The 2023-24 Virginia Tech men’s basketball season begins in 12 days when the Hokies host Coppin State in the second game of a doubleheader with the women’s kicking off their season against High Point. Wednesday, the ACC Tipoff is happening in Charlotte, North Carolina for the men after the women’s coach Kenny Brooks and three players took center stage Tuesday.
Tuesday night, Virginia Tech men’s coach Mike Young announced that guard Rodney Rice has decided to step away from the program and will leave after playing just eight games last season in Blacksburg.
Rodney Rice steps away at an odd time
It is a curious time for Rodney Rice to come away with the decision to leave the program.
A former top-100 recruit, Rice played in eight games in 2022-23 and averaged just under 20 minutes a night, and just under eight points a game.
This is a big blow before the season even starts. Virginia Tech is hoping to find its way back into the NCAA Tournament after struggling in conference play last season and having to settle for an NIT bid. Rice was finally fully healthy after battling two injuries that cost him last season and he was going to be a big part of the season for Young.
Some preseason projections have the Hokies finishing in the middle of the ACC once conference play begins in full in December and January, but this is a big blow before they even tipoff against Coppin State.
Young and players Sean Pedulla, Hunter Cattoor, and Mylyjael Poteat are in Charlotte for tomorrow’s Tipoff and it appears that there is going to be a lot to talk about. It’s unlikely that the players will discuss Rice’s decision and expect Young not to get too much into the subject until another time.