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It was only a week ago many noticed Storm Murphy, a high-scoring guard from Wofford, had entered the transfer portal and Virginia Tech fans immediately thought “we could use a point guard who could score.”
We all know how that turned out, as Murphy is transferring to Virginia Tech. But seconds after that happened, Hokie fans started thinking “and if we could only get another big man...”
There’s one out there, Hokie faithful. He’s good, he’d be a great fit, and he is already aware of Virginia Tech.
Tre Mitchell is a 6-foot-9, 240-pound center from Pittsburgh who has played two seasons at UMass. He was named Atlantic 10 all-conference and Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year his freshman year, and last season averaged 18.8 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game.
This morning on Twitter he announced he is leaving UMass, saying "After extensive thought and conversations with family I’ve decided that at this juncture I’m going to weigh every option and have entered my name into the transfer portal."
Why is this of particular interest to Virginia Tech fans? Well, after a high school career that included him being named the Connecticut Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year in 2019, he narrowed his choices down to six before picking Massachusetts. Among those six were the Hokies of Virginia Tech.
If you will remember, this was a time when the head coach of the Hokies was Buzz Williams, and that entire year you couldn’t go anywhere in basketball circles where people weren’t saying “you know, Buzz is going to leave after this season and go to a school in Texas.” Whether that made any difference, I don’t know, but if you're not sure the coach recruiting you will be there the next season, it would make most think twice.
But it wouldn't be a great leap to think as a high school senior, the Atlantic Coast Conference was a place Mitchell thought about playing in. Three of his final six were in the ACC: Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Syracuse.
Two years later, the recruiting situation is much difference. Yeah, Buzz did leave, but Mike Young is a lifer. You’d be playing in the ACC, with a team that in only two seasons finished third in the league and is in the NCAA’s. You’d be part of a front line with Keve Aluma and Justyn Mutts, and with three years of eligibility left, you'd be playing for a program on its way up for a coach known for both caring about and making his players better.
The most common phrase recruiters use is “we’re only one player away, and you could be that player.” In this case, Mitchell could be that one player away to get to the next level for Virginia Tech. He’s so good, in fact, that people are suggesting UMass fire their coach rather than risk losing a player of Mitchell’s ability. He’s apparently that good.
To read more about this, here’s a good story on all the details in the The Berkshire Eagle.
I think we're 2 players away, a complete 1 and a serious "big man."
Padulla and Murphy will be an upgrades @ the 1 and If Bede stays for another year, I for one would welcome him. He's smart, experienced player who will have a stabilizing influence on the bench and in the LR. Whereas his PT would be limited, his main role on the floor would be defensively and ball distribution when we're in the lead. As for a log-jam where scholarships are concerned, I'm sure there are creative ways to manage that. (How many Grad credits would he have to carry to be eligible?) The additions of Padulla and Murphy alone make us better but adding Mitchell makes us immediately competitive for the Top spot in the ACC. Where are MY's critics now? I for one was never in the crowd. I figured the guy deserved a shot before casting judgement on him.