Virginia Tech will tip off its 2020 basketball season this year Nov. 28 with the Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. Let’s take a look at the Hokies’ roster and what the rotation could potentially look like this year.
Wabissa Bede, G, Graduate Student - 31 mpg
Bede is the longest tenured player on the roster and likely head coach Mike Young’s most trusted confidante. He is a great defender and a leader on both ends of the floor. If he has taken a step forward offensively this offseason, Virginia Tech may be able to reach new heights in the ACC.
Tyrece Radford, G, Redshirt Sophomore - 27 mpg
Radford is considered the best player on the team according to box plus minus. A unique player who does a bit of everything on the basketball court, he led the team in rebounding last season despite only standing 6-foot-2. Radford’s effort and skill on both ends of the floor should prove valuable to the Hokies this season.
Cartier Diarra, G, Graduate Student - 30 mpg
Diarra is a graduate transfer from Kansas State and seems likely to start after playing big minutes for his team over the past two years. He brings special athleticism and playmaking to the Hokies’ roster, and Virginia Tech should have a very strong group of lead guards when he, Bede and Radford are on the floor. Look for Diarra to possibly lead the team in scoring this season as he should have the ball in his hands a lot.
Nahiem Alleyne, G, Sophomore - 27 mpg
Alleyne was a surprise starter as a freshman last season but proved his worth by being a knockdown shooter for the Hokies. He brought spacing to surround the slashers on the team, hitting 38.9% of his three-point shots in his first year on the team. If he improved his playmaking and ball handling skills over the summer, Alleyne has a chance to be one of the leaders on the Virginia Tech offense over the next couple of years.
Keve Aluma, F, Redshirt Junior - 27 mpg
Aluma was a starter on coach Young’s Wofford team that made the Round of 32 two years ago. He brings size and rebounding to a unit that lacks in those areas. Aluma may not be much of a three-point shooting threat, but he should fit nicely as a bigger version of what P.J. Horne was last season.
The Second Unit
Hunter Cattoor, G, Sophomore - 21 mpg
Hunter Cattoor came in last season and got a lot of playing time as a freshman. He is mostly a shooter at the guard position, not doing much else. However, he is very good at what he does, as the young player hit 40.2% of his threes last year.
Jalen Cone, G, Sophomore - 19 mpg
Cone, a highly touted prospect out of high school, may bring the most upside on the roster due to his athleticism and scoring skills. Like the other freshmen, he brought most of his value as a knockdown shooter last season, hitting 45.7% of his three-point attempts. At only 5-foot-9, he doesn’t bring much as a defender, but his confidence and ability to hit all kinds of shots could be big for Virginia Tech.
John Ojiako, F, Sophomore - 11 mpg
Ojiako is a raw big man, but brings valuable size to the Hokies at 6-foot-10, 245. Last season it was obvious he needed more time before he could be a consistent contributor, but he showed flashes at times. Another year sitting behind a veteran like Aluma will be helpful for Ojiako, and he may be a big time player as a junior.
Joe Bamisile, G, Freshman/Darius Maddox, G, Freshman - 7 mpg
Bamisile and Maddox both come in as four-star recruits out of high school. Bamisile brings athleticism and defense while Maddox is a knockdown shooter and scorer. Both are very talented, and Virginia Tech fans should not be surprised if one of them is starting by the end of the season.
David N’Guessan, Grant Yates, Gill Williamson, Justyn Mutts and Cordell Pemsl are also on the team but aren’t likely to be part of the rotation this season.