Senior | Guard/Forward | 6’6″ | 215 lbs. | Toa Baja, PR
Career Stats: A.D. Vassallo
- Played for the Puerto Rico National Team in the 2008 Centrobasket Tournament in Mexico. Puerto Rico won the title and will participate in the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship.
- Junior Season: Named 2nd-Team All-ACC
Angel Daniel Vassallo, the Puerto Rican Assassin. Call him whatever you want, this guy can shoot the lights out of the gym. He is Tech’s best pure shooter by far and never hesitates to pull the trigger. Has range from distance, thanks in part to having played international ball with the deeper three-point line. A.D. is also a solid rebounder who can check the other team’s forwards to allow the skinnier Deron to pick-up the opponent’s more athletic players.
A.D. came to Virginia Tech after three years at Faith Christian Academy in Hurt, VA and then a post-graduate year at Hargrave. He originally hails from Puerto Rico and his dad, Daniel, was a legend in the Puerto Rico Professional League. A.D. has played for the Puerto Rican Junior and regular National Team. Vassallo’s family sent him to the states in hopes of him earning a college scholarship, and the decision paid off. A.D. originally, twice actually, signed with richmond but was denied admission despite meeting NCAA standards. The spiders loss was the Hokies gain, and they basically owed Tech one after getting Tony Dobbins from the Hokies after his freshman season at VT in 1999-2000.
Vassallo started his first two games at Virginia Tech but had the ill fortune of tapping in a rebound into his own bucket at the buzzer of that second game. The ‘own goal’ caused a 72-71 loss to bowling green. The referees later said the basket should not have counted due to a rule about defensive tap-ins.
After that game, Vassallo came off the bench until Tech’s lineup became thin in the ACC part of the schedule. He had a terrific game against wake when the Hokies needed it the most. That performance helped A.D. win ACC Rookie of the Week, an honor he took home twice last season. Vassallo was fifth on the team in scoring and lead the team in FT%. He was second in three’s made to Dowdell.
This season, Vassallo has seen more time as the season’s gone on. Tech has gone with a smaller lineup in many games, allowing Deron and A.D. to be on the floor at the same time. He has mostly stayed on the perimeter, with more than half his shots coming from three-point range. He leads the team in three’s made, is fifth in the ACC, and is shooting a very good 46% from long range. Vassallo’s also shooting over 50% on three’s in ACC action. A.D. occasionally takes the ball to the rim and shoots a floater from 10-15 feet. His free throws have gone up this year since VT leaves him in at the end of games for his clutch foul shooting.
On defense, A.D. is not the quickest guy you’ve ever seen. He can be beaten off the dribble fairly easily. As a result, and since he is a good rebounder, Tech usually matches him up with forwards on the other team and lets Deron guard the wing if the wing player is a good scorer. Next season, VT will not be able to match A.D. up with shooting guards since they will likely be too quick for him.
Greatest Game: Vassallo’s 30 point shooting performance against wisconsin or his his 15 straight points against duke in the 2008-09 season were both memorable, but A.D.’s best effort came his freshman year in a game at wake forest. Leading up to that game, his minutes had been very limited. In that game, Tech only had six scholarship players dressed with Coleman away and Deron suspended. A.D. stepped up and poured in 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the undersized and thin Tech lineup. The Hokies won 76-70 for their first ACC victory of the season. Vassallo hit 11/19 from the field.