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Virginia Tech basketball: Grant Basile has huge debut as Hokies blow past Delaware State 95-57 in opener

Keve Aluma’s replacement looked ready for the opener.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament Semifinal-North Carolina vs Virginia Tech Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022-23 college basetball season opened Monday night and it could not have went any better for the Virginia Tech Hokies.

No, the Hokies didn’t open the season against top-ranked North Carolina and blow them out. Essentially everyone who opened the season Monday, opened with a lesser opponent. For the Hokies, it was Delaware State. Virginia Tech handled its business, blowing out the Hornets, 95-57 to kick off the highly anticipated season.

As you’d expect with such a lopsides score, several Hokies got in on the fun. Senior forward Grant Basile, a transfer from Wright State, scored 30 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Hokies. Head coach Mike Young must be thrilled with that type of start for Basile, who he envisions replacing former All-ACC forward Keve Aluma’s production in the low post. While Basile is good around the basket, he showed his range on Monday, converting on six of nine 3-point attempts.

Sophomore point guard Sean Pedulla began his second year the way he ended his rookie year, scoring 18 points and dishing out eight assists. Pedulla drained five of his eight attempts from beyond the arc.

Junior guard Darius Maddox, now a starter, scored 14 for the Hokies.

The most surprising performance belonged to 6-foot-10 junior Lynn Kidd. The former Clemson transfer started in the place of Justyn Mutts — out serving a silly one-game NCAA suspension — and scored eight points and came away with 10 rebounds. Young is certainly thrilled to receive that type of performance from his frontcourt, with his top player out for the opener.

Nine players played for the Hokies. Memphis transfer John Camden gave Tech some good minutes off the bench and scored six points — both on 3-pointes. Freshman M.J. Collins played and contributed four points.

Junior Mylyjael Poteat, a 6-foot-9 transfer from Rice, scored nine points and pulled down four rebounds off the bench.

Mutts and Tech’s top recruit, four-star guard, Rodney Rice, missed the opener. Mutts will be back for Thursday’s game against Lehigh. Rice should be back sometime next week, according to the timeline Young gave last week. Rice was dealing with an ankle injury.

Virginia Tech’s other scholarship freshman, center Patrick Wessler and forward Darren Buchanan, did not play. It sounds like both players could be redshirt candidates unless injuries create a change of plans.

All in all, it was a good night for the Hokies. Not because they beat Delaware State, but because players such as Basile and Kidd contributed significantly in the win.

Senior guard Hunter Cattoor, the ACC Tournament MVP, only scored six points in the win.