When Buzz Williams stepped down as Virginia Tech head coach two weeks ago to take the same position at Texas A&M, turnover was expected on his former team. You had outgoing seniors such as Ahmed Hill, Justin Robinson and Ty Outlaw, but there were other critical decisions like would Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kerry Blackshear return?
Well, it’s been a roller-coaster ride since Mike Young was announced as the new coach. Alexander-Walker wasted no time in announcing his NBA intentions. Blackshear announced he was entering his name into the NBA Draft and transfer portal, while guard Wabissa Bede would also enter his name into the portal. And Tech’s incoming freshmen class were all granted their release and two of those players have since followed Williams to A&M.
Another player who entered his name into the transfer portal was freshman Landers Nolley. A four-star signee out of Fairburn, Georgia a year ago, Nolley missed his entire freshman season due to a highly questionable NCAA eligibility decision.
Landers Nolley will return to Virginia Tech next season and will NOT transfer, per his Instagram page. HUGE news for Mike Young and the Hokies.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 17, 2019
Most around the program didn’t expect Nolley back. Well, on Wednesday, Nolley gave Mike Young a gift when he announced he would not be leaving Blacksburg. For Young, this was a relief as the new coach just finished putting together his coaching staff and may have to piece together a roster for next season.
Now that Nolley is back, he joins rising sophomore guards Isaiah Wilkins and Jon Kabongo and junior forward P.J. Horne as four Hokies on scholarship next fall. Sure, the Hokies will sign some players, hopefully Anthony Harris and Emanuel Miller—two former signees—return to the fold, although Miller has yet to officially depart.
Also, expect the Hokies to be in the mix for several unsigned players such as 6’7” forward Jeremiah Davenport and numerous players currently in the transfer portal who want to play major minutes at an ACC school will consider Virginia Tech.
After the Hokies announced the new coaching staff, Nolley took to social media to announce he was staying in Blacksburg. It was outstanding news for Young and the Hokies a day after potentially losing Blackshear. To Blackshear’s credit, he says he is still seriously considering returning to the Hokies for his final season but he will not lack for options.
Make no mistake, Nolley returning to Virginia Tech is a major deal and a positive for the new head coach and his staff.