The wait is over and Virginia Tech received news that they were surely excited to here as veteran forward Justyn Mutts will return for a sixth and final year of college basketball as reported by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports with Mutts confirming it since.
Virginia Tech's Justyn Mutts will withdraw from the 2022 NBA Draft and return to school next season, per his agent Daniel Green.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 1, 2022
Earlier this offseason, Mutts declared for the NBA Draft but maintained his collegiate eligibility with Keve Aluma following suit. While Aluma chose to move on, Mutts chose to return for one more season and will immediately be a lead star on a talented Virginia Tech team that has more than enough talent to reach its sixth-straight contested NCAA Tournament.
Mutts' return comes after the best season of his collegiate career in regards both to performance and competition level as he averaged 10.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.9 blocks in 29.9 minutes per game while shooting 53.7% from the field including 33.3% from three-point range plus 67.5% from the free-throw line.
Mutts should fill right back in at the 4 with Wright State transfer Grant Basile working at the 5 though both have the versatility to flip back and forth given that both are solid three-point shooters for collegiate big men.
Tech could also use Mutts at the 5 at times in smaller lineups with Memphis transfer John Camden at the 4 to provide a different look as well. They could also go bigger with Mutts having the versatility to be a big 3 with Basile pairing in the frontcourt with someone like Mylyjael Poteat, Lynn Kidd, or Pat Wessler.
Mutts should also become even more focal in Tech's offense and will be relied on even more as a scorer though he's shown the potential to be a 15+ points per game type guy during his time at Virginia Tech.
His addition makes Tech a team that can absolutely return to the NCAA Tournament next season and has the pieces to likely start the season around the 20-35 range and can definitely outdo their previous NCAA Tournament seedings over the past two appearances under Mike Young.
There are a multitude of reasons why Mutts likely returned from his love of Virginia Tech to his opportunity to be the lead star for the Hokies in the 2022-23 season to the six-figure NIL opportunities that were extended to him per source. That combination led to Mutts choosing to return to Blacksburg for one more season where because of those NIL opportunities, he'll likely make more at Virginia Tech than he would have playing basketball elsewhere professionally or in a private sector job where his multitude of degrees would certainly lead to a large salary as well.
We will have more as this story develops.