A great season for the Hokies' basketball squad wouldn't come to a fully perfect ending with the announced and pending transfers of Satchel Pierce and Jalen Hudson. Over the past two seasons, Buzz has recruited and developed some impressive depth, especially in the backcourt. It was entirely possible for one guy to see that as a lack of opportunity to truly make their mark on games. But to see two guys announce their transfers in the span of two days was surprising.
The easy and simple answer is playing time. I admit, it's the most likely reason. For Satchel Pierce, after a good freshman season, simply didn't deserve minutes in year two - mainly due to a lack of offense and there were better players in front of him. In addition, Khadim Sy is a good recuit who will likely have an impact his freshman season next winter. After two seasons, Pierce saw the arrow for him was trending downwards in Blacksburg. That's fine. I understand his decision to move on to hopefully bigger and better things for him.
It's Jalen Hudson's transfer that I don't fully get. Yes, there was definitely a logjam at either SG or SF. But if I were him, I wouldn't care all that much. From what I've seen from him, he was one of the top-three or four most talented players on the team (Chris Clarke, Ahmed Hill, Seth Allen). Who else could do this?
Hudson has the talent to beat out those guys for a starting spot at Virginia Tech, a program that still has tremendous upside heading into year three of the Buzz Williams' era. I don't understand why he would give that opportunity up. Even though Hudson had his inconsistencies, he is a talented scorer that the Hokies will sorely miss. Without him, I doubt the Hokies could have pulled off the win against Princeton. There will be a few games next year where Hudson's scoring ability would be extremely helpful.
The other reason Hudson could have transferred was he wasn't a fan of the coaching staff. Remember, he committed to the Hokies before Babcock announced Buzz Williams would be the coach two years ago. It's possible that reason was why we wanted out. However, that reason still doesn't make sense to me. If he wasn't pleased with the coaches, Hudson would've left after last season while the team was still dismal. But he didn't. Hopefully there isn't some internal storm brewing inside Merryman Practice Center where the players aren't happy. All signs point to that not being the case, however. The players truly enjoyed this last season and I'm sure nearly all of them want to continue to build on it.
So what do these transfers mean for the Hokies (personnel-wise)? Basically, it opens up an extra two roster spots. Khadim Sy will take up one of them. The other spot is open for now. If Hudson's transfer goes through, I think that's really good news for the health of Ty Outlaw. Outlaw didn't play a single second last year for reasons unknown, but he could easily step into Hudson's role as a scorer, as that was what he did best at JUCO. The more intriguing prospect is Kory Holden.
Delaware transfer Kory Holden told @CBSSports he has cut his list to Kansas, Baylor, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, and Seton Hall.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 4, 2016
Holden is the #1 rated transfer available according to ESPN, from the University of Delaware. Although he wouldn't be eligible to play next season, two years down the line he would provide an excellent scoring option for Virginia Tech. Ultimately, I don't see Holden ending up in Blacksburg, but who knows what Buzz has up his sleeves? And if Holden does indeed choose to become a Hokie, that truly says a lot about where this program has come from over the last two seasons.
Again, this is just my take on the situation. Virginia Tech hasn't had to deal with two talented players leaving the Hokies due to limited minutes in quite a while, and that's a blessing and a curse. There's not much doubt that they'll be fine. It will be interesting to see how the Hokies address their roster in response to these transfers over the next few months or so.