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Virginia Tech SF Tyler Nickel Enters the Transfer Portal

Tyler Nickel 1 VT UVA 2024 From VT
Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics

The hits keep on coming for Virginia Tech Men's Basketball as rising junior SF Tyler Nickel is entering the transfer portal as first reported by Chris Arvin of 247 Sports' VT Scoop.

Nickel leaves Virginia Tech after one year in Blacksburg following his transfer from North Carolina. During this past season, Nickel was an important rotational piece for the Hokies who averaged 8.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 24.3 minutes per game while shooting 43.8% from the field including 39.9% from three-point range plus 82.0% from the free-throw line. He will have two years of eligibility remaining at his next school.

Nickel joins All-ACC PG Sean Pedulla, breakout starting C Lynn Kidd, starting guard MJ Collins, rotational C Mylyjael Poteat, and reserve F John Camden as the Hokies to enter the transfer portal since the end of the season. Kidd had since committed and signed with ACC rival Miami.

This is the latest major loss for a Virginia Tech Men's Basketball that now returns zero of the eight primary rotation players they had for most of the season. Rising sophomore SG Jaydon Young now becomes the most experienced of the three returners, with the other two being rising sophomore PG Brandon Rechsteiner and rising redshirt sophomore C Pat Wessler. The Hokies also have two incoming freshman in four-star C/PF Ryan Jones and three-star SG/SF Tyler Johnson.

Nickel had shown a tremendous amount of offensive talent during his time at Virginia Tech, proving to be a prolific shooter while also showing some ability to drive and create his own shot. He showed flashes of potential on the defensive end, struggling with consistency on that end throughout the season, though he signs of growth in that area as the season progressed.

Part of the story around Virginia Tech Men's Basketball program continues to be a lacking NIL budget that remains not up to par, even if there are signs that it may be better for this upcoming season than last. However, the Hokies have work on all fronts to fix the NIL issues for men's basketball from Mike Young to Whit Babcock to Triumph NIL. Of course, some of this also feels like it may be by choice of Triumph to focus more on football along with Babcock.

However, to have this type of mass exodus for a sitting head coach after his fifth season in a situation where his seat may be warming a little, but isn't near a hot seat at this time is bizarre. It could simply just be Tech's NIL and resource NIL issue showing, but it's reasonable to wonder if there's more to the story here.

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