Virginia Tech announced today that sophomore point guard Rodney Rice has stepped away from the men's basketball program.
In the announcement to the media, head coach Mike Young shared the following statement on Rice's departure.
"Rodney Rice recently shared with me his desire to step away from our program. While his departure is unfortunate, we wish Rodney and his family all the best in the future," Young said.
There's no doubt that this is a significant loss for the Hokies for many reasons. Rice seemed poised to be a top backup guard at worst and have at least a 20-25 minute role this season. He's shown tons of scoring potential out of the backcourt which will be missed from this team.
Rice also was set to be Tech's second point guard behind veteran Sean Pedulla in addition to being able to work alongside Pedulla in the backcourt.
HRice's departure may force the Hokies to lean some on true freshman Brandon Rechsteiner to provide 7-10 quality backup point guard minutes. Fifth-year veteran Hunter Cattoor will likely also take on a few minutes as lead ball-handler to give Pedulla a break and give Tech way more experience than the freshman Rechsteiner offers.
Now much of this is based on the upside that Rice has shown even if he didn't show lots of consistency in the limited games he played in as a freshman due to the multiple injuries he faced.
It is assumed that Rice will transfer once the portal opens in the spring. In the interim, he will technically use a redshirt and have three years of eligibility remaining at his next program.
We will have more as this story develops.