Virginia Tech Men's Basketball: New Talent to Provide Boost for Hokies in Year Two of the Mike Young Era

Jay Anderson

The Virginia Tech Men’s Basketball team saw some growing pains under head coach Mike Young in Year 1, which was to be expected. Still, the Hokies managed to put together a record of 16-16 overall and 7-13 in ACC play. They’ll return a majority of their production from 2019-20 though they lost Landers Nolley II to the transfer portal, where he joined Memphis. The young players still managed to get some experience under their belt in the toughest conference in the country.

The returns for 2020-21 should be a lot more positive than negative for the Hokies, with more talent coming in to shore up depth and the lack of a slashing guard in the offense. With the 2020 recruiting class, depth and driving to the basket should be a lot less of an issue with what the Hokies have coming in. Here’s a look at the incoming Hokies basketball recruits for the 2020-21 season.

Graduate Transfers

Cartier Diarra | 6’4 Guard

Diarra is a 6-foot-4 prospect that should replace what the Hokies are losing with Landers Nolley II without much issue, although the 3-point efficiency may differ slightly. Diarra averaged 13.3 points, 4.2 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game for Kansas State in 2019-20 while shooting 30.5 percent from behind the arc. He’s a playmaking combo guard that loves to get to the paint and finish, a glaring weakness in the Hokies’ 2019-20 rotation.

Cordell Pemsl | 6’8 Forward

Pemsl gives the Hokies some much-needed size and depth at the forward spot for 2020-21. He played a reserve role for Iowa in 2019-20, producing 2.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He should replicate the reserve role he played for the Hawkeyes with the Hokies while serving as an experienced product in the rotation alongside John Ojiako, P.J. Horne, and Keve Aluma.

Incoming Freshmen

Joe Bamisile | 6’5 Guard

Bamisile is another prospect in the Hokies' 2020 signing class with a knack for putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim. He missed much of his high school senior season with a knee injury, but he’s due to return at 100 percent once things return back to normal. He’s an explosive player that can fill it up on all three levels and really get after it on the defensive end. He averaged 28.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per contest as a junior.

Darius Maddox | 6’4 Guard

Maddox spent his final season at Oak Hill Academy, where he developed as more than just a shooting guard. He came along well on the rebounding front to complement his floor game. He’s a player with a high IQ for shooting the 3-ball on the wing and isn’t afraid to battle in the paint, either. He had a decent senior season though it wasn’t one that filled up the stat-sheet at Oak Hill. Don’t underestimate his ability, he can contribute right away.

David N’Guessan | 6’8 Forward

N’Guessan was the last member of the Hokies recruiting class and his addition gives them another talented and versatile prospect to work with in the frontcourt. He has the mobility and length to defend multiple positions in the paint and on the perimeter, making him a nice fit in Mike Young’s system. Offensively, he’s a lethal pick-and-roll threat that can also put the ball on the floor and create in isolation. He’ll be an exciting player to watch from this class.

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