Virginia Tech Basketball Showing Interest In Multiple Transfers

Virginia Tech Basketball Showing Interest In Multiple Transfers
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Mar 19, 2020

Virginia Tech may not currently have an open scholarship with David N'Guessan committing days after the transfer decision from Landers Nolley. However, the Hokies are continuing to monitor the transfer market in case more scholarships open up.

Here's a look at three names that Virginia Tech has knowingly shown interest in.

Quinnipiac PF/C Kevin Marfo

Kevin Marfo is regarded as one of the top grad transfers in the country with a massive list of major conference programs showing interest including Virginia Tech.

Marfo led the nation in rebounding this past season averaging 13.3 rebounds along with 10.2 points, 1.9 assists, and 1.2 blocks in 28.1 minutes per game while shooting 48.4% from the field and 71% from the free-throw line.

Marfo would add more size in the frontcourt at 6'8'', but plays more like a center rather than a power forward, making a pairing with Keve Aluma potentially difficult. However, if Aluma has the flexibility like P.J. Horne, adding Marfo could give Tech their deepest frontcourt in years with Marfo, Aluma, Horne working at the four, and John Ojiako.

This will be Marfo's second transfer after he started his career at George Washington. He is a New Jersey native and seems likely to stay on the East Coast even with the numerous national opportunities he is likely to get. That could be very beneficial for Tech in their pursuit of him though schools closer to New Jersey in power conferences could be tougher challenges.

Overall, Marfo would be a strong rebounding and defense addition to VT's frontcourt, but his lack of offensive versatility could limit VT's pursuit given what they have at center with Keve Aluma and John Ojiako.

Update: Virginia Tech did not make the top 15 for Kevin Marfo.

Yale PF Jordan Bruner

Ivy League First Teamer Jordan Bruner immediately became one of the top grad transfers available on the market. Unsurprisingly, lots of schools have reached out to Bruner including the Hokies.

The 6'9'' Bruner was a stat sheet stuffer and productive, versatile forward for Yale averaging 10.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.7 blocks, and 1.0 steals in 32.4 minutes per game. He also showed versatility shooting 44.3% from the field including 51.9% from inside the arc, 32.3% from three-point range, and 76.6% from the free-throw line.

While Bruner is a solid offensive player, he is best known as a high-end defensive player who led Yale in defensive rating and defensive plus-minus. Adding someone like Bruner would give plenty of talented forwards lots of offensive issues.

Bruner has the versatility to fit as a power forward for a Mike Young team that would allow him to stretch the floor and benefit from his solid three-point shooting for a frontcourt player. He would also fit well with what Tech has in the frontcourt with Keve Aluma and John Ojiako fitting well at the five and P.J. Horne pairing with Bruner at the four. He would also give Tech some much-needed size in their frontcourt that they haven't had for years with Buzz Williams' small-ball approach.

The interesting part with Bruner's situation is the fact that he does plan to explore his NBA options similar to what Kerry Blackshear did last offseason. That could mean that, in addition to the coronavirus delaying many parts of sports, a final decision from Bruner may not happen till June at the earliest to allow all of those things plays out.

It remains to be seen if Tech can gain traction with Jordan Bruner, but his skill set and versatility makes him a very good fit in Blacksburg should he choose the Hokies.

Wichita State SG Jamarius Burton

The Hokies have shown interest beyond just grad transfers as Jamarius Burton has also received interest from the Hokies.

Jamarius Burton proved to be a quality scorer for Wichita State this past season shooting 44% from the field including 38.1% from three-point range on his way to averaging 10.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game.

Burton is an interesting name as he would cycle into the Hokies' large class that just finished their freshman seasons after 2 seasons in Wichita and a year to sit out at his next destination.

It's unclear if the Hokies have formally extended an offer to Burton especially given how Burton plays a position where Tech already has lots of depth as a two guard who may be a little undersized at the three. Additionally, it would seem like the Hokies would rather add a player who could play immediately given the vacancy left by Landers Nolley rather than add a player they would have to wait a year for.

However, Burton has proven to be a quality shooter and scorer at a high quality level of competition in the AAC, something that can give coaches more confidence that he can be highly productive as soon as he was able to take the floor if he ended up in Blacksburg.

Burton does seem extremely unlikely, but is a name worth keeping an eye on for now to see if anything more comes out of VT's early interest.

Bowling Green SG Justin Turner

Justin Turner instantly became one of the top available grad transfers as a proven scorer in a high mid-major as shown by how he's earned All-MAC First Team honors each of the past 2 seasons. Unsurprisingly, Turner has an impressive group of schools showing interest including Virginia Tech.

The 6'4'' Turner was impressive this past season averaging 18.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 42.7% from the field including 36.1% from three and an impressive 85.1% from the free-throw line.

With Landers Nolley gone, Virginia Tech has a void in terms of a lead scorer and while Tyrece Radford and Jalen Cone have shown the potential and skill to step into that role, adding a proven veteran like Turner would be a strong addition. Of course, Turner's impressive interest list shows how it will be an uphill battle especially with the Detroit native receiving interest from big programs relatively closer to home including Louisville, Xavier, and Cincinnati.

Turner would likely slide into a wing role for Virginia Tech, but could also be trusted to work plenty on-the-ball in part shown by his great ability to draw free throws, averaging 5.4 attempts per game this past season. He's also a quality three-point shooter having made 37.3% of threes in his career, and could improve on a team where he wouldn't consistently be receiving the primary attention of the defense.

Keep an eye on Justin Turner as the Hokies look at the grad transfer market as a way to add some star power to next season's team.