Virginia Tech and some of their top targets have been busy making lots of noise on the basketball recruiting trail recently. Here's a look at some of the most notable headlines from Tech's first 2022 commit to a top target set to announce plus a transfer target to keep an eye on.
3* CG MJ Collins
In case you missed it, Virginia Tech landed their first 2022 basketball commit over the Fourth of July weekend from talented combo guard MJ Collins.
Collins chose the Hokies over offers from in-state Clemson, Xavier, VCU, Temple, George Mason, South Florida, UNC Greensboro, and others. Tech hosted Collins on an official visit in the beginning of June as well that almost certainly was valuable in his decision.
While Collins may not be the flashiest commit to land, he's on the verge of being a four-star guard in the rankings, but he was more importantly high on the board in the eyes of the Virginia Tech coaching staff. Tech also likely benefited from their Palmetto State connections via Mike Young's long tenure at Wofford which isn't too far from Collins in Rock Hill, SC.
With Collins on board, Tech likely will look to add one more point guard/combo guard with four-star PG Rodney Rice being a top of the board target regardless of position. Tech's hopes of landing Rice have received a major boost with the hiring of Mike Jones, his now former coach at DeMatha Catholic. A backcourt combination of Rice and Collins would also be quite impressive for Tech and allow them to focus on bigs and wings for the rest of the 2022 cycle.
4* SF Tyrell Ward
Four-star SF Tyrell Ward is one of Virginia Tech's top win targets this cycle with the talented DMV prospect publicly announcing his decision date for this Monday at 3pm and revealing his finalists.
i will be announcing my commitment on July 12th at 3pm ET— rell 🦍 (@daraghson_) July 10, 2021
Four-star junior, Tyrell Ward, will be announcing his college decision on July 12th, he told @Stockrisers. The finalists include Virginia Tech, Maryland, Xavier, LSU, Indiana, and Louisville.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) July 10, 2021
There's no doubt that the Hokies have been considered one of the top contenders for Ward who was previously coached by now Tech assistant Mike Jones at DeMatha Catholic. Tech has also hosted Ward on an unofficial visit since the COVID dead period ended at beginning of June which should help Tech's hopes.
247 Sports' Crystal Ball currently is favoring Xavier though as the Musketeers look to make a big splash on the trail and have been a long time contender while Tech's spot in his recruitment really picked up with the hiring of Mike Jones. LSU and local Maryland also could be sleepers but Xavier and Virginia Tech seem on paper like the two most likely landing spots at this point.
If Tech doesn't land Ward, there are plenty of other wings/hybrid bigs to keep an eye on for the Hokies with four-star, in-state SF/PF Tyler Nickel probably the most notable to watch. Even if they do land Ward, Nickel will likely remain a high priority target while other wings may come into greater focus if they miss out on Ward.
Update: Tyrell Ward has committed to Xavier.
LSU/San Jose State SF Seneca Knight
Seneca Knight is a fascinating transfer target as he was a standout at San Jose State averaging 17.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in 32.3 minutes per game during the 2019-20 season on his way to earning All-Mountain West honors. After starting four games this past season for San Jose State, Knight entered the transfer portal and went to LSU.
However, Knight re-entered the transfer portal last month after only being in Baton Rouge for a short time and never playing a single game for the Tigers.
Since then, Knight has received plenty of interest including some from the Hokies.
LSU transfer Seneca Knight tells me that he will visit BYU next week. Recently visited Georgia Southern. Also receiving interest from Virginia Tech.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 9, 2021
Knight has received interest from several other schools including Minnesota so far but the Hokies, BYU, and Georgia Southern have been mentioned the most. Now it does not appear that the Hokies have offered Knight yet while Georgia Southern has and BYU seems close to doing so if they haven't already offered.
There's no doubt that Knight would be a good fit in some regards for the Hokies after the loss of Tyrece Radford. At 6'7'', Knight would be the perfect 3 who could work into the rotation on the wing alongside Nahiem Alleyne, Hunter Cattoor, and Darius Maddox while also giving Tech the size boost that has been a priority since Mike Young's arrival in Blacksburg.
BYU will definitely be a challenge for the Hokies as the Cougars have been one of the better college basketball programs out west over the past several years and are in the solid West Coast Conference that regularly gets 2-3 NCAA Tournament bids from BYU, Gonzaga, and Saint Mary's.
Of course, Tech needs to extend an offer first and foremost for this to be a more serious recruiting battle but if they do, Tech will be a contender in a tough battle with BYU, Georgia Southern, and potentially others.