Joey Van Zegeren, a 6-foot-10 junior forward, was suspended indefinitely by the Virginia Tech program on Friday afternoon, the team announced.
“Joey failed to meet the expectations we have for our team,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said in a statement, via WDJB 7. “He demonstrated a lack of discipline and self-control at practice and as such this suspension was warranted.”
The Hokies will enter the start of ACC conference play without the services of their top rebounder and third leading scorer, as Van Zegeren was posting averages of 9.8 points and 5.3 boards per game.
Virginia Tech opens league play on Saturday at home against Syracuse. The Orange feature one of the nation’s most improved big men in Rakeem Christmas, who is averaging 17.8 points and 8.8 boards per game. Van Zegeren’s suspension means it’ll be up to Shane Henry and 7-foot freshman Satchel Pierce — both logging less than a dozen minutes per game — to contain the frontline of Christmas and Chris McCullough.
The Hokies begin league play with an 8-5 record.
Buzz Williams did plenty of good things with junior college recruits at Marquette, and early this week, the new head coach at Virginia Tech landed his first junior college recruit as coach of the Hokies with the commitment of Georgia Perimeter Junior College forward Shane Henry. Henry’s commitment was first reported by CBS Sports‘ Jon Rothstein.
The 6-foot-8 Henry ranked fifth in junior college basketball in rebounding and second in blocked shots per game last season at Georgia Perimeter as he averaged 13.2 points, 12.2 rebounds and 4.7 blocked shots per game. Henry also shot 51.3 percent from the field on the season.
The commitment of Henry gives the Hokies another valuable frontcourt rotation member as C.J. Barksdale and Joey van Zegeren are the only returning frontcourt players from last season.
Henry joins high school wings Ahmed Hill, Justin Bibbs and Jalen Hudson and big man Satchel Pierce in Williams’ first class at Virginia Tech. Williams also has transfers in Maryland guard Seth Allen and South Florida power forward Zach LeDay.