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Virginia Tech basketball: Hokies land Northwestern forward Robbie Beran from transfer portal

A good pickup for Mike Young and the Hokies.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Ohio State Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies men’s basketball added a key piece for the 2023-24 team Tuesday when former Northwestern forward Robbie Beran announced he was transferring to VT.

Beran is the third addition from the transfer portal since the conclusion of the 2022-23 season in March.

The Hokies added guard/forward Mekhi Long [ODU], forward Tyler Nickel [North Carolina] and Beran.

Head coach Mike Young likely wouldn’t have been seeking another player if forward Grant Basile had returned for one more season. However, Tech’s leading scorer chose to play in Italy and begin his professional career. That left a frontcourt opening.

While Beran isn’t the offensive player that Basile was, he adds more to the defensive end. That’s an area where the Hokies struggled last season. And that’s not because of Basile; the entire team struggled.

Beran’s finalists were Virginia Tech, Virginia and Miami, which tells you something. Tony Bennett and Jim Larranaga wanted Beran; that should be good enough for Hokie fans.

Beran’s offensive numbers aren’t overly impressive. The 6-foot-9, 215-pound senior averaged 7.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season. He can score more points, but that wasn’t his role at Northwestern. With the Hokies, Beran isn’t being brought in to be a big-time scorer but to fill a key frontcourt role as a rebounder and defender. Beran was beloved by Northwestern fans, so don’t be surprised if the Richmond native is quickly a fan favorite in Blacksburg.

The Hokies hope the combination of Long and Nickel can fill some of the offensive void left by Basile and Justyn Mutts. Remember, Tech’s top four guards are back [Hunter Cattoor, Sean Pedulla, Rodney Rice and MJ Collins]. The Hokies also get freshman Brandon Rechsteiner next season.

Welcome home, Robbie.