New Virginia Tech basketball coach Mike Young earned his first commitment from the 2019 class in three-star point guard Hunter Cattoor.
The Hokies are one of two schools from the top 7 conferences to offer Cattoor (UCF out of the AAC being the other), so he is a bit of a sleeper, but clearly Young sees something in Cattoor that other coaches do not, as Cattoor originally committed to Wofford before Young left for VT.
What does Cattoor bring to the table for the Hokies? What sticks out initially is his scoring ability.
Here in this group of clips, we see just how easily Cattoor can score. He has a solid jump shot that can hit from anywhere, and he is very good at getting by defenders on his way to the basket.
That jump shot especially is super smooth. Like butter.
It’s pretty clear he plays with plenty of confidence on offense. It takes a lot of guts to regularly pull up with a three-point shot without any of your teammates touching the ball.
Cattoor’s high school coaches clearly had a lot of confidence in his offensive abilities as well. Few coaches would allow their players to play with that sort of singular offense. It will be interesting to see if Cattoor earns that same confidence from Young though the obvious hope is that Cattoor will be far from alone as a productive offensive player throughout his VT career.
Cattoor also has a decent amount of athleticism. It’s nothing to write home about, but his ability to effortlessly throw down dunks while standing at only 6’2'' is impressive.
There are, however, some questions about Cattoor’s game that will need to be addressed if he is to be a productive point guard on an ACC roster.
The first question is his defense. Though he does have a solid leaping ability, his quickness and agility leave a lot to be desired.
Some of the best athletes in the world play basketball in the ACC. VT basketball especially built its identity on superior athletes previously under Buzz Williams. The Hokies’ defensive philosophy has been centered around a lot of switching and using length and quickness to cover up holes.
Unfortunately for Cattoor, he does not possess elite length or quickness like Tech fans have seen from Ahmed Hill, Justin Robinson, and Wabissa Bede.
It will be interesting to see how Cattoor is able to defend at this level despite not being a plus athlete. Mike Young also has said that he plans on running plenty of man-to-man on the defensive end though it remains to be seen if Young does work some hybrid looks or true zone that make it harder to predict Cattoor's defensive ability at the collegiate level.
There is also concern over Cattoor’s ability to manage a game and get teammates involved. It’s clear that he’s a score-first point guard, so it is unclear whether he will play on or off the ball at VT.
However, learning to run an offense and make smart passes is something that can easily be learned over time. Young said in his introductory press conference that he has little tolerance for turnovers, so hopefully, he can teach Cattoor how to run his offense smartly.
There is promise in Cattoor’s ability to be the quarterback of Young’s offense, though he still has many steps to take in that regard. Fans should still feel more comfortable about Cattoor’s ability to grow in that aspect than on the defensive side.
Overall, Cattoor most reminds me of former Southwest VA standout and current Georgetown guard Mac McClung (minus the viral dunks, of course). McClung faced similar questions about his defense and ability to play point guard, but with the proper coaching, he did more than many expected his first season.
Cattoor will be a much different player than what VT fans are used to seeing, but that may not necessarily be a bad thing. Cattoor still has some steps to take in his development, but his scoring is one of a kind and will likely be pivotal in helping Young establish a new culture here in Blacksburg.
Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
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