Wartooth's Big Board - Noah Clowney

(This is the third installment of the WBB series. You can find Part 1 on Rodney Rice HERE and part 2 on Tyler Nickel HERE. )

A new study on college athletics was published last week. Referencing the hierarchy of needs popularized by Maslow, it is focused on the recruitment of student-athletes and suggests coaches who focus their recruiting pitches on program history or facilities may be doing a real disservice to their efforts. "Coaches should focus more on building strong relationships with prospective student-athletes and being honest/transparent, and less on "showing off" the program," says the author. The most important factors that influence a recruit's decision to play for a program are almost always focused on the character and philosophies of the coaches. "Honesty and trust between coaches and players can lead to positive relationships that are long-lasting. Student-athletes are taken on elaborate official visits, with day-long itineraries filled with meetings, photo shoots, fancy dinners, and facility tours, but at the end of the day, the most important thing they are looking for is an honest and genuine relationship with their coaching staff."

The author of this study knows what he's talking about. Recruited as an athlete by dozens of programs out of high school, he committed to a university that saw its head coach take an opportunity elsewhere after his sophomore year. He then entered the transfer portal and faced another round of recruitment- would he stay under the new head coach or transfer? It was up to the new hire to assure him he could coach and he could be trusted; in short, that he was for real. The result: Wabissa Bede withdrew from the transfer portal to join Mike Young in his first season at Virginia Tech. Two years and a lot of wins later, Bede has earned his master's degree, successfully defending his thesis entitled "The Recruitment of Student-Athletes: Building Trust Between Coaches and Players."

We often say Mike Young and his staff "get it", but what does that mean? It means a lot of things, but the common denominator in all of them is relationships. College basketball is a relationships business. The way Mike Young built a consistently successful program at Wofford is the way he's doing it at Virginia Tech- by creating and nurturing relationships based on honesty and authenticity, and by filling his staff with people who share that philosophy. This approach has already paid dividends on and off the court and is a driving factor in the recruitment of my #1 "big" recruit on the board, Noah Clowney out of Dorman High School in Roebuck, South Carolina.

If you even know what a basketball looks like in South Carolina, you know Dorman High School. Winners of four straight state titles from to 2017 to 2020, Dorman has recently produced NCAA starters like PJ Hall (Clemson) and Myles Tate (Butler). Noah Clowney will absolutely join those ranks and I believe will easily be the best of the bunch when all is said and done.

Clowney is a joy to watch. With long arms and wide shoulders, the 6-10, 210 PF passes the eye test with flying colors. A four-star recruit with a 247 composite rating of 0.9692, Clowney is blessed with a frame that can put on an additional 25-30 pounds of good muscle weight, making his potential very exciting. Branded "the cleanest, meanest kid", Clowney's athleticism, intensity, and versatility stand out on tape. After transferring from Spartansburg High before his sophomore year, he frequently played at Dorman with his back to the basket and showed off his impressive two-way skills as a post player. Clowney has quick feet and exceptional length, making him an excellent defender on the perimeter and in the paint, as well as a great rebounder and shot blocker. He has a soft touch on the baby hook. He can bang inside with some nifty moves and finish off the glass.

As good as he is in the post, I see Clowney's true calling as a stretch 4 who Mike Young might occasionally move to the 5 depending on personnel matchups. Playing for Team Dickerson (an independent Georgia program on the AAU circuit), Clowney has shown he is born to play the stretch 4. Tasked with facing up, his range extends to the 3-point line, and you just feel bad for defenders who have to stop him on the drive. "I always look to drive first, but if they don't step out, I like to hit a shot or two and make them step out. Then I can get a quick step on them and use my length to try to finish," said Clowney. He's sneaky quick on the baseline and watching him finish above the rim is like watching a fish swim- just completely natural, effortless, and comfortable.

Clowney earned his offer from the Hokies in October of his junior season โ€“ stop me if you've heard this one before โ€“ well before any other high-major programs took notice. The relationship by that point had already been well developed. Mike Young and Kevin Giltner have been in touch with Noah since their days coaching at Wofford. "They were also in there from beginning [along with Xavier]," said Clowney of Virginia Tech. "I like that they believed in me early. I watched them a lot this year. I like the coaches there. I talk to coach [Kevin] Giltner a lot."

According to reports, Clowney is set to make an official visit to Blacksburg from September 10-12 following visits to Indiana at the end of August and Florida the week before his VT visit. He has previously visited Clemson and Georgia and discussed visiting Xavier and Tennessee.

While Clowney's game is enough to make your mouth water, one must think Noah has liked what he's seen from all those VT games he's watched. Mike Young developed Keve Aluma from an unranked 6-8 kid with a Wofford offer, into a second-team All-ACC star after playing just one season in Blacksburg. With he and Justyn Mutts set to exit in 2022, the Hokies will have big spots to fill, and they will need skilled size to fill them. Noah Clowney would be an easy bet to make an instant impact on the program, playing a role very similar to Aluma. From a fit and development perspective, Clowney saw a no-brainer recruiting pitch for him to join the Virginia Tech family every time he watched Aluma notch 15 points and 8 boards per.

Noah and his family are going to have a lot to consider on his official visits. Everything on the hierarchy of needs from food and housing to belongingness and achieving Noah's highest potential will be on their minds. Fortunately for Virginia Tech, we have a guy who can speak to all of that (shout out again to Wabissa Bede)! But at the end of the day, relationships make the difference. Any program will get you fed. Any program will get you housed. The real next question is which staff has proven they will be there tomorrow? To coach you up? To push you harder? To make you better? It's always the people who believed in you from the jump.

So, as Noah gets into the meat of his visit schedule, Hokie Nation wishes him luck and looks forward to welcoming him and his family to Blacksburg in September. When all is said and done, we all hope he'll take the opportunity not to be Virginia Tech's next Keve Aluma, but its first Noah Clowney.

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


Excellent article, well done, and thank you!

Yes, this is another great article. Thank you very much.

It sounds like a 4 man class of Collins, Rice, Nickel and Clowney would be off the charts amazing for our bball team. What do you think our chances are with Clowney? You love to hear that we offered him first and continue to build a solid relationship with him.

"Give me a fuยขking beer", Anonymous Genius

A 4-man class of MJ Collins, Rodney Rice, Tyler Nickel, and Noah Clowney would register a 247 projected team score of 63.39. That would be good enough for tops in the ACC and 3rd in the nation, right now. The fact we're in deep with the top guys on our board is a real credit to the staff.

I believe we have as good a shot as any in landing Clowney, but like anyone of his caliber, it's going to be a battle. The in-state programs are going to go hard. I'm sure his former teammate PJ Hall is working him for Clemson. Indiana is staying in his ear and developing a good relationship. Xavier was in early like VT and we know some folks are buying what Travis Steele is selling. And if all that wasn't enough, then you got the Florida pitch to deal with.

I believe this will be Clowney's first face-to-face look at Virginia Tech, so it's going to be a big visit. I would not be surprised if he ends up being the only hoops OV scheduled for that weekend in order to go full-court on him.

When all is said and done, we all hope he'll take the opportunity not to be Virginia Tech's next Keve Aluma, but its first Noah Clowney

Ahhhhhhh..........this air, it is fresh.

Great article. As someone that does not follow high school bball, this series provides a nice overview with more than just measurables and rankings. Thanks Wartooth

Damn that's a good article. Noah sounds like a five-star, get-after-it, slam-dunk, home-run hell-yes kinda player. Hope he signs with the good guys.

Prior to CMY arriving in Blacksburg, I never thought that VT basketball would ever be able to recruit a 5-star player. Too many big fish gobbling them all up for us to compete with, plus the shoe company pipelines are for real and don't favor VT. Now however, I believe that anything is possible for this staff, and it's a wonderful feeling. Even if we never bag a legit "one and done" I can't wait to see where CMY is going to lead our program over the next decade.

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, Former Naval Aviator, Former FBISA, Forever married to my VT87 girl. Go VT!


For real, no joke- please go show this guy some love. Twitter, Insta. Positive vibes only, as always. IU Twitter bots are out in force. RT, RT this article and tag him, leave an Insta comment, whatever you have a minute to do.

Sheesh, those IU bots are no joke ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Little Bobby Tables told me my signature was false

Many recruits really take notice of social media likes, replies, etc, but most are savvy enough to tell the real from the fake. Still creates a barrage that makes an impression.

Clowney update on Rivals

On Virginia Tech:

"They also have great people. They were the first high-major Division 1 school to hit me up. I know they said the bigs do a lot of their scoring, so I think it could be a good opportunity for me as far as scoring the ball. I think it's a great opportunity there too."

RIVALS' REACTION: From talking to Clowney about each school, it's hard to detect which way he's leaning as he heads into these visits. He mentioned that he's put together his own big board with each school on it listing the pros and cons of each school on his list. As he takes his visits, he plans to update his board and then make a decision from there. He plans to take a week or two after his last visit to make a decision and then will sign with the school of his choice in November during the early signing period.

and one more quote from his thoughts on Indiana:

I know Coach [Mike] Woodson played there and coached in the League, but college is different."

That quote made me blink because you don't normally hear that kind of wisdom from a rising high school senior. Indiana and Woodson's pitch is all about running an NBA program in college and, you know what, maybe it will work there where many others have failed. But Noah hits it on the head- college is different. You are at a different point in your life. You are dealing with different things. The way coaches teach, guide, and relate to NBA players versus college players both on and off the court differ in many important ways.

Long way to go in this one. The visit is going to be so, so big. In the meantime, keep spreading those positive vibes because we're in a fight!

One other write-up from on3.com

Noah Clowney on Virginia Tech

"I really like the people there," Noah Clowney said. "I feel like that's important. Along with that, when I do watch the film they've shown me, their bigs do a lot for their offense. They're not just there. So I do like that. I'd be very involved if I do go there. They're losing a lot, too, so I know I'd get good minutes."

Relationships, playing style, and PT, baby

On his OV to Indiana currently. Lot of social media posts and reaction. IU pulling out all stops, fans packing places, doing chants, taking pics, etc. It's making an impact.

Some updates on how the Indiana visit went. Clearly he had a good time. What's interesting is, while distance is not a deciding factor, it is something that is on his mind. Noah has talked in the past about breaking down pros/cons of each university and program. He even bought a large board to document his thoughts. He's really taking this very seriously and putting a lot of thought into it.

Any idea why Clemson hasn't offered? Seems like a misprint on 247.

Yeah. Was wondering if they were flush with 6'9" four str pf's. lol

Florida, in Clowney's Top 4, just got a commitment from big PF Malik Reneau.

VT will be putting in face time with Noah ahead of his Blacksburg visit

You can't say Mike isn't putting in the leg work for this class. Really hope we land Clowney and at least 2 of the 3 from last weekend.

Little Bobby Tables told me my signature was false

Wartooth- again appreciate all the updates here for these big time CMY recruits. Seen a lot of "really want X, and 2 of 3 Y" type comments from folks, and obviously we'd all like all of them.

If you were to rank your "I WANT these recruits in this order 1-4", what would it be for Rice, Nickel, Clowney, Huff?

I get the sense reading these posts that CMY puts Rice #1 for his picks, but (putting on your CMY thinking hat) what do you think his 1-4 rank want-list is?


The Cup is going nowhere Mikey!

1, 1, 1, and of course 1.

lol, I mean yeah, it's 100% this. But if I was forced to split hairs and pick, based on positional need and scholarship offers out and talent available by position, et cetera, I'd go Rice, Nickel, Clowney, Huff. And if you've been reading, you know how much I love Huff, so...

I think its a hokie Hoosiers race

Are you justified
Are you justified
Are you justified
Justified in taking
Life to save life?
Life to save life?
Life to save life?

Glad he took the Indiana visit first. They did a great job and made a great first impression, but once the shine wears off, Indiana is still way-ass over there and candy stripes are [redacted due to un-positive vibes]

Assuming this means Giltner will be in-home. Young, Jones, and Webbie were in Elkton for Tyler Nickel. I imagine all 3 will continue on to Rice. Wonder if Young has a flight booked today to get to Roebuck, too. That would make for a hell of a day.

That's a good looking fam

And what about little bro?

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

You weren't kidding about the IU folks in the comment section

like, I get you want to show you want a dude, but GD! let the man enjoy his visits!

Finish line approaching. 2-3 weeks? I'm definitely betting sooner.

Do we know if clowney is still expected to announce this week or next?

Probably longer. It's a lot tighter than I anticipated but I still think Hokies hold the lead as of now. (It would be quicker if Alabama hurries and get 1 of the 5 stars to commit)

Are you justified
Are you justified
Are you justified
Justified in taking
Life to save life?
Life to save life?
Life to save life?

Does Alabama appear to be in the lead on any of them?

Brandon Miller and Jarace Walker

Are you justified
Are you justified
Are you justified
Justified in taking
Life to save life?
Life to save life?
Life to save life?

Latest I saw Brandon Miller was supposed to commit sep 27 so who knows

I won't for the life of me understand why someone would go play basketball at Alabama

That whole athletic department has gobsmacking amount of money. Plus the SEC is gaining strength as a bball conference and Alabama had a lottery pick a couple years ago

alabama had a lottery pick a few years ago... who pretty much singlehandedly dumped us out of the tournament (Collin Sexton). Nate Oats is a legit coach with a big personality, they won the SEC regular season title last year, made it to the sweet sixteen, etc etc. upwards trajectory

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

etc etc. upwards trajectory

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

It wasn't very long ago every expert in the game said the same about Virginia Tech

I will not donate to Virginia Tech Athletics as long as Justin Fuente is the head coach of VT Football. Enough is enough.

For the life of me, I don't understand how anyone - here or elsewhere - could think this.

They would say same about us

Alabama is in the mix for multiple 5 stars...in basketball?

Had the same thoughts...how and why!?

Football $$$$$ leads to success in other sports

Also nate oates is a Hell of a recruiter

Are you justified
Are you justified
Are you justified
Justified in taking
Life to save life?
Life to save life?
Life to save life?

On the football side it looks like they've done really well in the NIL game, maybe their system for handling that is becoming an athletic department priority and they're pitching that.

I am pretty sure besides education of what they can do and how to build a brand, the school can not help with NIL deals.

The thing with NIL is that these schools with huge alumni bases and booster bases, they can just hand kids cars and huge chunks of money to "promote" their product. I am a fan of NIL, but fair value needs to be regulated.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Fair value is whatever someone is willing to pay.

There hasn't been any evidence that boosters are giving cars or chunks of money to huge swaths of players. Maybe that'll change, but rich people are rich for a reason. They tend to not just throw money willy nilly.

My guess is there is still plenty of non-taxable cash and goods being thrown around.

I disagree. Guys that haven't taken a collegiate snap or in some cases even gotten to campus yet getting $1m in NIL deals isn't fair value. Someone is willing to pay it but that is just going to become a recruiting method for the richest fanbases. "Every QB that has come here gets a free car/truck lease and $750k in cash deals to do some social media promotion"

That isn't fair value, that is just them being able to hand out benefits legally now vs under the table. There is fair value for any product which is different than what someone with a lot more money is willing to pay. My car might be worth $5k now, but to someone with money to burn who loves that make/model/year, they may pay $10k for it. That doesn't change the fair market value of that car.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

That's one guy who has gotten a $1mil NIL deal. Maybe there's a couple of other guys, but that's my point. It's a very small number.

And you are literally describing fair market value. Companies don't figure out the average of what everyone would pay for something, and then charge that. They figure out the best margin based on supply and demand. If there's a limited supply (number of elite player), and a high enough demand (however many programs/boosters), then the market might be higher than what the average player might be worth. But that's how it's supposed to work. These players have desirable skills that people are willing to pay them for. Good for them! If someone was going to pay you $10k for a $5k car, would you say, "No. Keep your extra $5k, and only pay me the other $5k?"

It's just like with professional athletes. Are they worth more to society than a teacher or a doctor? Almost definitely not, but they generate a lot more revenue, so they're due their cut. If it turns out that college athletes aren't worth that much to businesses after a while, then maybe businesses will stop giving out large deals, but if they decide to do it anyway, that's their choice.

Ah ok, it sounds like I wasn't clear.

When I say they are working with NIL stuff, I don't mean that they are lining up sponsors. I mean to say that they are helping the student athletes with the parts of NIL that are their own responsibility.

For example, QB gets an NIL deal. School says, 'Great! So happy for you! Here is the paperwork that you're going to have to fill out for the NCAA, here's what your taxes are going to look like, here's how to make sure you've dotted all the Is and crossed all the Ts so that you eligible to play.'

So I'm thinking more on the administrative side, not the marketing side. TBH I have no idea what the school can and can't do.

That is the education part of it which they can do and every school pretty much advertised they are doing for their athletes now. The school cannot try and help the players get NIL deals, they can just assist the player with how to make sure they protect themselves as well.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Seeing some chatter that the bama visit probably won't happen and it's a two team race with tech and iu

It's on other boards so take it with a grain of salt but it sounds like it could possibly be this week with a slight unfavorable lean.

a slight unfavorable lean

This does NOT give me the warm and fuzzies

Or maybe he's already made up his mind and he's just taking the visit?

It's spooky.

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

What are the primary colors associated with Halloween? Now compare with the schools in the running. Ain't no red for Halloween, Hokies and Orange FTW!

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

Reading where its a two school race right now between VT and Indiana. No crystal ball predictions as of yet, Clowney has kept his recruitment very close to his chest.

One thing giving us an advantage right now in terms of getting a clowney commitment, he knows what we run and how we will use him, and Indiana is kind of an unknown in terms of how he would be used on the court. Hoping Halloween is a great day for us!

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

I guess the estimated shipping on his Hokie Bird Halloween costume got delayed...

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

Supply chain issues.