room for all three 2015 signees, but activity on the recruiting trail appears to indicate that the Hokies will need to make even more room.

Coach Williams and his staff have been busy working on both 2016 and looking to add even more talent right now by offering a number of 2015 targets.

Levi Cook

Last week, Tech offered 6'10" 300-pound center Levi Cook of Huntington Prep in West Virginia. Cook is considered the No. 2 overall player is West Virginia and a 4-star prospect according to ESPN. His size is impressive and after decommiting from West Virginia, he's drawing significant interest from around the country.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Appalachian State has offered 2015 Huntington Prep (WV) PF Levi Cook (<a href="https://twitter.com/LCook45">@LCook45</a>). That makes 4 offers in 9 days for the 6&#39;10&quot; big.</p>&mdash; Drew Messmer (@InsideBBRecruit) <a href="https://twitter.com/InsideBBRecruit/status/555826019614359553">January 15, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>West Virginia native Levi Cook has been nominated for the <a href="https://twitter.com/McDAAG">@McDAAG</a> for 2015. <a href="https://twitter.com/LCook45">@LCook45</a>.</p>&mdash; Huntington Prep (@HuntingtonPrep) <a href="https://twitter.com/HuntingtonPrep/status/555509679552737280">January 14, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Some of the good news for Tech here is that Cook appears open to playing at mid-major schools as a big-time program isn't a huge priority. He also likes that Blacksburg isn't too far from home.

For what it's worth, 247Sports has four predictions for Cook's eventual choice and all four currently predict a Tech commitment. Of course other big programs are taking an interest as well including South Carolina where Cook will take an official visit January 31.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>2015 center Levi Cook is officially visiting South Carolina on January 31st. Trying to set up a date for an official to Pitt as well.</p>&mdash; Matthew Steinbrink (@MattSteinbrink) <a href="https://twitter.com/MattSteinbrink/status/554410125193392129">January 11, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Simeon Carter

Carter is a 6'9" post player from West Charlotte High School in North Carolina. He's flown a bit under the radar nationally, but as big men become less available late in the 2015 recruiting process, everyone with size draws more interest as has been the case with Carter.

In addition to the Hokies, Carter has scholarship offers from Georgia, Nebraska and SMU.

At this point in the process, SMU appears to be Tech's biggest competition, though Nebraska has become a strong program under head coach Tim Miles.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SMU?src=hash">#SMU</a> head coach Larry Brown, a source tells me, is in North Carolina today, likely to watch West Charlotte PF Simeon Carter <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PonyUp?src=hash">#PonyUp</a></p>&mdash; Adam Grosbard (@AdamGrosbard) <a href="https://twitter.com/AdamGrosbard/status/555886199357726722">January 16, 2015</a></blockquote>

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It's no secret that the Hokies are far too small to compete nightly in the ACC right now. With the ongoing suspension of Joey van Zegeren, Tech has relied on true freshman Pierce and an undersized lineup often featuring five guards. Blackshear is a nice addition up front and transfer forward Zach LeDay will be eligible next season, but that's simply not enough.

Obviously, the unpleasant part of all this is that at least two players currently on Tech's roster will have to leave the program to make room for the new recruits if Tech can indeed sign one of these two or others still on the board.

Redshirt junior van Zegeren is a member of the All-ACC Academic team so he should be on pace to graduate in the spring. That would allow him to transfer to another school without having to sit out a year, or he could choose to return to Europe to play professionally with a degree in hand. Those scenarios will seem more likely the longer his suspension continues.

It's difficult to say where any additional attrition might occur, but the numbers have a way of working themselves out in these situations.