Earlier this month, Virginia Tech forward Marshall Wood told the Roanoke Times that he would be leaving the Hokie basketball program in an effort to spend more time focusing on his academics.
“I wasn’t giving my academics, my education the full attention I needed to. I didn’t want to just be a basketball player that didn’t know anything after college,” he told the paper on May 6th. “This was a decision that was going to happen regardless if [former Tech coach James] Johnson was going to be there or not. I think [new head coach Buzz] Williams is going to do a very, very good job with the team. I talked to him, and I’m very impressed.”
That doesn’t appear to be the case anymore, as Wood as asked for and been granted his release to transfer in an effort to resume his collegiate career. His AAU coach confirmed the news on twitter on Thursday afternoon.
Wood averaged 4.0 points and 3.5 boards as a sophomore with Tech this past season. He started 11 games, but also dealt with two games where Johnson decided not to play him at all.
Wood will be eligible to play in 2015-2016 at whatever school he winds up committing to. He’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
We always wonder how a new head coach is going to do on the recruiting trail. Often, we forget that he has another job that often need doing first: stopping the bleeding.
Coaching changes breed transfers and de-commitments. A new coach must persuade at least a few kids who have already said “yes” to say it again.
Virginia Tech’s James Johnson, hired to replace Seth Greenberg, got his first big “yes” today. The affirmative came from Marshall Wood, who had committed to Tech, then asked for his release when Greenberg was fired. Seeing Johnson return from a very brief hiatus from the Hokies, Wood got the same feeling of security and comfort he had with the old staff. Mostly because Johnson was the old staff. The Roanoke Times spills the details:
Wood signed with Tech last fall. He had been promised his release, but he met with Johnson at a Rustburg restaurant Wednesday and agreed to play for Tech as planned.
“It kind of was an easy decision,” said Wood, who averaged 24.1 points as a Rustburg senior this year. “I felt really comfortable with him and it was easy to recommit.
“I’ve known him since the fall of my junior year. … He was always down at the school, always … calling me, so he was definitely the most instrumental in my [original] recruitment.
“I was really excited when he got the [head coaching] job. I told my parents, ‘I think I’m going back now,’ because I really like Coach Johnson and I have a great relationship with him.”
Wood says he considered going to prep school for a season to mull over his options while working on his game. Johnson did well to take him back off the market as quickly as possible. Johnson will now look to retain super recruit Montrezl Harrell, who has not yet asked for a release.