Virginia Tech Hokies

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Virginia Tech’s Kerry Blackshear withdrawing from draft, could grad-transfer

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Kerry Blackshear is withdrawing from the NBA draft, but may not be returning to Virginia Tech.

The senior big man announced he would return to college Wednesday night, but that he is “still evaluating my options for my last year of eligibility and feel extremely fortunate to be in the position that I am in.

“I look forward to continuing my education and earning a Master’s degree while competing in the sport that I love as I continue working toward my goal of playing professionally.”

If Blackshear does opt to transfer, he’ll instantly become one of the most sought-after available players. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 14.9 points and 7.5 rebounds while converting at a50.8 percent clip from the floor.

Mississippi lands junior college center

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One of the best available junior college players is joining Kermit Davis in Oxford.

Khadim Sy,  6-foot-10 center who started his career at Virginia Tech, committed to Davis and Mississippi on Monday, he announced via social media.

“First, I want to thank my parents and coaches for always being supportive and helping me get to where I am today,” Sy wrote. “Next I would like to thank God for giving me this opportunity. Lastly I would like (to) thank all the coaches who recruited me during this long process.

“All the time and effort was greatly appreciated and made this a tough decision. With that being said, I am blessed to announce I have committed to Ole Miss!”

Sy averaged 16.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game while shooting 55.1 percent from the floor this past season at Daytona State College, and picked the Rebels over Pitt and East Carolina. He spent his freshman season with Buzz Williams in Blacksburg, where he averaged 4 points and 2.7 rebounds in 11.4 minutes in 32 games as a freshman.

 

Jalen Cone reclassifies, commits to Virginia Tech

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Virginia Tech and Mike Young just got their first major victory on the recruiting trail.

Jalen Cone, a four-star point guard, is reclassifying from thee Class of 2020 to to commit to Young and the Hokies and join them for the 2019-20 season, he announced Thursday.

Hunter Cattoor, a three-star guard from Orlando, has signed with the Hokies, but Cone could provide immediate help and certainly gives a boost for Young going into his first offseason with Virginia Tech since leaving Wofford and taking over the program after Buzz Williams’ departure from Texas A&M.

“He really enjoyed the new coach and he really likes the system that the new coach runs,” his high school coach, Kevin Thompson, told Roanoke.com. “He can see himself flourishing in an open-court system like that and an uptempo game.

“Coming in with the new coach is … what he was excited about, being a part of … establishing the new culture for this coach.”

The 6-foot, North Carolina native Cone chose the Hokies over Baylor and Tennessee, which he visited earlier this month.

“He is an exceptional ballhandler and passer,” Thompson said. “He creates for a lot of his teammates because he garners so much attention with the ball and because he’s able to do so many things with the ball.

“He’s an electrifying, scoring small guard.”

Kevin Willard will remain at Seton Hall after turning down Virginia Tech

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Kevin Willard will stay the head coach at Seton Hall after listening to an offer from Virginia Tech.

After being linked to the Hokies after former head coach Buzz Williams took the job at Texas A&M, Willard will instead stay with the Pirates as Seton Hall is expected to give Willard a new contract with a raise. With Seton Hall potentially bringing back most of its roster from an NCAA tournament season, hopes are high for the Pirates in 2019-20 — particularly if guard Myles Powell returns after testing the NBA Draft waters.

“Didn’t want to leave my team,” Willard said to Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press. “I really enjoy this group. That was the reason.”

While Virginia Tech attempted to lure Willard away with more money and the draw of playing in the loaded ACC, the Hokies also haven’t had a lot of sustained basketball success until Williams turned the program around. Leaving the comfort of a good thing at Seton Hall would have been a risk for Willard as he’s guided the Pirates to four straight NCAA tournament appearances.

Now that Virginia Tech’s top target has said no, it’ll be interesting to see where they turn to next as they remain one of the better jobs still available in the 2019 coaching carousel.

Virginia Tech’s Ty Outlaw charged with marijuana possession

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Virginia Tech starter Ty Outlaw was charged with marijuana possession on Tuesday as his status for this weekend’s Sweet 16 contest against Duke remains uncertain.

Charged with one misdemeanor count of marijuana possession, Outlaw’s charges occur from a search warrant conducted at his apartment while he was away with the Hokies in California at the NCAA tournament.

According to the search warrant, on March 20, Blacksburg police officers arrived at Outlaw’s apartment for a narcotics violation. The officers attempted to make contact with the occupants of the apartment and received no response but the officer claimed “a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from the residence.” A search warrant was obtained, and on March 21, police seized one white pill, two yellow capsules, an electronic vape cartridge and green plant material from the residence.

The case was filed on Wednesday after a summons for Outlaw was issued Monday and delivered on Tuesday. He’s scheduled to appear in court on April 11.

No. 12 FSU beats No. 16 Virginia Tech 65-63 in OT at ACC tournament

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — With the clock winding down in a tie game, Florida State’s Terance Mann pushed upcourt and launched a twisting off-balance shot that ended with him flat on his back, his feet up in the air and the ball rattling around the rim.

Never a doubt, right?

“I knew,” Mann said. “I knew it was going in.”

Mann’s shot with 1.8 seconds left helped the No. 12 Seminoles edge No. 16 Virginia Tech 65-63 on Thursday in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament quarterfinals, keeping the Seminoles’ hot hand with the wildest-looking — yet nonetheless effective — of shots.

Mann’s shot broke a 63-all tie for the fourth-seeded Seminoles (26-6), who secured the win when Nickeil Alexander-Walker missed a long 3-pointer at the horn on a desperation inbounds play from the far end.

Mann had the biggest shot of the game, but the Seminoles had two other big ones to secure this one in a testament to their balance. That included freshman Devin Vassell hitting a contested 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.

“That’s just how our team is,” said Mann, who had 10 points and nine rebounds. “Whoever feels comfortable with the position they’re in, they’re going to do it. And we all have full faith in here in everybody to do so.”

Vassell scored 14 points to lead the Seminoles, who started the game with a 17-4 lead yet ended up in that tense finish.

It finally came down to Alexander-Walker missing a contested shot in the paint with about 10 seconds left in overtime. The Seminoles didn’t call timeout, opting instead to push the ball back the other way.

“I was going to live and die with whatever happened as a result of that,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said.

Alexander-Walker finished with 21 points for the Hokies, including a 3 that bounced up off the front rim and dropped through the net for a 63-60 lead with 1:40 left in OT.

The lead didn’t hold up in the second overtime matchup between the teams in the past 10 days — both won by FSU.

“He made a great drive, I just tried not to foul,” Virginia Tech’s Ahmed Hill said of Mann’s shot. “He made a beautiful floater and it happened to go in.”

BIG PICTURE

Virginia Tech: The Hokies have been grinding through games without injured point guard Justin Robinson (foot) since late January. The Hokies fought their way to win six wins in their final 10 regular-season games, then beat Miami in Wednesday’s second round to advance. They just couldn’t protect that final lead, with FSU’s Phil Cofer hitting the tying 3 at the 1:15 mark of OT to set the stage for Mann’s winner.

Florida State: The Seminoles arrived in Charlotte as one of the hottest teams in the country, winning 12 of 13 games to secure a double-round bye into the quarterfinals. They found a wild way to add to that streak.

QUICK THINKER

Mann said he was looking to drive to the rim when he took a pass near halfcourt on that final transition chance. He pushed to the right against Hill and felt a bump, so he lifted off for a shot that ultimately bounced around the rim, touched the backboard and dropped through the net.

“I knew it wasn’t a hard-enough bump to get the whistle,” Mann said. “So once I was in the air, I knew I had to shoot it. I’m used to doing it.”

Mann paused.

“It’s like a 0.5-second thinking process right there,” he said with a laugh.

ROBINSON’S STATUS

Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams had ruled out Robinson for the ACC Tournament last week but said Thursday he’s “making progress.”

Williams said team medical staff will take new pictures of foot injury Sunday to see how he has progressed. He said Robinson had also been able to participate in at least some practice work Monday and Tuesday.

“He was able to do a little bit more than Monday,” Williams said. “So God’s the ultimate healer and we’re praying that it works.”

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech: The Hokies will wait for Selection Sunday to find out their NCAA Tournament destination.

Florida State: The Seminoles advanced to Friday’s semifinals to face second-ranked and top-seeded Virginia, which beat eighth-seeded North Carolina State earlier Thursday.