Mike Young has quickly turned the Virginia Tech Men’s Basketball program from a near-complete overhaul to an ACC-title contending team in just two seasons. His brand of basketball combined with solid recruitment through the NCAA transfer portal and incoming freshmen has the Hokies set for a promising future.
The NCAA ruling that seniors can have one additional season of eligibility and the waiver to allow players to transfer and play immediately has seen a flurry of activity since the season ended. In just the first few weeks of the off-season, the Hokies have seen four players exit and two big senior arrivals.
Who: Joe Bamisile
To Where: George Washington
Impact: Minimal, with Tyrece Radford, Nahiem Alleyne, Hunter Cattoor, and the arrival of Storm Murphy. We haven’t gotten the official word on if Wabissa Bede will opt to return for an extra season or move on to test his chances at the professional level or head straight into coaching. Either way, Bamisile was likely spending more time on the bench this season.
Who: Jalen Cone
To Where: Northern Arizona University.
Impact: It’s never great to lose a 4-star recruit, especially one as prolific at three-point shooting as Cone is. But he wanted to be a starting point guard and wasn’t guaranteed those minutes in Blacksburg. Even if Bede doesn’t return, Storm Murphy will most likely take over that role.
Who: Cartier Diarra
To Where: TBD
Impact: While we haven’t gotten the official word on Diarra’s fate, he is expected to transfer to another school or wrap up this college career. After a strong start to the season, Cartier opted out. His loss won’t be felt as much since the team has adapted to life without him. However, this one is disappointing as he looked like a great fit for the Hokies who brought experience and a drive to the basket.
Who: Cordell Pemsl
To Where: TBD
Impact: A new arrival heading into last season, Pemsl failed to make a meaningful impact throughout most of the season. He averaged about 10 minutes a game and just two points. Using this extra year of basketball, it’s no surprise he is moving on to find a place where he can start.
A ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ recruit out of high school and an shooter, Jalen Cone is ready to take it up a level. Flagstaff - buckle up because it's about to get real fun.— NAU Men's Basketball (@NAUBasketball) April 9, 2021
https://t.co/x0XN9B4bsY#NAUStrong ⚒️ #BigSkyMBB pic.twitter.com/HSIJrDlOcc
Who: Storm Murphy
From Where: Wofford
Impact: Recruited by Mike Young, Murphy enjoyed a stellar four-season career at Wofford, continually improving. Last season he averaged 17.8 points per game, 4.3 assists, and 3.3 rebounds — all career highs. Now utilizing the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility, Murphy arrives in Blacksburg for one season and set to be the starting point guard.
Who: Michael Durr
From Where: South Florida
Impact: The 7’0”, 250-pound center adds much-needed size to the Hokies’ interior for his senior season. This past year he averaged 8.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. If Keve Aluma goes pro Durr will immediately be the focal point down low for Virginia Tech. His arrival takes the place of exiting Cordell Pemsl.
Seniors / Graduates: Keve Aluma (?), Wabisaa Bede (?), Michael Durr, Storm Murphy, & Justyn Mutts.
Just got taller!— Virginia Tech Men's Basketball (@HokiesMBB) April 14, 2021
7-footer @mikeprobound is coming to Blacksburg
» https://t.co/4uYnwsnWpK#StoneByStone | #Hokies pic.twitter.com/BgUOYPv7Vk
Juniors: Nahiem Alleyne, Hunter Cattoor, John Ojiako, & Tyrece Radford,
Sophomores: Darius Maddox & David N’Guessan.
Freshmen: Sean Pedulla
Virginia Tech still has several roster spots in motion, given the uncertain futures for Bede and Aluma, as well as the 2021-22 status for walk-ons Gill Williamson and Grant Yates. If both of the senior stars return, the Hokies should still have one scholarship left to fill either through the incoming recruiting class or the transfer portal.
Tech looks to be upperclassmen heavy for the first time in Mike Young’s tenure in Blacksburg. If Aluma returns they will be considered a contender for the ACC and the NCAA Tournament heading into the ‘21-22 preseason.