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Virginia Tech basketball: Hokies lose top 2020 recruit to the transfer portal

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Joe Bamisile didn’t play a lot as a freshman due to Virginia Tech’s depth on the wing.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Miami-Florida
Former Virginia Tech guard Joe Bamisile
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after Virginia Tech’s overtime loss to Florida on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, I planned to sit down and write how fans should be hyped about the 2021-22 Hokies.

Then, on Monday, freshman guard Joe Bamisile announced he was entering the NCAA transfer portal.

Bummer.

Bamisile, a super-athletic 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard, was Virginia Tech’s top recruit last season. During his freshman season, Bamisile played in a total of 13 games, averaging 8.9 minutes per game, 3.2 points per game and 1.5 rebounds per contest.

Bamisile’s biggest contribution came in the Hokies’ win at Miami on Feb. 6 when he played 25 minutes and scored 11 points.

In that game, you could clearly see Bamisile’s potential — and the things he needed to work on.

At first glance, this is a terrible loss for head coach Mike Young and the Hokies. Bamisile has immense potential, and the optics of losing your top signee after just one season aren’t the best.

Relax.

While I hate that Bamisile chose to leave, I also understand. The transfer portal has changed the game. And it’s a good and bad thing. Hokie fans can’t say the portal is terrible when they get players like Storm Murphy and Keve Aluma, yet say it needs to go when you lose a player like Bamisile. It’s happening everywhere. And it’s just fine.

The reason I am not discouraged is Virginia Tech’s depth at guard. Presumably, Tyrece Radford, Nahiem Alleyne, Jalen Cone, Hunter Cattoor and Darius Maddox all return. Then you add in Murphy and freshman point guard Sean Pedulla, the Hokies have plenty of talent and depth in the backcourt.

Alleyne, for one, already said he will be back after his outstanding performance against Florida.

Senior guard Wabissa Bede could return, too, if he chooses to accept the extra year of eligibility given to athletes due to COVID-19.

So, yes, I will miss Bamisile and I do think he becomes a very good player somewhere. It is a shame it won’t be in Blacksburg. He wants to play immediately, but he’s behind some talented veterans right now. This is a smart move for him and the Hokies under Young will be just fine.

We wish Joe Bamisile nothing but the best and hope he has an outstanding career at his next stop.