That’s Why You Build Depth

Once again, it seems Virginia Tech basketball is not allowed to have nice things.

It’s always something. It could be a catastrophic injury to a star player, it could be your head coach flirting with other programs. But it’s always something.

This time around, it’s the legal system.

Virginia Tech announced on Monday morning that star guard Tyrece Radford has been suspended indefinitely from the men’s basketball team. Radford was charged by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office with driving while intoxicated and carrying a concealed weapon.


Radford’s legal issues will be resolved sooner or later. Neither charges are felonies and hopefully, his issues are resolved efficiently and correctly. But while Radford’s legal issues are a big problem, there’s also the on-court issues caused by Radford’s suspension.

Fortunately, Mike Young built his roster to guard against these sorts of things.

The Hokies’ scoring balance and roster depth has helped them reach this point. Tech is 5-2 in the ACC and 11-3 overall with a real chance to compete for an ACC regular-season title and an NCAA Tournament berth.

What do I mean by balance and depth? Four different Hokies are averaging double figures this season. Two Hokies who aren’t, Hunter Cattoor and Justyn Mutts, are shooting 50 and 48 percent from the floor, respectively. There’s your balance.

You want depth? Nine different Hokies have played in 10 or more games this season. Two more have played in seven or more games. Excluding Cartier Diarra, eight different Hokies are playing 11 or more minutes per game.

We’ve praised Young for his ability to create and develop depth over his season-and-a-half in Blacksburg. Now, that depth is being put to the test.

Virginia Tech will miss Radford’s physicality and shot-making in clutch situations. He’s the Hokies’ second-leading scorer and their leading scorer in the backcourt. You don’t just replace that.

But Tech does have the pieces to help lessen their loss. Nahiem Alleyne has flashed the ability to fill it up and dropped 20 points in his last game. Joe Bamisile and Darius Maddox haven’t had an outsized impact this season, but the two top recruits have the talent needed. They’ll just be forced to grow up.

We don’t know for sure how Virginia Tech will handle Radford’s absence. But we do know that the Hokies have options to fill his spot.

Fans can thank Young for that.