Photo Credit: Liam Sment
Even though the 2020-21 basketball season has yet to begin, there are already a few players jumping in the transfer portal for the 2021-22 season including 2019-20 Ivy League Player of the Year Paul Atkinson Jr, a 6'10'' forward from Yale.
Unsurprisingly, loads of major programs are interested in Atkinson including Virginia Tech as Adam Zagoria reported.
Atkinson had a big junior season at Yale averaging 17.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while shooting 63% from the field and 67.1% from the free-throw line. His performance earned him the aforementioned Ivy League Player of the Year award along with First Team All-Ivy League status. He also scored in double figures in all 30 games last season, a tremendous accomplishment of consistency at a high level.
Atkinson is an impressive frontcourt player that would make a difference on loads of major conference teams including Virginia Tech. Given that, it's not surprising to see that loads of major programs beyond Virginia Tech have also reached out to Atkinson.
Yale graduate transfer Paul Atkinson told ESPN he's already heard from Duke, Arkansas, Miami, Florida, USC, Stanford, Notre Dame, Gonzaga, Maryland, Texas, Ohio State, OK State, Wake Forest, Cincinnati and Georgia.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) October 20, 2020
Co-Player of the Year in the Ivy last season. 17.6 PPG, 7.3 RPG.
Safe to say, this is going to be a fascinating recruitment with teams approaching this as if they're recruiting a one-and-done five-star talent in the 2021 class. Of course, Atkinson's production at Yale last year shows that he has the potential to develop into an all-conference player
At 6'10'', Atkinson would be another step in the right direction for the Hokies adding size under Mike Young after being among the smallest teams under Buzz Williams with that lingering over to the beginning of the Young era.
This will be a very uphill battle for the Hokies with loads of blue bloods and fellow major programs all battling to land him though the Ivy League connection with assistant Christian Webster, a former Harvard player and coach, could prove beneficial in their pursuit of Atkinson.