The Early Signing Period for Division 1 Men’s Basketball begins today and ends next Wednesday, November 21. Virginia Tech is expected to sign four prospects.
- Donte Clark, Guard, 6’4″, 185 pounds, Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, VA)
Rated a 4-star prospect by ESPN.com and Rivals.com, Clark, a Charlotte (N.C.) native, is Virginia Tech’s most highly regarded recruit. He is viewed as a combo guard with the potential to play the point.
“Donte Clark will get an opportunity to play point guard at Virginia Tech and provides excellent size at the position, as well as versatility from both a personal and team standpoint. Clark can also play the two, as well as the three, and he will see extensive time at both those positions this season at Hargrave. From a team standpoint at Virginia Tech, Clark’s size brings increased versatility options for head coach James Johnson because Adam Smith (former UNC-Wilmington guard who has transferred to VT and will be eligible to play in the 2013/2014 season) will now find another path for playing time with a bigger point guard in the fold.” – TSL basketball guru Rev. Zeke Vodka.
Clark averaged close to 16 points, 4 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game as a junior at Kennedy Charter Public School (N.C.).
- Ben Emelogu, Guard/Forward, 6’5″, 190 pounds, South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, TX)
Emelogu was sidelined this past summer with a hand injury but emerged as a coveted prospect this fall, drawing offers from Marquette and Washington before committing to Virginia Tech. ESPN.com ranks Emelogu as a 3-star recruit.
“I think the reason things were so quiet with him this summer was because of the injury to his hand,” South Grand Prairie head coach Brandon Bennett said, referring to Emelogu’s recruitment. “Him missing the whole summer, college coaches were not able to evaluate him. Fortunately, he kept working hard. He was still shooting with the good hand. He worked on his ball-handling. He has continued to improve. He got bigger, faster, and stronger coming out of the summer. The rest gave him time to take care of his body. Coaches came in to evaluate in fall workouts. They loved his ability to dribble the ball down, play some point guard, and shoot the lights out. He is big and strong, so he can rebound, post up, and go down inside.”
Bennett reflected on Emelogu’s junior season and discussed expectations for this year.
“He shot the ball extremely well, played very good defense, played with a lot of emotion and passion that helped us have a great season,” Bennett said. “We were very balanced last year. This year, he’ll be my leader. He’ll be the guy I give the freedom to go out and play and lead us and direct us.”
- Maurice Kirby, Center, 6’9″, 225 pounds, Basha (Chandler, AZ)
ESPN, Rivals, and Scout consider Kirby a 2-star prospect at this stage. He’ll have an opportunity to have a breakout senior season under new Basha head coach John Burns.
“I’ve coached against him the last couple of years,” Burns said of Kirby, who averaged 8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.5 blocks per game last season. “Last year, he was probably the third option because they had two other very good players (Colorado-bound guard Jaron Hopkins and forward Torren Jones, who is also a major D1 target). Those players transferred out. This year, Maurice will be the focus of the offense. The ball will go through him. On defense, he’ll be the back-side anchor. It’ll be a challenge for him.”
- Trevor Thompson, Center, 6’11″, 215 pounds, St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (Delafield, WI)
Thompson, who is rated a 4-star recruit by ESPN and a 3-star prospect by Rivals, wrote on Twitter last night that he was having trouble sleeping because he is so excited about today. He added: “
#HokieNation Babyy !!!!!”
Thompson graduated from Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, this past spring. He is in a postgraduate year at St. John’s, where he is playing for head coach Brian Richert.
“He can really run the floor. He is extremely athletic. He has got to get bigger and stronger, so my goal in his time here is to get 20 pounds of muscle on him,” Richert said of Thompson. “Also, I want to get him used to playing at a high level. Learning the pace of the game at the next level is tough because it’s such a different pace. He needs to learn that every possession matters. If he learns that, he is a gifted athlete.”
Thompson averaged 10 points and six rebounds per game at Ben Davis last year.
Stay tuned to TSL in the coming days for more on James Johnson’s first recruiting class as Hokies head coach.