Revamped Hokies lose Nickeil Alexander-Walker to NBA draft

Revamped Hokies lose Nickeil Alexander-Walker to NBA draft

The Virginia Tech Hokies are going to have a completely different team at the start of the 2019 season. With seniors Justin Robinson, Ahmed Hill and Ty Outlaw leaving the program, the Hokies received news that sophomore guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker will enter the 2019 NBA draft.

Alexander-Walker wasn’t the most famous person on the Hokies roster. However, he did lead the squad in scoring with 16.2 points per game. Due to Robinson’s injury, Walker took over more ball handling responsibilities in the late stages of the season. He displayed even more versatility to the Sweet 16 team. Alexander-Walker was second on the team with four assists per game during his sophomore season. He was also third on the team with 4.1 rebounds per game.

However, Walker’s shooting suffered slightly in his second year with the Hokies. He connected on 39 percent of his 3-point attempts in 2017-18. This season, Alexander-Walker shot 37.4 percent from 3-point range. The biggest difference came in overall shot attempts. Alexander-Walker went from 8.4 shot attempts to 11.8 shot attempts.

Clearly, he was one of the go-to players for the Hokies. Blackshear and Hill also attempted over 10 shots per game. Therefore, Alexander-Walker wasn’t a player to dominate the ball. Yet, he is projected to become a lead guard in the future. Standing at 6’5 205 pounds, Walker’s ability to play point guard may push him into the lotter. However, bad workouts could drop the sophomore on draft night. Currently, he’s projected around the No. 22 prospect in this year’s draft.

The Hokies also announced their preferred destination for a new basketball coach. They have hired Wofford Terriers’ head man Mike Young on Sunday. Meaning, the Hokies are going to have revamp their entire recruiting plan in the coming weeks. Former head coach Buzz Peterson left the Hokies to join the Texas A&M Aggies’ program. We will have more on coach Young later.

The biggest question mark for current Hokies has to be Kerry Blackshear. The junior forward has many options on the table. He could test the NBA draft without hiring an agent. Blackshear could also become a graduate transfer in his final season of eligibility. Meaning, all four double digit scorers may be gone from the 2018-19 season.

Sophomore guard Wabissa Bede has entered the NCAA draft portal. Bede is keeping his options open for the future. Former all-purpose forward Chris Clarke also entered the transfer portal. Clarke was basically kicked off the team this season. He would have been another difference-maker for the Hokies.


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