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Class of 2015 (Early Signing Period) Wrap-Up

The three committed members of Virginia Tech’s Class of 2015 have now all put ink to paper, signing their Letters of Intent, meaning there is now a 90% chance they will be Hokies (assuming something doesn’t happen to cause either side to opt out of their LOI).  Let’s look at the class by the numbers. Oh, and FYI: Tech already has 11 scholarship players on-board and the NCAA limit is 13, meaning someone on scholarship, or one of these recruits, can’t be around for the 2015-16 season.

Player Home State Pos Height Rivals 247 ESPN
Kerry Blackshear Florida F 6’8″ 3* (#110) 4* (#75) 4*
Chris Clarke Virginia SF 6’6″ 4* (#59) 4* (#41) 4* (#63)
Justin Robinson VA/MD PG 6’1″ 3* 3* (#141) 3*

Another solid class for Buzz.  Clarke is obviously the headliner, and in dramatic fashion.  In the last 13 days he’s committed to tennessee, flipped to VT, and signed with VT.  He was the clear cut #1 player in the state, too.  Don’t think that’s important?  While home turf isn’t as big in basketball as football, Buzz did show a propensity to sign the top kids from Wisconsin while at marquette (Buzz the Recruiter) — he signed four 4-stars and a 5-star from the Cheese State in 6 years.  Creating a local pipeline and starting to make us “Virginia’s Basketball School” is going to take time, but starts with this.  Let’s just hope it turns out better than some previous in-state signings, like Marquie Cooke and Doo-Doo Finney-Smith.

Robinson gives Tech a point guard of the future and Blackshear isn’t chopped liver, either.  Rivals ‘only’ rates him as a 3-star, but has him #110 overall in the class.  The Hokies will take that caliber of a 3-star any day.  247sports has all three Tech signees rated in the Top 150.

Major props to Buzz.  Before even coaching a game at VT he’s brought in two Top 75 players (Ahmed Hill and Clarke), two more consensus Top 150 guys (Justin Bibbs and Kerry Blackshear), a stud transfer in Seth Allen, a JUCO transfer at a position of need (forward Shane Henry), a big man in Satchel Pierce, another quality transfer (forward Zach LeDay), and two solid guards in Jalen Hudson and Justin Robinson.  Not too shabby for a guy taking over a program that has finished last in the ACC three years in a row and was 2-16 last year (and is just 1-17 this calendar year).  These recruiting wins can’t help but turn into wins on the court.

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Chris Clarke Flips to the Hokies!

ChrisClarke_largeThe Clark(e)s keep on flippin’!  If your last name is Clark(e) and you are a 4-star recruit from VA, chances are you swapped a SEC school for VT this week.  First OL Austin Clark, now Virginia Tech received one of their biggest commitments in years when Chris Clarke, a 6’6″ wing player (could play SG or SF) from Cape Henry Collegiate School in Virginia Beach flipped his commitment from tennessee (he just committed there a week ago) to the Hokies on Thursday.  Chris is a solid 4-star recruit and the second Boo Williams player in this class, along with Justin Robinson (point guard).  Tech now has three commitments in the 2015 class as Clarke joins 3-stars Robinson and Kerry Blackshear (power forward).

Check out Clarke’s rankings nationally by the major services:

  • #41 overall, #9 shooting guard, #1 in Virginia (4-star)
  • #59 overall (4-star)
  • ESPN: #63 overall, #12 small forward, #1 in VA (4-star)
  •’s Composite Rankings: #60 overall, #17 shooting guard, #1 in VA

Clarke chose the Hokies over defending National Champion uconn, creighton and, of course, tennessee (he was a vol for a week).  He averaged 18.2 PPG, 10 RPG, 7 APG, and 3 steals as a junior.  Cape Henry went 26-1, losing to Paul VI Catholic School in the VISAA Division 1 State Championship Game.

Here are some highlight videos of him…

Check out the block at 0:55…

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Hokies Land 2015 Recruit – Forward Kerry Blackshear

Virginia Tech now has a 2015 basketball commit* in Kerry Blackshear, a 6’8″ or 6’9″ forward between 220-225 lbs. from Maynard Evans High School in Orlando, FL.

Blackshear is a great get from the Sunshine State. rates him the #75 overall player in the Class of 2015 and the #21 small forward (and a 4-star). ranks him as the #109 player in his class, and a 3-star overall (they cut off 4-stars at #105).  ESPN rates him a 4-star and the #27 power forward.  It will be seen as to whether Buzz plays Kerry at the 3 or the 4 spot (or both), but Kerry seems to have attributes that could work at both.

Tech beat out schools like smu and arkansas, and ACC foes bc, miami, and clemson for Blackshear.

Kerry’s teammate, C.J. Williamson, also has a Tech offer and the Hokies are considered to be a strong candidate for his services.

*I didn’t say first commit of 2015 because Warren Craft of Roanoke had previously been committed to the Hokies, but that changed when Buzz came in and they decided to move on.

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Juco Forward Shane Henry Commits to VT

Buzz Williams has kept the fax machines busy in the ‘Burg since his arrival, getting a commitment from 6’8″ forward Shane Henry.  Shane is completing his Associate’s Degree at georgia perimeter community college (no relationship to Hollywood Upstairs Medical College) and will join the Hokies late this summer assuming all goes well.  He will have two years of eligibility remaining after playing two seasons for gpcc.  And I believe he is Tech’s first Juco recruit since Justin Holt way back in Seth Greenberg’s first full class in 2004 (Justin never played for VT before being dismissed).

Shane is described as long and lean (hey, we’re used to that here).  He averaged 13.2 PPG this past season, 12.5 RPG, and blocked an eye-popping 136 shots in 29 games.  That’s a cool 4.7 swats per contest.  Obviously that’s at the Juco level, but still.  That should help lessen the loss of Thompson and complement JvZ in the paint.  Those 136 blocks were 3rd nationally, to go along with his double-double he averaged per game.

In a game against hated rival central georgia technical college, he had a triple double with 20 points (8/12 FGs), 15 rebounds, and 15 blocks in a 79-78 loss.  He also had 7 turnovers, but hey, those are some serious stats.  He had a triple double in his first game of the season, too.

After shooting 58.6% from the field as a freshman (tops in his conference) and averaging 9.4 ppg and 6.9 rpg, his shooting percentage dropped to the mid-51% range last season, still solid.


In all, Buzz has now convinced five players to become Hokies with three eligible to play next year (Ahmed Hill, Satchel Pierce, and Henry plus Seth Allen and Zach LeDay who will sit next year as transfers), kept two existing signees who can play next year (Justin Bibbs and Jalen Hudson), lost three current players to transfers (TT, 3-Wood, and Kirby) and let two signees/verbals move on (Lang and Craft).  So he’s a very solid +2 by my count.


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Hokies Receive 2 Huge Commitments (Literally)

Head Coach Buzz Williams got his first two commitments as the head dog in Blacksburg, and Hokie fans won’t have to wait long to see them.  Ahmed Hill, a 6’4″/6’5″ shooting guard, and Satchel Pierce, a 6’10″/7′ 250 lbs. center both committed to Tech over the weekend.  Both are members of the Class of 2014 and replace T.J. Lang (released from his Letter of Intent by VT) and Trevor Thompson (transferring).

Ahmed, from Georgia, is the gold star here.  He is a 4-star and top 100 recruit according to (#69 overall), ESPN Recruiting Nation (#54), and (#61).  Pierce, from Pennsylvania, is a big piece, too, as he will help fill the void of losing Thompson.  He was rated a 3-star by most services.

Both had previously been committed to marquette and Hill had signed with the golden eagles.  Hill was recently released from his LOI by marquette, and somewhat surprisingly, they didn’t put in a clause that prevented him from following Buzz to Blacksburg.

Hill is listed anywhere from 6-4 to 6-5 on different services, but either way, good size for an off-guard and adds to an already tall lineup for VT.  Pierce is listed anywhere from 6’10” to 7-foot.

Also, Justin Bibbs has been on the rise, rocketing up to #70 on the ESPN Recruiting Nation rankings.  Tech now has three shooting guards in this 2014 class.

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T.J. Lang Reportedly Signs Release from VT

I’m always wary of posting stories related to articles done on April Fool’s Day, but this one at least appears genuine (much more so than the Jay Wright to bc thing).  According to this free article, Class of 2014 signee T.J. Lang has signed his release, terminating his binding Letter of Intent with Virginia Tech.  He is now free to sign with any school.  The article has some more specifics on it and does mention he may still consider VT if Buzz pursues him more aggressively.

And if this is an April Fool’s Day prank, it is not mine, I can promise you that.

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Warren Craft of Roanoke Decommits from VT

According to this free article, guard Warren Craft (currently a junior at William Fleming in Roanoke) has re-opened his recruitment and it is unlikely he will end up a Hokie when he signs year as a Class of 2015 prospect.

Warren Craft was James Johnson’s first verbal commitment as the Head Coach of the Hokies, committing back in 2012 a few months after James took the job.  At that time VT was his first, and only, offer.  Craft battled an injury this pasts season.

I have no inside info but my guess is this was a mutual decision.  I have to believe a coach like Buzz wants his own guys and wanted to give Craft as much time as possible to find another landing spot if Buzz felt like VT wasn’t best for him.  Or perhaps Warren simply didn’t have the same warm fuzzy with Buzz that he did with JJ.

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#1 Montverde, Justin Bibbs Lose First Game of the Year

Montverde Academy, ranked #1 in the nation at 18-0 (23 straight wins overall), lost for the first time this season to #7 Curie HS (SW Chicago) on Monday afternoon by a 73-69 score.  Montverde led by 10 in the 4th quarter but Cliff Alexander took over the game.  The #1 PF recruit (#3 overall) according to ESPN scored 30 points, had 13 rebounds, and 5 blocks, including several thunderous jams.  Alexander is headed to kansas next year.

Virginia Tech signee Justin Bibbs had 7 points on the game on 3/5 shooting.  The lefty was 1/2 on 3-pointers for the game.  He played just half the game and logged only 5-and-a-half minutes in the second half, including just 2 in the fourth quarter.  Montverde does feature 7 D1 signees this year including D’Angelo Russell (the #1 SG going to ohio state) and have the #4 overall player for next year’s class.  So Bibbs isn’t exactly the featured cog in their lineup.

Bibbs has a weird stroke on his 3s (sort of flings it and from what I could tell his elbow wasn’t in), but those are things he can work on next year.  I kind of like that he isn’t “the man” for Montverde.  Likely that means he’ll be more humble and hard-working than guys that have been BMOC their whole high school career.  Bibbs is listed at 6’5″ and while he’s not that tall (no one is as tall as listed), he does have good size for an off-guard or wing player at VT.  He’ll be a tad short though to play small forward and I’m sure that’s why many sites list his as a shooting guard, which is where I’m sure he’ll end up.  He is not a point guard, though.

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Class of 2014 Update – Game Stats

TJ Lang

TJ Lang

Updated Jan. 9, 2014 (Thanks, Tom, for the links!)…

Here are some updates on how Virginia Tech’s three signees for the Class of 2014 are doing in their senior seasons:

  • Justin Bibbs – Despite the fact he plays for Montverde Academy near Orlando, FL and the #1 team in the nation according to MaxPreps (#2 in the USA Today Preseason Super 25), I was able to find stats for just eight of his games.  He’s averaging 14.8 ppg in those contests and seems to be a decent 3-point shooter (has made 4 threes in a game twice).  His team is 14-0 on the season.
  • Jalen Hudson – I found stats for 9 of his 10 St. Vincent’s/St. Mary’s games so far this year.  He is averaging 18.8 ppg in those 9 contests with a high of 28 (he made 6 three-pointers in that game).  His Fighting Irish team got off to a rough start and stands at just 4-6, but they just got back their star player, V.J. King, who is rated #6 in the Class of 2016 by ESPN.
  • T.J. Lang – Based on the 12 games I was able to find stats for, the 6’7″ small forward is averaging 16.9 ppg for McGill-Toolen in Mobile, AL.  His team is 12-5 overall.  I would expect his points per game average is less than that, though, as his team only shows the top scorers for each contest.  But he is regularly scoring in the teens with a high of 23 points on the season.  As a junior, T.J. averaged 17.1 ppg and 4.9 rebounds.

Here are the scores for each of their games along with the stats I was able to find for them:

Jalen Hudson
Date Points Note   Result
1/3/2014 15 7 rebounds Win 87-61
12/31/2013  17 Loss 74-64
12/28/2013  21 Win 74-58
12/27/2013 14 Win 79-58
12/23/2013  16 Loss 73-57
12/21/2013 16 3/14 FGs, 10/14 FTs  Loss 76-64
12/20/2013  28  Made 6 three-ptrs Loss 52-45
12/14/2013 Loss 53-52
12/13/2013 24 Loss 72-59
12/3/2013 18 Made two 3s Win 80-53
18.8 ppg   Team: 4-6
T.J. Lang
Date Points Note   Result
1/3/2014 Win 51-43
12/28/2013 11 Loss 50-40
12/27/2013 Win 54-48
12/20/2013 12 Loss 54-46
12/18/2013 Win
12/14/2013 22 Win 78-67
12/13/2013 19 Loss 59-55
12/6/2013 13 Win 43-42
12/3/2013 18 Win 60-55
11/26/2013 19 Win 50-46
11/25/2013 20 Win 51-50
11/19/2013 15 Win 55-50
11/16/2013 12 1 made 3-ptr Loss 58-42
11/14/2013 Win 58-53
11/13/2013 Win 48-39
11/7/2013 23 Win 70-52
11/5/2013  19 Loss 53-47
16.9 ppg   Team: 12-5
Justin Bibbs      
Date Points Note   Result
1/4/2014 Win 74-46
12/30/2013 11 Win 83-60
12/28/2013 Win 78-46
12/27/2013 Win 98-39
12/23/2013  12  4/9 FG, 1/4 3s, 3/4 FT, 5 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl  Win 58-53
12/21/2013  13  6/14 FG, 1/3 3s, 2 stl, 1 reb  Win 58-51
12/20/2013  14 6/11 FG, 1/6 3s, 1/2 FT, 2 rebs, 1 stl  Win 74-70
12/19/2013  15  5/9 FG, 4/6 3s, 1/2 FT, 2 rebs/ast/stl  Win 77-42
12/7/2013 19  10 rebounds Win 91-56
12/6/2013 Win 91-73
11/30/2013  18  4 made 3-ptrs Win 80-54
11/29/2013 Win 102-59
11/23/2013 Win 84-47
11/22/2013  16 Win 76-53
 TOTALS  14.8 ppg Team: 14-0


Posted in Recruiting News5 Comments

Jalen Hudson Commits to Hokies for 2014

Jalen Hudson, a 6’4″/6’5″ shooting guard, committed to the Hokies late last week.  He’s the third member of the Class of 2014 for VT and goes to St. Vincent/St. Mary (yes, Lebron James’s alma mater in Akron, OH).  He doesn’t have quite the same fanfare though, he’s a 3-star recruit (#40 SG according to ESPN) who had a bunch of offers from mid-majors and chose VT over an offer from arkansas of the SEC.

Tech now has two off-guards and a small forward in next year’s class. All are in the 3-star range.

FYI: No relation to Dorenzo Hudson, either.

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Another Commit – SF T.J. Lang

The Hokies received their second commitment in a week for the Class of 2014 when 6’7″ T.J. Lang pledged to the Hokies over offers from okie state and memphis among others.

Lang is the son of Antonio Lang, a 2-time national champ at duke in the early 90s. (Wow, it is scary when the sons of guys you remember playing in college when you were in school are now coming through.)

T.J. is another 3-star recruit on

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2014 SG Justin Bibbs Commits to VT

The Hokies have received a commitment from Justin Bibbs, a 6’5″ shooting guard who was originally from Ohio but now plays in Florida. has Bibbs as a 3-star and their #142 player overall in the Class of 2014.  ESPN Recruiting Nation also has him as a 3-star and the #32 shooting guard in his class.

Bibbs is the first member of the 2014 class for Virginia Tech and chose VT over offers from xavier, dayton, and cincinnati from his home state of Ohio.

Posted in Recruiting News17 Comments

Guard Devin Wilson Commits to VT for Class of 2013

The Virginia Tech basketball Class of 2013 is now complete.  With Robert Brown’s transfer, another spot opened up and guard Devin Wilson from Montour HS in McKees Rock, PA (basically Pittsburgh) has committed to the Hokies and could sign as early as Wednesday, April 17th when the spring signing period begins.

Wilson is listed at 6’4″ so has good size, necessary in the ACC.  Both Clark and Emelogu are also 6’4″, and Muller from Germany is a metric 6’3″, so it is a tall guard class.

Wilson had offers in both football (nc state, temple, akron, and ohio) and basketball (wvu, george mason, st. joe’s, some CAA and MAAC schools, etc.) but decided to go with hoops and the Hokies.  He was a 2-star wide receiver in football, and a 3-star guard in basketball according to  ESPN Recruiting Nation didn’t give him a grade (i.e. not a 3-star) but at least had an article about it.  If you subscribe to ESPN you can read it.

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Trevor Thompson ESBC All-Star Game Recap and Pictures

Trevor and Niemo (I'm 6'1")

Trevor and Niemo (I’m 6’1″)

Virginia Tech Class of 2013 signee Trevor Thompson participated in the 2013 Elite Showcase Basketball Classic on Sunday, March 24th at trinity university in Washington, DC.  Donte Clark was also supposed to participate in the game but was a no-show (I asked Trevor after the game and he had no idea why Clark wasn’t there).

Trevor had the best first half of anyone in the game.  He had 13 points on 6/10 shooting, 1/2 free throws, 6 rebounds, and one block.  Both the points and rebounds were the most of anyone in the game at the break.  He was much quieter in the second half, though, with just 2 points on 1/3 FGs, 1 steal and 1 assist.  He finished the game with 15 points on 7/13 FGs, 1/2 FTs, 7 rebounds, and 1 steal, block, and assist.  His 7 FGs included 3 dunks, 2 putbacks, a turnaround bank shot from 6-8 feet, and a 10-12 foot jumper.  He missed other 3 or 4 jumpshots including one that Dodd swatted right back in his face but he ended up getting a dunk out of it.

Thompson In-Game Dunk Part 1

Thompson In-Game Dunk Part 1

Thompson is listed as a center but I don’t feel he’s quite ready to be a big man in the low post just yet.  He needs to add some weight to his frame but is athletic.  I’d call him a stretch-4 at this point.  Not quite as tall as JvZ and with more weight already than Joey had last year, and more polished as a scorer.  Trevor isn’t afraid to face the basket from 12-18 feet away, but his jumper has a weird, clockwise-spin on it (as opposed to backspin) that he’ll need to fix as he progresses.

He didn’t show a lot of post moves, but this was an all-star game, they aren’t exactly feeding the post a lot.  He did show a short hook to his right and a turnaround jumper in the post.  Trevor didn’t show the tenacity on the glass we’ll need him to have, but again, this was an all-star game.  You don’t expect to see it but hopefully he has it.

Thompson In-Game Dunk Part 2

Thompson In-Game Dunk Part 2

My buddy Pete also noted he has bad posture a lot of the time on the court so he hides his height to a degree.  As you can see in the pictures of him and me, he towers over me (I’m 6’1″ – a real 6’1″).  So I’d put him at a legit 6’9″, or probably 6’10” or 6’11” in “basketball height”.  If he can add weight, he could be a force.

The all-star game featured no Top 150 recruits (since Clark wasn’t there).  It had mostly 2 and 3-star prospects who all would be playing at the next level, but mostly at low-to-mid-majors such as navy, holy cross, niagara, vmi, manhattan, and duquesne.  Some of the 3-stars will be going to providence, arizona, and kansas (Frank Mason, who VT really thought they were going to get).

Trevor and Dodd in the low post

Trevor and Dodd in the low post

One player of note was Damonte Dodd, a 6’9″ 230 lbs. center going to maryland.  I’d say Trevor was an inch or two taller, but Dodd was clearly more physical than Thompson, dunking on him once and swatting Trevor’s shots twice.  But Thompson was more athletic than Dodd and was able to beat him to the hoop a couple of times on nice feeds.  Trevor will have to beef up to compete with bigs that size though — and Dodd isn’t even in college yet.  Schools like pitt and syracuse and unc will have guys at least Dodd’s size that Trevor will have to bang with down low.  I would rate Dodd as the better player today because he’s more physically ready for the ACC, but Trevor may have more upside because he’s more versatile and active on offense (can step away from the hoop).

The most visually appealing player was Harold Givens.  He could literally jump out of the gym and put on a show in pregame dunks.  He is considering several SEC schools and miami, ga tech, and uva (boo).

Thompson Pre-Game Dunk Part 1

Thompson Pre-Game Dunk Part 1

Trevor’s team lost on a tip-in at the buzzer to cap an exciting ending to the game.  Approximately 120 people were there (I literally counted everyone there at one point).

Not pictured is all the chili and cheese I spilled on myself from the half-smoke I got there (it was embarrassing).




Thompson Pre-Game Dunk Part 2

Thompson Pre-Game Dunk Part 2









Monster Pre-Game Dunk

Monster Pre-Game Dunk


Posted in Recruiting News4 Comments

Ben Emelogu and South Grand Prairie Lose Texas State Title Game

VT signee, 6’5″ guard Ben Emelogu, and his South Grand Prairie High School team lost the Texas 5A (highest level) State Championship Game 46-38 to Ford Bend Travis at u of texas in Austin. Ben led SGP with 13 points, right on his team leading 13.5 ppg average.

SGP finishes the season at 38-4.

Posted in Home, Recruiting News1 Comment

Ben Emelogu and South Grand Prairie Reach Texas 5A State Finals

EmeloguSemi EmeloguSemi1 EmeloguSemi2Class of 2013 Virginia Tech signee Ben Emelogu helped his South Grand Prairie team to a 60-42 win over Cibolo Steele on Friday in a Texas 5A (the highest level in Texas) State Semi-Final game.  The 6’5″ guard scored 14 points for the Warriors, second most on his team.

SGP is now 38-3 on the season and will play Fort Bend Travis in the State Championship game on Saturday night (8:30 PM CST) at the u of texas’s Frank Erwin Center in Austin… Austin, Massachusetts.

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