Virginia Tech fans received some surprising news today as center Grant Basile will not use his free COVID year of eligibility and has instead signed in Italy with Bertram Dethrona. Virginia Tech has since confirmed Basile's departure.
Basile has reportedly signed a three-year deal with the Northern Italian team. Dethrona is currently third in the 2022-23 Lega Basket Serie A and is led by a few former college standouts including Mike Daum (South Dakota State) and J.P. Macura (Xavier).
In his one season at Virginia Tech, Basile averaged 16.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game while shooting 52.1% from the field including 39.1% from three-point range plus 72% from the free-throw line on his way to earning All-ACC Honorable Mention honors.
There's no doubt that Basile is a big loss for the Hokies after being Tech's top scorer last year and being a perfect fit given his ability to stretch the floor at the 5. His versatility to versatility a finesse guy in the paint or a sharpshooter outside opened up Tech's offense and created more space that helped the Hokies thrive especially early in the season. Basile was also a solid shot blocker even if he was a little inconsistent overall on the defensive end.
It'll be interesting to see if Tech does look to the portal for a direct replacement as Lynn Kidd has shown the promise to be a quality starting ACC center next season though Kidd is a more classic 5 who is limited in range offensively. A scenario that could play out is Kidd starting and playing around 25 minutes per game with Mylyjael Poteat and Pat Wessler both working in after him.
It's also possible that Tech looks for a direct replacement in the transfer portal though with 3 centers on the roster, pursuing another forward may make more sense in a roster construction sense. Those will be questions that Mike Young and his staff will have to parse through rather quickly given the pace at which things happen in the transfer portal.
We will have more as this story develops.