Virginia Tech Shows Interest In a Pair of Backcourt Transfers

Virginia Tech Shows Interest In a Pair of Backcourt Transfers
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Mar 25, 2020

Virginia Tech may not have much flexibility without a scholarship officially open at the moment, but it seems likely that at least one may come open especially with the Hokies showing interest in multiple transfers recently.

That list has expanded slightly with an emphasis on the backcourt as the Hokies have shown interest in a pair of talented transfers, one from the New River Valley and another who has been playing on the West Coast but is from Charlotte. First, Radford's Carlik Jones.

Radford PG Carlik Jones

Carlik Jones surprised many as the Big South Player of the Year announced his decision to enter the transfer portal. Unsurprisingly, the list of suitors for Jones is loaded with the Hokies sensibly reaching out to the Cincinnati native.

Jones is the type of player that you find a way to get on your team if you have the ability to do so as the Big South Player of the Year was impressive this season averaging 20.0 points, 5.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 33 minutes per game.

More importantly, Jones was efficient shooting 48.8% from the field including 40.9% from three and 81.4% from the free-throw line. He also did a great job of protecting the basketball averaging only 2.3 turnovers per game especially given that his usage rate was 30.7% for the season, numbers that aren't too far below the usage rate of Landers Nolley.

There's no doubt that Jones is one of the top transfers in the country and is the type of player that can be a difference maker from day one in a major conference especially on the offensive end. Yes, the Hokies have Wabissa Bede, but Jones is the type of player you find a way to add to your roster and could also compliment Bede very well given that Bede's strengths are moreso on the defensive end of the floor.

Regardless, Jones is the type of player that, if you can add him, will certainly have a starting spot. The question that remains is whether the Hokies can convince Jones to make the short trip across the New River Valley to Blacksburg to play for the Hokies in the best conference in college basketball.

There could be challenges to that with hometown Cincinnati and nearby Louisville and Ohio State also in the hunt for Jones. However, the lack of availability to visit other schools at the moment could prove beneficial for Tech given that it would be surprising if Jones hasn't stopped by VT's campus at least a couple times in the past given the proximity.

Keep an eye on the Hokies in the race for Carlik Jones.

Santa Clara SG Trey Wertz

Virginia Tech is also among the schools that have reached out to Santa Clara transfer/sharpshooter Trey Wertz.

Wertz is an interesting story as Tech recruited him coming out of high school in Charlotte, but he ultimately chose to stick with Santa Clara despite the major conference interest. Now, Wertz has proven that those major conference teams who were interested were more than right for being interested back then.

In his sophomore season at Santa Clara, Wertz was efficient averaging 11.9 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 48.9% from the field including 40% from three. This came in a West Coast Conference that arguably was at the strongest it's ever been with three sure-fire NCAA Tournament and a host teams that were likely to receive NIT, CBI, and CIT bids.

Wertz would be a sit one play two transfer who seems to bring some versatility as a combo guard that can work on and off the ball. That type of player could have lots of value especially with Jalen Cone having more comfort working off the ball. Bringing in Wertz would give the Hokies a few different options for operating the point in the long run.

While Mike Young wasn't at Virginia Tech when the Hokies initially recruited Wertz, there are still a couple of holdovers from the Buzz Williams era who Wertz likely has a good rapport with. That could prove valuable in Tech's pursuit of adding another sharpshooter to a Mike Young team that has largely been built around shooting the three so far.

Additionally, the Hokies have reached out to multiple other transfers including Bowling Green SG Justin Turner, Yale PF Jordan Bruner, and Wichita State SG Jamarius Burton.