Its a somber time in Blacksburg. The number one transfer on the market, Kerry Blackshear Jr., has decided to leave Virginia Tech for his final year of eligibility and head south to his home state and become a Gator. Yes ... Blackshear has committed to Florida. Florida now becomes a title contender, rounding out several experts' top 10 rankings.
So what do the Hokies do now. Mike Young has done a great job at brining in big men just for this situation. As a team that struggled at times due to their lack of post players, Young has brought 3 forwards/centers to the team. Branden Johnson is a graduate transfer from Alabama State. Keve Aluma followed Young from Wofford, but will have to sit out a year due to transfer regulations. Lastly, big man John Ojiako has reclassified to to the '19 class from the '20 class.
Branden Johnson is a 6'8", 205 lbs forward from Cleveland, Ohio. Originally a member of the '16 recruiting class, Johnson graduated from Alabama State in four years (redshirt as a freshman), making him immediately available for the Hokies. Johnson will be the lone senior this season on a young Hokie squad. Coming out of High School, Johnson wasn't ranked by 247 Sports. At Alabama State, he averaged 5.5 points and 5 rebounds per game over the course of his 68 game career. The ACC is a huge step up from the SWAC, so if Johnson couldn't dominate down there, it is a big question what his contribution will be to this Virginia Tech team.
John Ojiako comes to Blacksburg from Saint Petersburg, Florida and Admiral Farragut Academy. He is listed as 6'9" and 209 lbs. This makes him already taller and heavier than Branden Johnson. Ojiako reclassified after he received interest from schools like LSU and Kansas State. He finished as the 236 best player in his new class. Ojiako will serve as an excellent rim protector and defender for the Hokies.
The questions that . now lingers over the Hokie basketball program is who will replace Kerry Blackshear at center. In my opinion, I would favor Ojiako, but we'll have to wait until the fall to see what Coach Young does with his young group.