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Virginia Tech basketball: Grant Basile departs to play professionally in Italy

The Hokies lose their leading scorer from 2022-23.

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Virginia Tech Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a busy time for the Virginia Tech men’s basketball program since losing to Cincinnati in the first round of the NIT.

The Hokies saw two players [Darius Maddox and Darren Buchanan] enter the NCAA transfer portal. However, the Hokies landed a pair of talented transfers in forwards Mekhi Long [ODU] and Tyler Nickel [North Carolina]. Nickel is the state of Virginia’s all-time leading high school scorer and was a four-star recruit only one year ago.

Additionally, associate head coach Mike Jones departed for a similar position at Maryland. That led to a promotion for Christian Webster, and Jones’ departure opened up a spot for Penn State assistant J.D. Byers on head coach Mike Young’s staff.

Outside of that, VT was waiting on decisions from forward Grant Basile and guard Hunter Cattoor on if they would return for one more season in Blacksburg. There was optimism that both would return. Unfortunately, Basile will not be coming back as he intends to begin his professional basketball career in Italy.

Basile transferred to Virginia Tech last year after a standout career at Wright State. In his one season with the Hokies, Basile averaged 16.4 points per game — which led the team and was seventh in the ACC — and 5.4 rebounds per contest. He shot 52% from the field and 39% from 3-point range.

What does this mean for the Hokies in 2023-24?

The transfer portal is still full of talent. However, some of the top talents have already chosen a new school. I would expect Young to move reasonably fast in replacing Basile on the roster. What will Young look for? Likely a big who can shoot the ball and not be a liability on the defensive end. Unfortunately, most other teams are looking for something similar.

Basile is an Italian citizen and has dual citizenship, so this was an incredible opportunity for him.

Best of luck, Grant!