#90 Virginia Tech Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Virginia Tech Hokies
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #90
Conference Rank: #12 ACC
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Mike Young’s first year at Virginia Tech went about as expected. The Hokies lost most of their production from 2019’s Sweet Sixteen team, including head coach Buzz Williams. Young took over a very young and very thin roster, so finishing .500 shouldn’t be looked at as a disappointment. However, after starting the season 13-4, including a win over Michigan State, finishing 16-16 was a bit of a letdown. This season, Young made sure to not have the same issues with youth and depth. The Hokies lose their best player from last year, but four transfers and a solid freshmen class will help keep Virginia Tech relevant in the ACC.
2019-20 Record: 16-16, 7-13
Coach: Mike Young
Coach Record: 16-16 at Virginia Tech, 315-260 overall
Key Departed Players:
Landers Nolley, Forward, 15.5 ppg
P.J. Horne, Forward, 7.6 ppg
Isaiah Wilkins, Guard, 4.3 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Tyrece Radford, Sophomore, Guard, 10.2 ppg
Nahiem Alleyne, Sophomore, Guard, 8.8 ppg
Jalen Cone, Sophomore, Guard, 8.0 ppg
Hunter Cattoor, Sophomore, Guard, 6.5 ppg
Wabissa Bede, Senior, Guard, 5.2 ppg
John Ojiako, Sophomore, Forward, 2.7 ppg
Key New Players:
Keve Aluma, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Wofford
Joe Bamisile, Freshman, Guard
Cartier Diarra, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Kansas State
Darius Maddox, Freshman, Guard
Justyn Mutts, Senior, Forward, Grad Transfer from Delaware
David N’Guessan, Freshman, Forward
Cordell Pemsl, Senior, Forward, Grad Transfer from Iowa
Landers Nolley’s departure will hurt Virginia Tech, but they still return five of their top seven scorers from last year. Tyrece Radford started 29 of his 32 games as a freshman, averaging 10.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.0 steals while shooting 60.4% from the field. Radford was one of the most unheralded freshmen in the country last year and is poised for a big sophomore campaign. Nahiem Alleyne started 27 games as a freshman, averaging 8.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists. Wabissa Bede is the final returning starter and the only returning upperclassman. Bede is a solid all-around point guard who had the sixth best assist-to-turnover ratio (3.3) in the nation and was top five in the ACC in assists per game (5.5). Bede also led the team in steals and his senior presence will be key to the Hokies’ success this year. Jalen Cone and Hunter Cattoor both had solid freshman seasons off the bench. Cone is a former four-star recruit who was seventh in the nation in three-point shooting (45.7%) last season. Mike Young made it a point to improve the experience level of his team this year by adding four transfers, including three grad transfers. Keve Aluma is the lone sit-out transfer. Aluma played for Young at Wofford during his first two seasons and averaged 6.9 points and 6.8 rebounds as a sophomore. Cartier Diarra, Justyn Mutts and Cordell Pemsl are all grad transfers. Diarra is a 6-4 guard who spent the last three years at Kansas State and averaged 13.3 points, 4.2 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals last season. Mutts is a 6-7 forward who spent just one season at Delaware where he averaged 12.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks. Pemsl is a 6-9 forward who was a role player for three years at Iowa. The Hokies also bring in a solid three-man recruiting class that includes four-star guards Joe Bamisile and Darius Maddox. Virginia Tech might not quite be an ACC contender this year, but Mike Young has taken action to put his team in position to be competitive for the full season.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.6 (253rd in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.5 (97, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.9 (274, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.6 (99, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.8 (13, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.2 (81, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.1 (171, 10)
Rebound Margin: -3.3 (305, 13)
Assists Per Game: 14.6 (56, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.9 (4, 2)
Madness 2020 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#80 joe Bamisile
#119 Darius Maddox