When the men’s basketball team’s starting five takes the floor for the first time this season on Friday, it will be the same squad that opened the season a year ago. About midway through the first half, however, the distinctions of the 2010-2011 team will begin to take shape as the new faces of the program are introduced to the Hokie faithful.
Losing only reserve power forward Lewis Witcher to graduation, the Hokies feature three incoming freshmen, two of whom were heavily recruited by other prominent programs and expect to see playing time on a regular basis this season.
Head coach Seth Greenberg will look to the class to alleviate some of the damage done to the Hokies through injuries suffered by forwards J.T. Thompson and Allan Chaney, both of whom will miss the entire regular season.
Jarrell Eddie, a 6-foot-7-inch, 209-pound wing from Charlotte, N.C., enters the program after being ranked No. 63 nationally and the No. 12 small forward in the Class of 2010 by Rivals.com, which labeled him a four-star recruit.
Eddie is also a two-time all-state selection and averaged 22.5 points per game during his senior season at Cannon High School. He helped his team advance to the second round of the state playoffs. Greenberg believes he can come off of the bench and spell either senior small forward Terrell Bell or senior power forward Jeff Allen.
“Jarrell Eddie is a very accomplished offensive player,” Greenberg said. “He can shoot it with range, he gets it off quick. He’s got good size. We can post him. He’s got a good feel for how to play. He’s got to learn how to compete at this level consistently. He’s got to rebound the ball in traffic a little better.”
ESPN recruitment reports from last year noted Eddie “has the ability to start the break and is a coast-to-coast threat if not picked up in transition” and “plays in attack mode at all times.”
Choosing Tech over a slew of other schools — including Kentucky, Clemson and Wake Forest — Eddie has already opened the eyes of several senior teammates who praise the freshman for his tenacity and ability on offense.
“His midrange shot is very nice,” Allen said. “He’s a good shooter and rebounder and features an aggressive style of play. He’s going to be a staple of this offense for years to come.”
“He’s going to come in and give us great minutes when we need him to,” said senior guard Dorenzo Hudson. “He will give us a lot on the offensive end.”
Tyrone Garland, a