I figured I’d actually write about something Virginia Tech basketball related this week just to keep you all on your toes…
One thing that has really stuck out to me during the Greenberg Era is the number of players the Hokies have lost before their eligibility expired.Â Let’s take a look at the guys Greenberg has signed and how many have stuck around, and then break that down a bit further.
Recruits signed by Greenberg (NOTE: For the sake of this article, I am counting Coleman Collins and Jamon Gordon as Stokes signees since he is the one that technically inked them.Â Also, I’m only counting signees once.Â And this list assumes they actually signed, not just verballed, to VT.)
- Zabian Dowdell – 2 star (all star rankings are from Scout.com)
- Wynton Witherspoon – 2 star
- Deron Washington – 3 star
- Justin Holt – 4 star
- Marquie Cooke – 4 star
- Robert Krabbendam – NOT LISTED
- A.D. Vassallo – 3 star
- Cheick Diakite – 3 star
- Terrence Vinson – 2 star
- Hyman Taylor – 3 star
- Tyrone Appleton – 3 star
- Lewis Witcher -Â 3 star
- Nigel Munson – 4 star
- Hank Thorns – 2 star
- Darrion Pellum – 3 star
- Dorenzo Hudson – 4 star
- Malcolm Delaney – 4 star
- Terrell Bell – 3 star
- Gus Gilchrist – 4 star
- Jeff Allen – 4 star
- J.T. Thompson -Â 4 star
That shows 21 kids have signed with Seth, 13 of which were before this current class.Â Of those 13 pre-2007 signees, three (23%) never played a minute for Tech (Holt, Taylor, and Appleton), either due to not qualifying or being kicked out of school.Â Another four left VTÂ before finishing their eligibilityÂ (Cooke and Munson after their freshman year, Witherspoon after his sophomore year, and Krabbendam after three years).Â That means over halfÂ the kids Greenberg had signed coming into this year have notÂ stayed at VT to finish their college careers.Â And it isn’t like they were leaving for the NBA.Â
From the 2007 Class, we’ve already seen Gilchrist back out of coming and re-open his recruitment for 2008, Pellum was not cleared by the NCAA and now can never come back to VT or any other ACC school, J.T. Thompson has finally been cleared by the NCAA, and Hudson is hoping to be cleared to play for the Spring Semester.Â That means there were issues with half the class, right on par with the numbers from before this season.
This has been a problem with our higher rated recruits, too.Â Of the four 4-star recruits we had had pre-2007 (Holt, Cooke, and Munson), all three never made it or left early.Â The reason for this seems easy to me: VT has to take kids with a more checkered past, or more high risk.Â They can’t go after the blue chip choir boy recruits and expect to get them.Â Although, to be honest, Munson seemed to be a pretty good guy, although he was the most aloof of the guys I met at the Hokie celebration last year.
It will be interesting to see if this percentage goes down over time as the Hokie basketball program gets more of a name for itself, or if VT will always have to continue targeting higher risk recruits.Â Or VT could follow the formula that worked the last few years (and in the Bill Foster era): bring in a bunch of lower rated guys togetherÂ but play them a lot early, such that by their upperclassmen years they have a ton of experience.Â
With the class the Hokies brought in this year, it seems to be a combination of the two.Â Higher rated recruits that will get a LOT of early playing time.Â They have more talent than any class before.Â Hopefully Seth can keep this nucleus together for their full eligibility and VT should have a strong team in a few years, even better than the base of Gordon, Collins, Dowdell, and Washington.
Going back to the 2002 Class (Harris, McCandies, Calloway, Davis, Sailes, and Robinson) and adding the other 2003 guys (Collins and Gordon), five of those eight used up all of their eligibility at VT, just slightly ahead of the mark of the Greenberg guys.Â McCandies transferred schools early and Davis and Robinson never played for VT.