Virginia Tech Men's Basketball has made their first splash of the offseason in the transfer portal landing standout Old Dominion 6'7'' forward Mekhi Long. This was reported first by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports and has since been confirmed by Long to The Tech Lunch Pail.
Long was a starter for the Monarchs the past two seasons and a two-way stud who averaged 10.7 points, 8.7 rebounds (including 2.4 offensive rebounds), 1.5 steals, and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 43.8% from the field including 35.9% from three-point range plus 66.1% from the free-throw line. He also led the Sun Belt in double-doubles this past season and has one year of eligibility remaining.
He had this to say about why he chose the Hokies.
"It felt like home with great pieces coming back and I trust Coach Webbie (Christian Webster) and Mike Jones," Long said.
He chose the Hokies over many other schools including Arkansas, Clemson, JMU, UAB, a return to Rhode Island where he started his career, and a return to ODU where he's played the past three seasons.
So what are Hokie fans getting in Long from his perspective? Here's what he had had to say
"A defender who plays hard and can do a little bit of everything," Long said.
Long is a really smart addition for the Hokies who fills two of Tech's biggest needs: defense and rebounding. He's proven to be quite effective as a rebounder at both ends of the floor while his defensive stats are strong beyond his steals but also to the fact that per Sports-Reference, his defensive plus/minus was a 2.0 this past season. For comparison, only Justyn Mutts was better than that last season for the Hokies.
Long has also developed into a quality shooter who can help the Hokies have the type of spacing that they love to have on the wing whether Long is working at the 3 or 4 with both being legit options given his versatility. In many ways, he's that long 3-and-D wing that the Hokies lacked this past season who may not be a star but fills a huge hole in the returning roster for the Hokies.
We will have more as this story develops.