Hokie Hoops April-May Recruiting

New post for the spring that should take us to the end of the recruiting dead period.

The Hokies have one scholarship opening for the upcoming season with the additions of Storm Murphy, Sean Pedulla, Michael Durr, and Jalen Haynes.

Bede, grad (has not announced a decision re: returning)
Murphy, grad
Radford, r-jr
Cattoor, jr
Alleyne, jr
Maddox, soph
Pedulla, frosh


Aluma, grad (exploring NBA draft, maintaining NCAA eligibility)
Durr, sr
Mutts, r-sr
Ojiako, jr
N'Guessan, soph
Haynes, frosh

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


What better way to break in a beautiful, newly renovated Cassell Coliseum than showcasing a MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year? St. Frances (Baltimore) PF Derik Queen (6'8" 215. again- FRESHMAN) has an early offer from the Hokies in addition to Georgetown, Maryland, and LSU. 247 profile here.

Among the others to receive the award are Marvin Bagley III in 2015 and LaMelo Ball in 2016, two current NBA players.
Despite having four senior teammates that are Division I commits, Queen, who maintains a "B" average in the classroom, established himself as the team's focal point as the season grew.

St. Frances coach Nick Myles has a lot of praise for the freshman:

"Early on, what was surprising was his confidence," Myles said. "He came in and from Day 1, even if he was or wasn't the best player on the floor, in his mind, he was the best man on the floor and he was going to try to prove he was the best man on the floor. So just his confidence as a freshman stood out."
"Derik's basketball intelligence is off the charts. He's 6-8 and makes plays as a guard, a forward and a center and seems to do whatever is necessary to win games," said Tom Strickler, a Maryland-based scout for the National Recruiting Report, a coaches-only service that evaluates high school talent.

very niche deep cut, but I hear his name in Strong Bad's voice. oh sorry Derik Queen.

Henry Coleman is in the portal but alvin says he doubt we pursue

We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

That's too bad, but I get it. Would make for a slightly unbalanced roster.

I think we still holding a scholarship for Tre Mitchell if he chooses us

We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

According to Torvik, adding Mitchell would launch us from #20 to #7. Granted there are still a lot of players in the portal that will bump other teams up.

stick it in, stick it in, stick it in!

Mitchell would be a huge pick up, but are we realistically in the mix for him?


We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

Our odds may have gotten better through simple elimination. Illinois has been mentioned pretty consistently in connection with Mitchell's process, but assistant Orlando Antigua is reported to be returning to Kentucky. He was the coach Tre was very impressed with during his initial recruitment. Hard recruitment to read for those without connections.

Any interest in Mac McClung


We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

With Storm coming in there's no room for him, the play the same position and role. I would love Mac to be a Hokie, I think he would be a perfect fit into our culture, but I think last year was the chance for that and now it's gone.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

Wow, the almighty "thou shall play for the swoosh only from age 8" logic is losing some steam.

The Hokies have one scholarship open for the upcoming season following the additions of Storm Murphy, Sean Pedulla, Michael Durr, and Jalen Haynes.

don't forget the new player most likely to have a big impact on our team's performance this season

also all the classes are a year off.. 2020-21 didn't count against eligibility, so Cattoor & Alleyne for example are Sophomores again, c-SO if you want to indicate the extra year out of high school. Radford would be a cr-So

All good points. Thanks. I had put Storm in the breakdown, but I took for granted folks would know about the eligibility.

Received some sort of commitment may be walk on?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Name to watch

247 profile

2022 wing Chisom Okpara (6'7" 195) has seen his recruiting heat up this month, securing offers from Penn State and Minnesota to add to his already solid list of Pitt, Ole Miss, Seton Hall, Xavier, and Providence. He's also received interest from Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Oregon, and Marquette. I'm not seeing where Virginia Tech has offered yet, but Mike Young's staff is clearly interested and staying in contact.

Virginia Tech: "That relationship is going very well, coach Giltner calls me every other day and is always checking up on me which is very nice. I feel like that's a great way to develop a relationship. They also send me graphics on their history and I like how they played this year in the postseason which stood out."
While there are no plans for any decision, Okpara knows what he wants in a program.

"I want a good school with good academics, a good campus, and great basketball," he said. "I also want a team where I can get in transition but if we need to run a set that's fine. On defense I want to play a lot of man."

Scouts consistently note Okpara plays hard the entire game, attacks the rim, and makes plays off the glass. He takes pride in rebounding and running the floor in transition.

[deep breath]
Virginia Tech will host a basketball recruit for an in-person visit.
[exhales happily]
Man, that felt good to write. Even better? It's 2022 STAB (Charlottesville) standout Justin Taylor! The 6'6" 200-lb SF is scheduled to be in Blacksburg 2 days after the dead period ends on June 3. He's also expected to visit UNC and Syracuse in the following week.
It's hard to overstate how big this visit is. Justin Taylor is easily one of the best players in Virginia, and his ability to defend multiple positions combined with his shooting ability from anywhere on the court would make him an excellent fit for a Mike Young team.

I love, love, love seeing these visits getting scheduled.

2022 Virginia Beach (Landstown) CG Donald Hand, Jr. plans to visit Virginia Tech immediately after the dead period ends. The 6'5" 180-lb 4-star is receiving heavy interest from Connecticut, Louisville, NC State, and others, but he likes what Mike Young and his staff are doing in Blacksburg:

Virginia Tech: "I think my first visit is going to be Virginia Tech in like the first week of June. I'm really excited to take my visits. I really like their free-flowing offense, they shoot a lot of threes and they really let their guards go. They run screen and rolls and they like my size."

Given his outlook on Tech and what he's looking for in a program, you have to like VT's chances.

While Hand hasn't locked in on an exact date and wants to get visits in, don't look for him to take too long when it comes to making his college decision.

"I would say that sometime before schools starts so maybe August or early September. I really want a coach who is going to push me on and off the court and I would like a family atmosphere. I want somewhere that I can trust the coaches like I trust my parents because that will be my home away from home."

Hand's Commonwealth ties run DEEP. His father, Donald Sr., was a terrific guard at UVA who still ranks among UVA's career leaders in scoring, assists, steals, FTs, and 3s. DJ's stepfather, Landstown coach Dwight Robinson, was an All-American football player at James Madison and later played in the Canadian Football League.

Just as Hand likes what he sees from the Hokies, one has to imagine Mike Young likes what he sees in Hand- a tall, unselfish guard with great handles, who creates shots, runs a good pick and roll, distributes the ball very well, and has solid versatility on both ends of the floor at the 1, 2, and 3.

One of the players I most want to get on campus for a visit is bucket dynamo Tyler Nickel out of Elkton, VA (East Rockingham). A confident, prolific scorer beyond the arc and at the rim, the 6'8", 210-lb small forward phenom is at the top of the VHSL stat sheets, having notched 1,902 points through his junior season, including all-time records for points in a season by a freshman (662) and a sophomore (902). Only 50 players in VHSL history have 2,000 or more. Needless to say, Tyler's talents have gotten plenty of attention. In addition to Virginia Tech, he holds offers from Iowa, LSU, NC State, Penn State, Wake, Clemson, EDIT: WVU, and others.

As for the Hokies,

"They have a free-flowing offense and have been very emphatic on telling me I would be their priority and become their primary scorer. They have been showing a lot of love from the very beginning, before anyone else, and they are good people. They are on the rise as a program, in debatably the best conference in the country. (Assistant) coach (Christian) Webster and coach (Mike) Young talk to me the most."
They way they played this past year really fits me and my strengths to a "t" I think."

I have to agree with Tyler on that. He's a perfect fit for Mike Young's Hokies- a versatile, long body who can work through contact inside or sharpshoot from beyond the arc (50-of-116, 43%). VT would give Nickel the tools and ACC platform to get him to the NBA Draft. And if all that isn't enough to get you excited, check out what he wants to do after basketball:

Nickel is leaning towards a major in Communications.

"I'm looking at sports broadcasting for whenever my hooping days end," he said.

Perfect. Virginia Tech. Fit.

As for what's next, Nickel has floated the idea trimming his list over the summer and committing on September 5, his birthday.

I heard if Ohio State offers he going there

We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

UPDATE: Nickel now plans to trim his list on Sept. 5 and commit in November. Identifies the most heavily involved programs as:

UNC, WVU, NC State, Virginia Tech, and LSU.

Memphis, TN may be hiding an underrated 2022 prospect in three-star combo guard Chandler Jackson (6'4", 205), but programs have taken notice of his recent jump in development. This season, he was the focal point of a talented, balanced squad that went 21-1. A bit of a do-it-all player, Jackson prides himself on his flexibility and coachability. He currently holds offers from the likes of Memphis, Alabama, Florida State, Ole Miss, Creighton, and others, in addition to the Hokies, who he will visit virtually this Thursday.

While he isn't planning on a commitment until after the summer, the Hokies have his attention.

Virginia Tech: "They like what they see, they like my game and that means a lot having a coach from a big program, that means a lot."

My own read is Memphis is in the driver's seat. It's his hometown, he seems to really like Penny Hardaway, and Chandler has more than once expressed a desire to play in a nice "city". We'll see if playing in a bigger conference for a team on the rise, new facilities on the way, and the reigning ACC Coach of the Year can overcome these factors.

Thanks for these summaries! As someone who doesn't follow basketball recruiting closely, these are really helpful.


"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Kam Craft 6-5 SG out of IL, hearing early good things about VT, UVA and Iowa

He may not have a star ranking yet, but he's got a 5-star name (even if it's for Duke bball). 2023 Knoxville PG Blue Cain (6'4" 180, who once scored 73 points in a game as a freshman) is seeing his recruitment take off after picking up an offer from hometown program Tennessee in addition to Syracuse, South Carolina, and others. Virginia Tech is keeping in contact, as is UCLA. A potential move out west has caught Blue's imagination. Just a name to watch as more high-level programs take notice over the next couple of years. Should be interesting!

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

You're my boy, Blue

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

It's an unwritten law that it's my lunch pail. I've issued the challenge. If someone outworks me, they can get it.
Darryl Tapp

Blue should be coming to VT. I mean they are right here with the Gobbler.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting