The first full recruiting cycle of the Mike Young has already gone well for Virginia Tech with the Hokies signing a pair of consensus top 100, four-star guards in Darius Maddox and Joe Bamisile. However, the Hokies are still looking to add a couple more pieces to their 2020 class. Here's a look at the targets to watch for the Hokies.
PG Carter Whitt
Carter Whitt was a main part of the headline visit weekend for Virginia Tech basketball along with David N'Guessan (who we'll get to in a moment). Whitt may currently be a part of the 2021 class, but many expect that the four-star point guard will likely reclassify to the 2020 class with Virginia Tech ready to take him in either class depending on his decision.
Whitt isn't a recruit to speak with the media often, but from what we've heard from sources suggest that Virginia Tech is in a strong position in his recruitment. One source told us that the Hokies and Ohio State are among the top contenders in his recruitment with Virginia Tech in good shape after his visit.
Whitt would be a great addition for the Hokies as he is a point guard first unlike the Hokies' two backcourt signees in Bamisile and Maddox. Given Jalen Cone's success working off-the-ball as a two guard in a way that is reminiscent to Seth Allen, trying to add someone like Whitt to this class makes a lot sense especially with how it could allow VT to use Cone even more in what looks like his best role.
Obviously, the coronavirus pandemic has slowed down plenty of recruitments especially with a dead period being enacted through at least April 15th. However, what is clear at this point is that the Hokies are a top contender to add another four-star recruit to their strong 2020 class with Carter Whitt.
PF David N'Guessan
David N'Guessan has risen to be one of the top prospects on the board for Virginia Tech and the top priority among high school basketball recruits. N'Guessan followed a recent official visit to Virginia Tech with an official visit to Saint Joseph's and while he is looking at possibly taking more visits, all of that is on hold for now due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Before the NCAA declared a recruiting dead period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hokies went to visit N'Guessan on March 11th according to recruiting reporter Andrew Slater.
The Hokies have also been in regular contact with N'Guessan with head coach Mike Young calling him last night and continuing to assure him that the Hokies see him as a top priority to add to their 2020 class.
N'Guessan had been targeting a March decision previously, but his comments recently to us suggested that a March decision is unlikely given his consideration of taking more visits. One place where N'Guessan may look to visit is VCU as the Rams were previously among a top group of schools for him along with the Hokies and Saint Joseph's.
At this point, Virginia Tech may be the slight favorite on paper given how well his official visit went, and the Hokies' prowess as the lone ACC program looking to add a talented big man to their class. However, Virginia Tech still has work to do to seal the deal on what could be a valuable frontcourt addition.
SG/PG Brandon Murray
Brandon Murray has seen a significant surge in his recruitment over the past several weeks as he has received several major conference offers. That group has included Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Georgetown, and DePaul along with multiple high mid-major offers.
Murray is an intriguing prospect who many see as a combo guard, something that the Hokies already have with Joe Bamisile. However, it's clear that Murray has the level of talent that the Hokies could not deny extending him an offer, especially after an evaluation from Chester Frazier, who shares Baltimore roots with Murray.
Part of the challenge in Murray's recruitment is the fact that it's unclear if the Hokies would have room to add him, especially if they gained commitments from Whitt and N'Guessan. If Tech does have the room for Murray, expect the Hokies to push very hard and have a good chance especially due to Frazier's roots to the Baltimore area.
Murray remains a name to keep an eye on as the Hokies look to put together their 2020 class.
SF DeAndre Pinckney
Looking at the JUCO ranks, one player to keep an eye on is DeAndre Pinckney. The Hokies have shown plenty of interest over the past few months in Pinckney who has the potential to play a valuable role as a bigger wing who could work at the three or four depending on how Tech's roster looks for next season.
Pinckney has an intriguing group of schools involved with SMU and USF among the most prominent to have offered him and St John's continuing to linger as a school to potentially offer him. Some of those schools have prioritized him quite highly though it's clear that the Hokies still have plenty of interest in him.
Of course, part of the decision-making process that must happen here is whether to take a JUCO guy who may be better in the short-term but have less eligibility, or go with a guy you can develop over four years. Depending on room, the Hokies may have ability to take both.
Additionally, Pinckney could be a quality, immediate replacement for Landers Nolley if the All-ACC Freshman star ends up leaving Virginia Tech after his first on-court season for the Hokies. While Nolley's decision is still unknown at this point, Pinckney would be a fitting replacement that has shown lots of potential at the JUCO ranks to be a quality starter immediately averaging 16.8 points and 8 rebounds per game while shooting 68.4% from the field.
Tech has had success finding talent at the JUCO level previously with Ty Outlaw and Shane Henry, and may look to do so again with DeAndre Pinckney.