Dec 20, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies forward Joey Van Zegeren (2) shoots the ball against Citadel Bulldogs center P.J. Horgan (44) and forward Brian White (32) during the first half at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Buzz Williams and the Virginia Tech Hokies are in year one of the rebuilding process, but the biggest issue this season has been the lack of size in the frontcourt. The suspension of Joey van Zegeren has hurt that even more, but the frontcourt depth should improve with Zach LeDay being eligible and Kerry Blackshear joining the team.
However, the Hokies now are looking to add another big man for next season.
Virginia Tech offered center Levi Cook of Huntington Prep School who is from Glen Daniel, West Virginia. Cook is rated as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports and Rivals while ESPN has him as a four-star recruit. Cook has the type of size that the Hokies need more of at 6’10” and 300 pounds.
Cook is ranked as the 30th best center in the nation by ESPN while the 247 Sports Composite has him as the 20th best center in the country. Cook is also ranked as the best recruit from West Virginia by the 247 Sports Composite while ESPN has him second among West Virginia recruits.
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Levi Cook has a decent amount of interest, but has only received a few offers with the Hokies being the best program to offer. Penn State has also showed some interest while West Virginia even had a commitment from Cook back in 2012, but that fell apart and West Virginia is not really in the hunt for Cook at this point.
If Cook commits to the Hokies, Virginia Tech will be projected to have 16 scholarship players for the 2015-2016 season. By NCAA rules, teams can only have 14 scholarship players which means the Hokies will definitely have one player that has to transfer, but getting Cook would increase that to two.
The fact that the offer to Cook has come within a week of the Joey van Zegeren suspension has to make you wonder if van Zegeren may be considering a transfer.
Jan 3, 2015; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies forward Shane Henry (0) shoots over Syracuse Orange forward Rakeem Christmas (25) in the second half at Cassell Coliseum. Syracuse defeated Virginia Tech 68-66. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
For van Zegeren, Buzz Williams is the third different coach that he has played under after being redshirted by Seth Greenberg for a year before the two years of James Johnson. The Dutch big man also did not receive as much playing time in some games as you would expect which may be frustrating van Zegeren.
The biggest thing that makes you wonder if van Zegeren may be headed for a transfer is the fact that the reason for the van Zegeren suspension may have not been just a one-time incident, but a collection of smaller incidents.
If it was just a one-time incident, van Zegeren would have likely not received an indefinite suspension but a one or two game suspension instead. The fact that it was an indefinite suspension makes you wonder how strained the relationship is between Williams and van Zegeren.
Levi Cook would provide even more size that the Hokies need in the frontcourt, but Virginia Tech offering him a scholarship may be a sign that Joey van Zegeren is close to transferring.
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