Categorized | Recruiting News

Commits Keep Coming – ’13 Guard Ben Emelogu Joins the Fold

Tech received their fourth commitment for the Class of 2013 since Labor Day when guard Ben Emelogu committed to Coach James Johnson over the weekend.  Emelogu is a 6’5″, 190 lbs. shooting guard from Grand Prairie, Texas (smack dab in between Fort Worth, Arlington, and Dallas).

Ben is rated a 3-star recruit by ESPN Recruiting Nation (and the #56 shooting guard), but is not rated in the Rivals or 247Sports rankings, but does boast offers from marquette, washington, and tcu.  He is the second off-guard to join the Class of 2013, along with Donte Clark.  Tech also has two bigs in the fold with Maurice Kirby and Trevor Thompson.

It is interesting to note that Tech’s four commits hail from Virginia, Indiana, Arizona, and Texas.  A lot more spread out than what we saw under Greenberg, who largely focused in VA and NC, with a few others from GA and FL.  In fact, 6 of the 8 players eligible to play this season are from VA or NC, and 8 of the overall 9 current scholarship players from the four states I previously mentioned.

The Hokies have at least five scholarships available in this class (assuming no one leaves after this year), so they have room for at least one more.  A true point guard is a need of Tech’s with Green leaving after this season.  Rankin is a true point, and Adam Smith could play it but he is also a good shooter off the ball.  Tech, in reality, can just take the best player they can get given they’ve gotten two guards and two bigs.  It would be nice to get a higher profile recruit to finish the class, but that may not be in the cards this year.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1221 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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  • Chris

    Impressed with JJ so far. This is probably going to be a long season but I’m actually excited about this class. He got a very late start but has already landed four commitments, with the potential of one more coming in. Bummer missing out on Frank Mason, but I can live with it.

    Clark is obviously the highest rated commit we have, he seems to have a similar game to Robert Brown.

    I don’t know much about Thompson and Kirby, but I like both of the commits. Thompson is bringing in a 6’10 frame, and VT hasn’t had much size over the years. Glad that is going to change. Supposedly Kirby was a highly rated recruit as a sophomore but got out of shape. He will bring in beef and is suppose to be in better shape now. I’m confident JJ will get the most out of him.

    I love the Emelogu commit. He seeps like he could be a real sleeper,and before anyone says he’s another unknown recruit, he does hold offers from solid programs such as Marquette and Washington (or is it WSU)? Either way, I’ve read good things about him online.

    That puts us at 12 for next year. Hey! 12 guys on scholarship! We’re usually playing with ten or less! I’m cool with JJ bringing in one more guy for this class, but if he can’t land anyone he likes, perfectly fine with him saving it for 2014.

    I think the man is off to a good start.

  • http://chrishatcher.weebly.com Chris Hatcher

    Yeah, I agree with pretty much everything you say Chris. I may not be as high as you on the recruits, but the fact is they’re bodies. Also, he has managed to land some guys who are legitimately talented but have flown under the radar of some other programs. But whether that is his long term recruiting plan or if he has just done it by necessity is unclear.

  • King

    I agree with Chris. Washington & Marquette are perennial tourney teams who know a thing or two about talent (Brandon Roy & Dwayne Wade). More than anything, it’s a departure from the norm of what I’ve become accustomed to as a fan of Hokie football & basketball. Most notably, a reluctance to compete for recruits on a national level, outside of the VA/DC/NC footprint. I’m very intrigued by the wide recruiting net that JJ is casting. I know there will be some bumps along the way but I’m excited for a fresh new start & new direction for the program.

    • http://chrishatcher.weebly.com Chris Hatcher

      King, I don’t think Greenberg was reluctant to recruit outside Tech’s natural recruiting area, but generally speaking, kids go close to home (with the exception of several top programs) and even more so, kids that go to ACC schools are from the ACC’s geographical footprint. Recruiting nationally, especially for a school the caliber of Tech on the basketball court, is always going to a lot of risk. In Tech’s case, it is more often risk than reward. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with the area Greenberg recruited in (though I would’ve liked to see him utilize the Hampton Roads area more). North Carolina, Virginia and D.C. are generally good basketball recruiting states, and states like Maryland (particularly the Baltimore area), Georgia and Florida, the next most frequent states the Hokies received commitments from, are very good basketball hubs as well. I think if Johnson has success, he’ll narrow the scope a little, because as you said, he cast a wide net. And as of right now, that is borne of necessity.

      • King

        You make good points. I get it. Regardless of the reason, he took a chance and got out there. Recruiting is a young man’s game and clearly JJ and his staff have demonstrated their willingness to hit the pavement. The DC/VA/NC footprint is rich with talent but not when we are forced to pick up leftover scraps from the likes of traditional ACC powers such as Duke, NC State, & UNC. This is evidenced by one tourney appearance in Greenberg’s tenure. I would love for VT to one day become an attractive destination for players from all over the country. Only way to do that is to win consistently and the only way to do that, in my opinion, is to cast a wider net to find those diamonds in the rough, and not just settle for what’s available in a certain radius. The point I was trying to make is that I hope the 2013 class represents a sign of things to come and not, as you proffer, just something borne out of necessity. Only time will tell. Cheers.

  • RK in Roanoke

    I wonder if the wider net for recruiting is a philosophical change or one borne of necessity due to the late start.
    Either way, I like the results. With the exception of the real big names who will be one and done somewhere else, it is hard to project 15 year olds (HS sophomores) into 20 year olds. One of my harshest criticisms of Seth was that the guys did not improve through their time at VT. Having player growth and casting a wider net can lead to some good things down the road. I wish him luck, especially on teaching basketball to these young men.

  • goodraisin

    Niemo, I wonder with JJ’s recruiting and the way the team is starting to set up, do you think he’s going back to the old-school Greenberg style of playing with two combo-guards rather than one pure PG? From what I’ve read, Donte Clark is being recruited as a combo guard, Adam Smith fits that mold, and Robert Brown can also serve in that capacity.

    • hokiegrad

      too early to say, picking from a limited pool of what’s left at this point for this class. We’ll have to see what he does with next year’s class.

  • Ryan

    I actually think Tech could surprise people this year. Though they do not have much depth I really like their starting line-up. You can do it with 8 players but that is assuming you have no injuries, and we all know how lucky Tech has been on that front recently… So here is to health and a fun year.

    • goodraisin

      I agree, if VT can stay mostly injury-free, which is a big task as our past has shown, they can be a competitive team in the ACC this year. There will be injuries… you just hope that they are day-to-day injuries rather than broken bones, torn ligaments, and torn muscles. JJ was apparently pushing Joey Racer hard in the Saturday morning practice that was open to the public and I’ve heard some speculation on other web sites (Will Stewart at TSL) that this is because he’s going to ask Joey to contribute actual quality minutes this year. Sounds like a reasonable guess to me. Our starting 5 is as good as anyone in the ACC… the success of our season will come down to how much we can count on our backups to hold the fort.

  • Jack

    I was very impressed with Marshall Wood at the open practice last Saturday. He’s going to provide valuable minutes at a couple of positions this season. He also strokes it, and who doesn’t love that?

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