Virginia Tech entered this season short-handed, as Seth Greenberg’s untimely firing coupled with Motrezl Harrell and Dorian Finney-Smith leaving before giving new head coach James Johnson a chance severely limited the Hokie rotation.
That rotation is now down to seven players, as freshman Marshall Wood fractured the third metatarsal bone in his left foot and will be out indefinitely.
“I feel extremely bad for Marshall,” Johnson said. “This young man has been playing well. He was really starting to come into his own and playing with confidence. He has been helping the team in a lot of ways. This is a setback to Marshall and setback to our team.”
This is a bigger problem for the Hokies than it would be for another program due to the uptempo system that Johnson wants to play. After a 7-0 start, Virginia Tech has lost two of their last three games, at West Virginia and, on Saturday, at home to Georgia Southern. Does that have anything to do with the lack of depth on the roster? Who knows, but we’ll find out in the coming weeks just how capable Virginia Tech is of handling those depth issues. They play at BYU on December 29th and start ACC play the following week.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.
The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.
Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.
Arizona will be without senior center Kaleb Tarczewski for 4-to-6 weeks, the school announced on Tuesday. The 7-foot Tarczewski suffered a stress reaction and strained muscle to his left foot and he’ll have some time to heal before the main portion of the Pac-12 conference schedule.
The experienced Tarczewski was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game before going down with injury. Without the senior in the lineup, Arizona fell to Providence in the Wooden Legacy last week. Without Tarczewski in the lineup, the Wildcats could turn to center Dusan Ristic while forward Ryan Anderson has had some solid outings this season.
Missing Tarczewski for the rest of non-conference play will hurt but he’ll get to rest and recover for the stretch run while the Wildcats can mix in some new frontcourt pieces.