Days after the departure of Buzz Williams for Texas A&M became official, Virginia Tech has a pair of players entering the transfer portal in PG Wabissa Bede and forward Chris Clarke.
#Hokies sophomore guard Wabissa Bede will enter the NCAA transfer portal, per a source. He could return to the program when the new coach is hired.
Former Tech forward Chris Clarke has entered the portal as well, and will not have the option of returning to the Hokies' program.
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) April 5, 2019
Clarke’s departure likely isn’t a surprise to most after he was suspended for the whole season for unknown reasons, and was also recently charged with a misdemeanor. Clarke does have a year of eligibility remaining as a grad transfer and will definitely have some quality suitors though any school that pursues him will likely have some vetting to do given the unknown circumstances surrounding his indefinite suspension this season.
Bede is definitely the more intriguing of the two transfer decisions after Bede started 26 games for the Hokies and was consistently praised for his performance on the defensive end. Overall, Bede finished the season averaging 3.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 40.2% from the field and 35.4% from three-point range.
While it’s unclear whether Bede is set on transferring or not, there is plenty of precedent for a player entering the transfer portal when a coach either leaves or is fired, and then returning after the hiring of a new coach. Alabama had multiple players follow this pattern including John Petty who initially entered the transfer portal after Avery Johnson was fired before deciding to return after the hiring of Buffalo’s Nate Oats.
One thing that is interesting to note is that Bede likely has some sort of relationship with one prospective candidate, Seton Hall’s Kevin Willard, as the Pirates offered Bede as a high school recruit. While those relationship may not much, it could help if Willard is hired as the next head coach relative to some of the other names that have been rumored with the job.
While it wouldn’t be surprising to see Bede transfer, it is way too soon to rule out Bede returning next season with a new head coach.