Photo Credit: Liam Sment
After seeing five of the eight first 2 round picks were players from before the 21st Century, today's third round features four players who are all from the 21st Century.
After the first Seth Greenberg era star went in Round 2 in Malcolm Delaney (and 2nd overall player from Greenberg in Erick Green who starred under James Johnson), the Greenberg era takes over the third round of the draft. Meanwhile, a second Buzz Williams era star earns a selection as one of our teams adds VT's most recent star big man.
So with that said, here's the third round of the All-Time Virginia Tech Basketball Draft.
9. Team Tim: Zabian Dowdell
After arguably the best guard and the best forward in Virginia Tech history, my team adds one of VT's best ever point guards to run the show in Zabian Dowdell.
Dowdell averaged double digits points every single season starting 118 of 122 games in Blacksburg while developing into a star. His best season was his final one as Dowdell averaged 17.4 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.1 steals per game on his way to earning All-ACC First Team and Defensive Team honors along with leading the Hokies to a run to the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
Putting Dowdell at the point alongside Dell Curry and Ace Custis continues to build a Virginia Tech dream team that has led Virginia Tech to some of their most successful seasons in program history.
10. Team Robert: Kerry Blackshear Jr.
With the tenth pick, I figured it was time to secure a big man for my team. Who better than Kerry Blackshear, Jr.?
Blackshear’s career started slow for the Hokies, as he averaged just six points as a freshman. He then took a medical redshirt, missing the entire 2016-17 season due to foot surgery. Blackshear spent that extra time not just recovering from his surgery, but also honing his skills. When Blackshear returned for the 2017-18 season, it was clear he was a different player.
Blackshear became a fixture in the post and a staple of Buzz Williams’ NCAA Tournament teams.
When Justin Robinson went down with an injury during the 2018-19 season, Blackshear took another step, becoming the focal point of VT’s offense. In the 12 games without Robinson, Blackshear averaged 18 points and nine rebounds.
What Blackshear brings to the table is his size (6’10'', 241), rebounding, and versatile scoring. He played with a variety of post moves, becoming virtually unguardable in one-on-one matchups down low. He was also a solid shooter, shooting 50% from the field for his career, including 30% from the three-point line.
With Blackshear standing firm in the middle, I can focus on assembling my team the same way Williams did: surrounding him with shooters.
11. Team David: Jamon Gordon
The only team I enjoyed watching more than Buzz Williams’ tournament teams was the 2006-07 Hokies team under Seth Greenberg. Led by Jamon Gordon and Zabian Dowdell, Tech made the NCAA Tournament and shocked most, beating Duke once and Carolina twice that season. Gordon was a huge reason that team had so much success.
The best defender Virginia Tech has seen this decade, Gordon was a two-time All-ACC Defensive Team selection and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 after averaging 2.8 steals per game. He’ll complement Robinson and Delaney well in the backcourt, but don’t worry – he’s great offensively too. Fourth all-time in assists and 31st in points, Gordon can do it all, and he was always one of my favorites to watch.
12. Team Grant: A.D. Vassallo
A.D. Vassallo is one of the most underrated players in Virginia Tech history. He steadily improved each season as he went from averaging 6.9 points a game his freshman season to 19.1 during his senior season.
He was a two-time All-ACC selection, and he is sixth all-time in scoring at Virginia Tech. Vassallo may not have the flashy highlights of some other Hokies, but he was an extremely consistent and important player throughout his career.