As Mike Young's coaching staff comes together in Blacksburg, his roster seems to be increasingly diminishing. Kerry Blackshear, Jr. announced on Tuesday afternoon that he had entered his name into the NCAA's transfer portal as well as entering the 2019 NBA Draft.
"I wanted you all to know that I'm exploring a number of options for this upcoming season," Blackshear wrote in an Instagram post. "I've decided to enter my name into the 2019 NBA Draft in order to pursue my lifelong dream."
With the NBA Draft rules, players can sign an agent and explore the possibility of being drafted without losing NCAA eligibility. This leaves the door open for Blackshear to return to college basketball if he feels that is his best option.
"I have also placed my name in the transfer portal," Blackshear continues. "I will continue discussing the possibility of continuing to play here at Virginia Tech with Coach Young & my family, as well as other potential opportunities."
If Blackshear were to transfer to another NCAA program, he would be eligible to play immediately next season as a graduate transfer. He will likely be one of the hottest names one the transfer market this offseason.
Blackshear was a key part of the Hokies' record-setting season this year, starting all 35 games for Tech. He averaged 14.9 points per game and led the team with 7.5 rebounds per game in 2019. He also led the team with 28 blocks on the season.
The loss of Blackshear would be a big one for Tech. The Hokies have already lost seniors Justin Robinson, Ty Outlaw and Ahmed Hill going into next season. Wabissa Bede has entered his name into the transfer portal and Nickeil Alexander-Walker has entered his name into the NBA Draft.
In addition to the loss of current players, Tech has lost multiple commits from the class of 2019 since former head coach Buzz Williams left for Texas A&M.
Blackshear was the only player on Tech's roster above 6-foot-7 and played a key role as the Hokies' big man. He would be a tough player to replace, but it's important to keep in mind that the team might not have to replace him at all. By entering his name into the transfer portal and NBA Draft, Blackshear still has the option to return to Virginia Tech should he choose to do so.
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics