(5/29 Update: There have been a few edits below thanks to reader Denis.)
Three Hokies have already exited the program through the NCAA Transfer Portal, including leading scorer Landers Nolley and rising senior P.J. Horne. It broke on Friday that Horne would transfer to Georgia to be closer to home.
So this presents a great time to check in on Tech’s roster which has a lot of new pieces ahead of next season. Here is a quick look at the roster based on their year, positions and then where the team stands on roster size and scholarships.
Roster by Class
- Seniors: Wabissa Bede, Cartier Diarra, Ryan Payne* (Walk-on) & Cordell Pemsl
- Juniors: Keve Aluma, Grant Yates* (Walk-on)
- Sophomores: Nahiem Alleyne, Hunter Cattoor, Jalen Cone, John Ojiako & Tyrece Radford
- Freshmen: Joe Bamisile, Darius Maddox, David N’Guessan & Gill Williamson* (Preferred Walk-on)
*Note: Right now Tech is at 15 players, so all three walk-on players could still be on the squad next year. However, if Horne is replaced by a scholarship player, then one walk-on will have to go. Perhaps Payne could become a team manager, as his HokieSports profile notes is a direction he hopes to take in his career.
This is officially a Mike Young team. Only Bede remains as a Buzz Williams era player. Young has plenty of guards, as he likes, in his first two recruiting classes. But at this point it feels like another transitional season ahead as the Hokies rely on transfers for size and experience - and a very light Junior class. If Tech can retain their underclassmen after next season and duplicate the level of the incoming class, but feature more size, Mike Young should have a team more equipped with challenging in the ACC by that point.
Yeah, the dude can board #StoneByStone | #Hokies pic.twitter.com/dkgSmN6JDE— Virginia Tech Men's Basketball (@HokiesMBB) May 20, 2020
Roster by Position
- Point Guard: Wabissa Bede, Jalen Cone, & Hunter Cattoor
- Shooting Guard: Nahiem Alleyne, Joe Bamisile, Cartier Diarra, Darius Maddox & Tyrece Radford
- Small Forward: None
- Power Forward: Keve Aluma, David N’Guessan, John Ojiako, Ryan Payne* (Walk-on), Cordell Pemsl, Gill Williamson* (Preferred Walk-on), Grant Yates* (Walk-on)
- Center: None
In a Mike Young system it’s no surprise to see the roster guard heavy. There are only four non-guard players that aren’t walk-ons listed above. And Ojiako is the only one who played for the Hokies last season.
And how Tech lists each player officially on next season’s roster could differ. But the team is really asking one of the new faces such as Aluma or Pemsl to step up in a big way in what will be their only season in Blacksburg. Hopefully, the Hokies are able to pull in one more big man to make up for Horne’s eventual transfer.
Using a roster size of 15 and scholarship limit of 13, the Hokies would have one addition scholarship following Horne’s exit. That could be used to bring Williamson on via scholarship if he proves his value during early practices, or potentially another upperclassmen with size through transfer. It’s been a busy off-season for the Virginia Tech Men’s Basketball team.