Archive | Recruiting News

Hokies Add More Beef – 2013 Center Maurice Kirby Commits to VT

This coming season, like many over the last 10 years, will see the Hokies struggling with the fact they have almost no depth on the interior post.  Well, Coach Johnson is trying to doing something about that, at least for the future.  Tech got a commitment from 6’9″, 230 lbs. Maurice Kirby out of Arizona.  Kirby originally committed to arizona state to be close to home (Chandler, AZ is just southeast of Phoenix and a few miles from Tempe, where asu is), but later re-opened his recruitment.

Kirby might be a huge recruit physically, but he was not a big recruit nationally.  Tech beat out the likes of northern arizona, loyola-chicago, and brown to get him.  He is rated just a 2-star by Rivals and ESPN Recruiting Nation (#37 center on the ESPN list), and wasn’t rated at all by 247Sports.  Still, we need beef, and he’ll bring that.  Is Kirby a project or was he just undervalued?  Time will tell, but probably worth the gamble given Tech has 5 scholarships available this year and Maurice is just the third commit (along with another center, Trevor Thompson, and wing Donte Clark).

Roanoke Times Article

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Recruiting News5 Comments

Hokies Miss Out on Key Target – Frank Mason

Virginia Tech felt really good about their chances of landing Frank Mason, a 5’11″ point guard who is ranked #131 overall by Rivals.com in the Class of 2013.  Mason, from Petersburg, VA and the same high school as Cadarian Raines, originally committed to towson university, but decided to go to Massanutten Military Academy for a post-grad year.  He re-opened his recruitment, but verballed to kansas after a visit to Lawrence this past weekend.

Tech currently has two recruits in their Class of 2013 (G Donte Clark and F/C Trevor Thompson).  They only have nine scholarship players on the roster for this coming season (eight active plus transfer Adam Smith), and we know they’ll lose at least one player (Erick Green) after this season.  That means VT could sign up to five players in this class and still fit within the NCAA limit of 13 scholarships.

Posted in Recruiting News8 Comments

Hokies Land 4-Star Donte Clark for Class of ’13

Coach James Johnson landed his arguably best recruit to date (out of three), getting a verbal commitment from 6’4″ wing Donte Clark.  Clark is yet another kid from Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, VA, bridging that pipeline that started with former Coach Greenberg.  Clark is listed by some services as a small forward (though he’d be very short in the ACC for that) or as a shooting guard.  In other words, expect him to play on the wing.

Donte is low 4-star prospect on average.  ESPN Recruiting Nation ranks him the highest, with Donte at 4 stars, #82 overall in the class, and the #13 small forward.  Rivals has Clark as a 4-star and the #101 prospect in the country, and #27 among shooting guards.  247 Sports rates him the lowest at 3-stars and #112 in the nation, and the #27 shooting guard.

Clark joins big man Trevor Thompson as Class of 2013 commitments for the Hokies.  Donte is originally from Charlotte, another hot bed of Tech recruits of late (JT Thompson, Dorenzo Hudson, and Marquis Rankin).

Posted in Recruiting News19 Comments

Trevor Thompson Commits to VT

The Hokies, and Head Coach James Johnson, have secured their first Class of 2013 commitment.  Trevor Thompson, a 6’10″ center, pledged to the Hokies on Tuesday.  He attends St. Johns Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin.

Thompson is rated a 3-star recruit by Rivals and 247Sports, but was not rated by ESPN Recruiting Nation or Scout.  Thompson will be a post-grad this season after completing his eligibility at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.  Trevor’s stock has been on the rise over the summer and so his ratings could improve.

Thompson’s commitment is critical for the Hokies, as it begins to address their seemingly never-ending lack of depth in the post.

According to articles on the Indianapolis Star and Roanoke Times, Thompson had not been on the varsity squad for a full season until this past season, his senior year at Ben Davis, an Indiana power.  He averaged 10 points, 8 boards, and almost 4 blocks per game.  Needless to say, he is either a late bloomer or a work in progress.

Thompson is originally from Reston, VA, having attended South Lakes High School previously (Grant Hill, Joey Beard, etc.).

Posted in Recruiting News22 Comments

Coach Johnson Gets 1st Commit – SG Warren Craft (2015)

VT Head Coach James Johnson is on the board!  He has his first commit… 3 years from now.  Class of 2015 shooting guard Warren Craft from nearby William Fleming in Roanoke, VA has committed to the Hokies.  He’ll be a sophomore this coming year in high school.  Craft is 6’2″ already, so he should have good size for an off-guard by the time he gets to college.

I saw a note where Craft is the first rising sophomore in the nation to verbally commit anywhere.

Here’s a ROANOKE TIMES ARTICLE with more about Craft’s commitment…

“Craft averaged 12.3 points and 3.0 assists per game as a freshman while shooting 82 percent from the free throw line and 33 percent from 3-point range.”

And here’s a ROANOKE TIMES ARTICLE from January about how amazing Warren’s story is (he was born prematurely at less than 2 lbs.).  There are pics of him in the story.

Posted in Recruiting News6 Comments

Harrell to louisville

One time Virginia Tech 2012 signee Montrezl Harrell has committed to Rick Pitino and louisville.

Posted in Recruiting News27 Comments

Montrezl Harrell: Today’s the Day

We should know the fate of prized recruit Montrezl Harrell by the end of the day.  That day being Wednesday, May 16th.  Today is the final day of the NCAA basketball regular signing period according to THIS WEBSITE.  So if he wants to play ball next year, one would think Harrell will have to declare his intentions, and sign, today.  Now, there could be provisions for when a student-athlete is released from a Letter of Intent, but I don’t know of them if there are any.

I really don’t know if Montrezl is still considering the Hokies or not.  According to THIS ARTICLE he hasn’t been released from his Letter of Intent, which he needs to sign with another school.  The article claims kentucky is seriously considering Harrell.

Either way, I wouldn’t get your hopes up too much, but we should at least know the final answer soon.  Real soon.

Posted in Recruiting News24 Comments

Farewell Harrell

The Richmond Times Dispatch is reporting that 2012 signee, forward Montrezl Harrell, has asked for his release. Harrell was a top 100 recruit according to every service, and would have plugged a huge hole inside next year. Instead, like seemingly every other year, Tech will have no depth in the post. Only Raines, Barksdale, and JVG return as true post players. Signee Marshall Wood, who is 6’8″ but more of a perimeter player who does not have the bulk yet to battle inside in the ACC, may be forced to play the 4 at times.

Posted in Home, Recruiting News26 Comments

A Look at VT’s Top Recruits Since 2004

In the Greenberg Era, Seth was able to sign 8 recruits ranked in the Top 100 according to Rivals.com.  They were:

  • 2004 – Marquie Cooke – #57
  • 2006 – Lewis Witcher – #99
  • 2007 – Jeff Allen – #77
  • 2007 – Malcolm Delaney – #89
  • 2010 – Jarell Eddie – #70
  • 2011 – Dorian Finney-Smith – #31
  • 2011 – Robert Brown – #82
  • 2011 – C.J. Barksdale – #99

Arguably, Cooke and Finney-Smith were the two biggest on that list, and not just because they had the highest rating.  Yes, Jeff Allen was a huge, national recruit, too, with experience at Dematha and Oak Hill, but I’ll still put Cooke and DFS above him.

Cooke was seen as a huge get for Virginia Tech back in 2004, Seth’s first full year of recruiting.  Cooke was from the 757 and played in the prestigious Boo Williams AAU program.  Tech didn’t get Boo kids in the ricky stokes reign.  But Marquie instantly appeared to be a headcase and was kicked off the team after one season.  He transferred to colorado state and was quickly booted from there.  Cooke finally finished out his college career this past season playing for elizabeth city state university in North Carolina (“Lots of people go to college for 8 years,”  “Yeah, they’re called doctors.”).

Finney-Smith was regarded as Tech’s biggest recruit since Dell Curry, Tech’s last (and probably only) McDonald’s All-American.   Doe Doe wasn’t a McDonald’s All-American but was right on the cusp of it, along with near 5-star status.  He struggle at times this past season, missing 25 straight shots early on in ACC play (he didn’t make a FG in a 5 game stretch between ACC game #3 through 7), but did get better at the end of the season and made the ACC All-Freshmen Team.  Yet, now Doe Doe is extinct in terms of Hokie status.

It is hard to say how much was Seth’s fault in either case, and we’ll likely never know.  But it isn’t a great trend (well, if you can call 2 guys a trend).  You could look at the positive side and say that of the 3 guys on that list above that stayed all 4 years, 2 of those 3 (Allen and Delaney) garnered multiple All-ACC honors (Allen as a freshman and senior, Delaney his last 3 years including back-to-back First Team All-ACC honors).  Plus, Dorenzo Hudson, who was top 100 on some lists and #110 with Rivals, also was named 2nd Team All-ACC his junior year.  But…

The charge for Coach Johnson will be not only getting top 100 recruits, but keeping them.  Can Tech only get the problem childs of top recruits?  The malcontents?  We’ll see.  But clearly the issue for Coach Johnson starting today will be landing those top guys (VA has 3 top 100 recruits in the 2013 Class) and getting them to the graduation podium.

Posted in Recruiting News8 Comments

One Down, One To Go: Signee Marshall Wood Re-Ups With VT

Newly appointed Head Coach James Johnson picked up his first recruiting win on Wednesday, or in baseball terms, maybe we should call it a ‘save’.  Johnson was able to convince 2012 signee, forward MARSHALL WOOD, to re-commit to the Hokies.  Wood, a 3-star prospect who at 6’8″ is also a talented 3-point shooter, had asked for his release.  But several outlets, including Twitter, have reported that Wood is solid as mahogany with Tech.

Now Coach Johnson needs to play Mariano Rivera and get the prized recruit, 4-star forward MONTREZL HARRELL, to stick with the Hokies.

Posted in Recruiting News24 Comments

2012 Signee Marshall Wood to Ask for Release, Possibly Montrezl Harrell, Too

Update:  Rumors are swirling that Montrezl Harrell will ask for his release, too.  I’ve seen rumors about him and kentucky, cincinnati, xavier, and more.  But again, if VT can get a coach in place soon and get him in front of the guys, VT may be able to keep them.  The basketball signing period ends May 16th so that means these guys have to be inked by 3 weeks from today, putting urgency on VT and them to make decisions.

When you have a coaching change, there is always a high risk of losing players.  With Coach Greenberg fired, the first potential person to jump ship is 2012 signee Marshall Wood, a forward from Rustburg, VA.  This is all according to my sources and this ROANOKE TIMES ARTICLE.  Marshall will apparently ask for his release from his binding Letter of Intent, which universities usually grant when there’s a coaching change.

Marshall was ranked a 3-star recruit by most services, and the lesser of Tech’s two signees (Montrezl Harrell was the more prized recruit).  But Wood seems to have great potential.  He is a fantastic 3-point shooter for a big man (6’8″) and also has explosive leaping ability.

There is a chance he’ll still sign with VT, but I think the odds of that are 50/50 at best and very much depends on who VT hires and how soon.

Keeping Harrell will also be key as he certainly has options.

MARSHALL WOOD PROFILE

Posted in Recruiting News49 Comments

Observations on Harrell and More from the Capital Classic

MONTREZL HARRELL, one of two VT signees in the Class 2012, played in the 39th annual Capital Classic on Saturday at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA. Harrell was named MVP of the game while playing for the U.S. All-Stars, leading them to a 105-93 win. It was Harrell’s 2nd MVP honor in as many weekends while playing in an all-star game.

The Capital Classic has included many Hokies in recent years, including Malcolm Delaney, Jeff Allen, Dorenzo Hudson, and Dorian Finney-Smith. It used to be one of the premier high school all star games as recently as 10 years ago, but has fallen down the ladder due to lack of big sponsorship. Still, it is a quality game and good experience.

It should be noted that scouting services are taking notice – Harrell has moved slightly up the Rivals and ESPN rankings (in the 80s nationally), while falling just slightly in the Scout rankings (#72 overall nationally). He’s #78 in 247sports’ rankings.

Our good buddy and regular poster, Hokie Guru, went to the 2012 Capital Classic on Saturday and had this report… (Thanks, Guru!)

From Hokie Guru: Yesterday, I had the good fortune of seeing Montrezl Harrell play in the Capital Classic. Here are a few observations:

  • By my account, Montrezl had 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists – an excellent line for someone who will be playing for the four spot.
  • Our incoming recruit has a high basketball IQ – I think he’s smart, heady player – this isn’t a guy that’s going to get us a technical at inopportune times.
  • He has an excellent all-around offensive game – he can shoot from anywhere on the floor, but he’s more effective in the post. Yesterday, he had some monster dunks – yes, monster – alley oops, a windmill, etc. But he was also 50% from 3-point land.
  • Montrezl is very athletic – he plays above the rim – I think it’s premature on some of the observations that he’s like Dominque Wilkins (alas, Hokies’ expectations are always through the roof) – at the same time, I think he can get there if his ball-handling skills improve (we should keep in mind that he’s not even on campus at Virginia Tech yet). Among the big men last night, though, Montrezl stood out.
  • He has a knack for making the right pass.
  • For a big man, his court vision is excellent.
  • At this stage of the game, I think he’s far better than Jeff Allen was as a freshman – and he’s in better physical shape.
  • Montrezl is a very, good person – a really nice guy.
  • Quite frankly, I think that Montrezl could save Seth’s job.

Other observations:

  • maryland has sort of a fab-five coming in – some real talent – Shaquille Cleare, Seth Allen, Damonte Dodd, Charles Mitchell, and Sam Cassell Jr (who committed last night to the Terps) – the Terps will be back in the coming years – this will make the ACC stronger.
  • virginia’s commit, Justin Anderson, will also be a baller.

Matthew
@HokieGuru

Posted in Recruiting News6 Comments

Montrezl Harrell Named MVP of Jordan Brand Classic Regional Game

On Saturday, 2012 Virginia Tech signee, forward Montrezl Harrell, showed off his athleticism and energy, powering the East team to a 84-82 win in Charlotte in a Jordan Brand Classic regional game.  Harrell was named the East MVP after scoring 14 points (reportedly several monster dunks included) and blocking a shot in the final seconds to preserve the win.

The Regional Game featured the top prep players from the state of North Carolina (Harrell is from NC even though he played for Hargrave Military Academy in VA this year).  The game was the appetizer before the National Game Saturday night.

Here’s a link to HARRELLs PAGE.  He averaged over 22 points and almost 10 rebounds per game this year for a Hargrave Post-Grad team that lost just one game.

Posted in Recruiting News10 Comments

Marshall Wood Update | Recruiting News

I’ve updated the MARSHALL WOOD PAGE, showing his stat lines from all 20 regular season games (they start Districts this week).  Here’s some interesting stats:

  • In the regular season, Marshall averaged 24.0 ppg, 12.7 rpg, and 3.2 blocks per game.
  • He had 31 points and 21 rebounds against Amherst County on January 24th.
  • Wood recorded a triple double against Glass in the regular season finale, tallying 31 points, 12 boards, and 10 blocks.
  • His team is 15-5.

Also, here is a nice ROANOKE TIMES ARTICLE on him.  They talk about him shooting the 3 a lot, and he does shoot it, but 39% and 36/93 isn’t that great for high school.  He’ll struggle I’m sure from deep next year, adjusting to the deeper line, taller defenders, and speed of the game.  But I’m knocking on Wood that he’ll be a player by his sophomore season, much like Jarell Eddie made the leap between freshman and sophomore years, and to me they are similar players although Eddie was a bigger recruit and played tougher competition in high school.

Posted in Recruiting News0 Comments

Montrezl Harrell Nearly Outscores the Hokies

2012 VT signee Montrezl Harrell dropped just over 2 quarters on Fishburne Military Academy Thursday night, scoring 51 points and adding 17 rebounds and 6 blocks in a 122-119 overtime win for the Hargrave Military Academy Postgrad team (ARTICLE about the game). The win propelled Hargrave to 28-0 on the season.

You can see all of Montrezl’s stats on his PERSONAL PAGE (LINK).

Harrell is averaging over 22 ppg and just under 10 rebounds on the season.  He will no doubt provide a post presence for the Hokies next year, bringing a similar style as Cadarian Raines into the paint, but with slightly more offensive skills in the post compared to Raines at the same age.

Posted in Recruiting News4 Comments

Recruiting Update

For those of you interested in the progress of next year’s two signees, here is an update:

Montrezl Harrell (Link to his page):

  • I’ve updated his stats from all of the 23 Hargrave post-grad games this year (check the Game Notes section).
  • Averaging 21.4 ppg and 9.6 rebounds.
  • Recently had 31 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 blocks against Rise Academy.
  • Has led his team in scoring in 12 of the 23 games.
  • The team is 23-0.

Marshall Wood (Link to his page):

  • I’ve updated his stats from all 14 of the Rustburg Red Devils’ games this year (check the Game Notes section).
  • Averaging 24.4 ppg, 12.3 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks per game.
  • Had a triple-double (21 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 blocks) against Glass back in December.
  • Exploded for 49 points, 15 rebounds, and 2 blocks in a win over Liberty (Bedford) in mid-December.  He hit 7/8 3-pointers in that game.
  • Led his team to a Holiday Tournament championship in late December and made the All-Tourney Team.
  • Has led his team in scoring in all but one game.
  • The Red Devils (AA) are 10-4.

Posted in Recruiting News2 Comments

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