In theory college basketball will be back in just seven months. While it is hard to imagine large crowds gathering in a small space, sports will return eventually. In the meantime the Virginia Tech basketball program has seen a flurry of activity in the past few weeks. Here is a quick rundown at the players leaving the Hokies, who returns next season, and the expected new faces in Blacksburg.
While there is still a lot of time between now and the start of the 2020-21 season, the Hokies have at least four (expected) exiting players.
- Landers Nolley (Soph) - Entering the NCAA transfer portal
- Isaiah Wilkins (Junior) - Entering the NCAA transfer portal
- Brendan Palmer (Junior) - Transferring
- Branden Johnson - Graduated
Nolley is the only real loss there as Wilkins rarely played during his sophomore season. Expect a more balanced team with Landers’ exit.
- Wabissa Bede (Senior)
- P.J. Horne (Senior)
- Ryan Payne (Walk-on Senior)*
- Grant Yates (Walk-on Junior)*
- Jalen Cone (Soph)
- Hunter Cattoor (Soph)
- Tyrece Radford (Soph)
- Naheim Alleyne (Soph)
- John Ojiako (Soph)
*final status for the 2020 season still TBD based on further roster moves.
- Keve Aluma (Senior) - returning to eligibility after sitting out this past season to transfer. Could immediately challenge for a starting spot in the fall.
- Jonathan Kabongo (Junior) - also returning from a red-shirt year after suffering a season-ending injury. At a minimum should provide depth on the bench.
- Cartier Diarra (Senior) - The red-shirt senior has verbally stated he is transferring from Kansas State, but is also entering his name in the NBA draft pool in order to receive feedback from the league. Eligible to play without having to sit out a year. Averaged 13.3 points a game for the Wildcats and led the team in assists and steals. Another contender to start.
- Joe Bamisile (Freshman) - 4-star shooting guard ranked 70th in the nation. Listed as 6’5” and is the #5 player in the state of Virginia. According to 247Sports Bamisile is the 7th best basketball recruit in Virginia Tech history.
- Darius Maddox (Freshman) - Tech’s other recruiting victory, as Maddox is a fellow 4-star recruit ranked in the nation top 100.
- David N’Guessan - The most recent addition to the 2020-21 roster with a verbal commitment. The 6’8” forward would add much needed height to Mike Young’s roster.
- Gill Williamson - Joining the Hokies as a preferred walk-on next season, which puts into doubt if Ryan Payne and Grant Yates will be able to retain their walk-on spot on the bench.
Despite Nolley’s exit, the Hokies should be a better team next season. Another year to develop into Mike Young’s system. The talented freshmen class is a year older - Cone, Cattoor, & Alleyne. Two experienced seniors added - Aluma & Diarra. And an excellent recruiting class - listed as the 19th best class in the nation. Looking forward to the return to Cassell Coliseum.