It's been a busy past 16 hours for the Hokies that started with Justyn Mutts declaring for the 2022 NBA Draft while maintaining his college eligibility and was followed this morning by Nahiem Alleyne entering the transfer portal. Tech now has had a third player make news as C John Ojiako has entered the transfer portal as first reported by David Cunningham of Tech Sideline.
Virginia Tech center John Ojiako has entered the transfer portal, per a source.— David Cunningham (@therealdcunna) April 12, 2022
The 6’10” junior from Lagos, Nigeria was part of Mike Young’s first recruiting class in Blacksburg in 2019.
Battled some injuries in his career, averaged 2.4 ppg and shot 54.6% in 57 app. #Hokies
Ojiako was never able to find a large role in his three seasons at Virginia Tech averaging 2.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game while shooting 54.6% from the field in his three seasons in Blacksburg. He will have two seasons of eligibility remaining and will likely have plenty of mid-major suitors given the upside that he has shown at times as a Hokie.
Ojiako's departure won't surprise too many as he struggled to gain traction this season and the centers of the future seem to be either Keve Aluma or a transfer portal addition for 2022-23 and then the duo of Lynn Kidd and Patrick Wessler.
With Ojiako moving on, don't expect Tech to necessarily fill this spot with another center given that Tech has two younger ones already plus Aluma and/or a transfer portal addition for next season. This is where the pursuit of near five-star SF Tyrell Ward comes into play for filling this scholarship spot though with Alleyne's surprise departure as well, this opens up some more flexibility for Tech.
If anything, it could mean the Hokies look for an experienced point guard to at least provide some more depth with Sean Pedulla likely poised to take on the lead role or at least a starting role. It could also open the door for Tech to pursue a top guard in the portal in general that the Hokies' coaching staff may have a strong connection with.
Tech may also look to find an older player with one of the two scholarships now open from the transfer portal entries of Ojiako and Alleyne if Justyn Mutts stays in the draft and Keve Aluma also chooses to do so given the lesser amount of experience that the Hokeis would have at that point.