It’s been rather quiet around the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team since they were eliminated in the first round of the NIT last month outside of player movement. Of course, perhaps they’ve been overshadowed by the Lady Hokies and their run to the Final Four.
Two Hokies entered the NCAA transfer portal. Freshman forward Darren Buchanan and junior guard Darius Maddox both entered the portal. In some good news, the Hokies added former ODU forward Mekhi Long and North Carolina transfer Tyler Nickel. Nickel is the leading scorer in Virginia high school history and was a significant addition for head coach Mike Young.
Now, we have coaching news. In a move that was not totally unexpected, associated head coach Mike Jones is leaving for Blacksburg—his new destination: the Maryland Terrapins.
Jones spent two seasons with Virginia Tech after a lengthy and successful high school run as head coach of powerful DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland. DeMatha is minutes away from College Park, so this was always a move to watch.
Before Jones’ 19-year career as head coach of DeMatha, he was a standout guard at Old Dominion. Some expect him to be the next head coach at ODU once Jeff Jones steps aside.
The move is interesting because Jones’ players at DeMatha often went elsewhere during his time there. However, the Terrapins have a new head coach Kevin Willard, and things have changed. Willard had a successful first season at Maryland.
Sources: Maryland is hiring Virginia Tech assistant Mike Jones. He’s the longtime DeMatha High School coach and USA Basketball staff linchpin who brings deep ties to the DMV area.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) April 3, 2023
What does this mean for the Hokies? First off, they need to make sure they can keep guard Rodney Rice on campus. The rising sophomore played for Jones in high school. This will be something to watch.
Also, four-star wing A.J. Swinton, Virginia Tech’s prized 2024 recruit, will likely be back on the market. That’s unfortunate, but his relationship with Jones is why he committed to the Hokies, which is the same scenario as Rice.
It’s likely Young was expecting Jones to move on and will likely name a replacement shortly. We’ll keep you posted when we hear anything.
Good luck to Coach Jones.