The upward trajectory of Virginia Tech basketball under Buzz Williams continued Wednesday.
Wabissa Bede, a Class of 2017 point guard, committed to the Hokies to give them their second top-100 player in the class.
The 6-foot-1 Massachusetts native choice Virginia Tech after taking official visits to both Blacksburg and Butler with UMass and LaSalle also in the mix. He’s ranked 77th in the 247Sports composite rankings.
“Wabissa Bede is a rugged guard who helps his team win games by defending and playing smart basketball,” NBCSports.com recruiting analyst Scott Phillips said. “He can stand to improve his perimeter jumper, but he has a high IQ and can make plays for others as a passer.
“Bede is a perfect Buzz Williams fit.”
Williams is developing quite the backcourt in this class with top-50 shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker already committed to the Hokies.
It’s becoming a good time to be a Virginia Tech basketball fan after a couple of lean years to start the Williams era. The Hokies are a likely top-25 team and expected to end a 10-year NCAA drought this season with Seth Allen and Zach LeDay returning.
With the improvement of the on-court product and the recruiting successes, Virginia Tech certainly looks like a program on the rise.
Former Virginia Tech guard Jalen Hudson has found a new home.
Th3 6-foot-5 junior will join Mike White’s program at Florida, he announced Wednesday.
Hudson, who chose the Gators over Texas, averaged 8.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per game last season for the Hokies. After sitting out the 2016-17 season, he’ll have two years of eligibility remaining in Gainesville.
“I think Florida gives me a great opportunity to perform at a high level,” Hudson told ESPN, “win at a high level and ultimately pursue my dreams in playing in the NBA.”
Hudson, who attended the same high school as LeBron James in Akron, was pursued by the likes of Arkansas, Dayton and Georges Mason before ultimately signing with the Hokes as part of their 2014 class.
The Gators don’t have much in the way of experience on the wing, so Hudson will help fill the position. Florida has already brought graduate transfer Canyon Barry in for next year. The 6-foot-6 College of Charleston graduate averaged 19.7 points in 12 games before a shoulder injury sidelined him for the season.
Florida went 21-15 and won two games in the NIT in White’s first season replacing Billy Donovan.
Another in-season tournament field for next season was revealed, as the DirecTV Wooden Legacy announced the eight teams that will make the trip to Fullerton, California.
UCLA, which was led to ten national titles by the event’s namesake, will take part as well CSUN, Dayton, Nebraska, New Mexico, Portland, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech. Six of the eight teams have made prior appearances in the event, with Dayton and Nebraska being the two programs who will make their DirecTV Wooden Legacy debuts next season.
Portland and Virginia Tech reached the title game in their prior appearances, with the Pilots losing to West Virginia in 2009 and the Hokies falling to UNLV in 2010.
Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.
The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.
Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.
“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”
It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.
Virginia Tech announced this week that Ahmed Hill will be out indefinitely after undergoing surgery on his leg.
Hill suffered a partial tear of the patellar tendon in his left leg earlier this month during a workout. The surgery was deemed successful, although the Hokies were not specific about the amount of time that Hill will miss. We are roughly seven weeks out from the start of practice and three months from the beginning of the regular season on November 13th.
Hill, a sophomore, played 33 games for Virginia Tech last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.3 boards.
He originally committed to head coach Buzz Williams when Williams was at Marquette.
Thursday night it was reported that Kentucky signee Isaiah Briscoe suffered a head injury, thus putting his status for the United States U19 team’s trip to Crete for the FIBA U19 World Championships into doubt. Friday morning USA Basketball announced that Briscoe will not be making the trip as a result of that injury.
Briscoe will be replaced on the roster by Virginia Tech rising sophomore guard Justin Bibbs, who was one of the final four players cut from the squad Monday evening.
“I feel very bad for Isaiah. He had a tremendous attitude and was one of our overall best players and one of our leaders of the team,” U19 and Arizona head coach Sean Miller said in the release. “It is very, very unfortunate to see him get injured in what was really a two-on-two drill. But the good news is I know he’ll recover and be fine; the bad news is he won’t be able to play on our team.”
The 6-foot-5 Bibbs averaged 11.4 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in his debut season at Virginia Tech, ranking second on the team in scoring. With Briscoe out of the rotation, the United States can call upon Villanova signee Jalen Brunson and Oklahoma State signee Jawun Evans at the point.