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Thursday, April 11, 2013
The impending departure of starting guard Robert Brown has Virginia Tech coach James Johnson paying attention to college basketball's version of the waiver wire, the ever-growing list of transfers.
There were more than 450 transfers in Division I men's basketball last year, most of whom were required to sit out a year before becoming eligible.
The Hokies already have signed four players for next year and have a commitment from a fifth, 6-foot-3, 228-pound Malik Mueller from Ulm, Germany.
That would give them 12 scholarship players, one under the Division I limit.
To take a sixth player for the 2013-2014 freshman class might create an imbalance in Tech's classes, but as many coaches have discovered, scholarship numbers are frequently subject to change.
Already six scholarship ACC players with remaining eligibility have expressed plans to transfer, most recently Oak Hill Academy product Pe'Shown Howard, who started 44 games in three seasons at Maryland.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said that Howard's grandmother is in poor health and that he wants to be closer to his Los Angeles home for his senior year.
Howard averaged 3.3 points and 3.6 assists this past season, when he was suspended for one game and also was stripped of his captaincy, although he later regained his starting job at the point.
Other scholarship ACC players who are seeking new homes are Brown, North Carolina State's Rodney Purvis, Wake Forest's Chase Fischer, Georgia Tech's Julian Royal and Clemson's Bernard Sullivan.
Purvis, who already has committed to Connecticut, is viewed as the most prominent of the transfers but none received more playing times than Brown's 27.3 minutes per game. He and Purvis, who averaged 25.5 minutes, both scored 8.3 points per game.
Ricardo Young, who began his college career at Virginia Tech, has been Maryland's first-team quarterback this spring as three former starters have been recovering from offseason surgery.
C.J. Brown was poised to start the 2012 season before suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the preseason. Maryland learned earlier this week that Brown's request for a sixth season of college eligibility has been approved, making him available for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
Young originally transferred to New Mexico after leaving Tech, where he was redshirted in 2010, and he also spent time at Iowa Western Community College before sitting out the 2012 season at Maryland. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Rickey Bustle, the offensive coordinator at Virginia Tech when the Hokies played in the BCS title game in 2000, has accepted a position as offensive coordinator at North Carolina A&T. Bustle left Tech to become the head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette, where he was 41-65 over nine seasons. He was the offensive coordinator at Tulane in 2011 and Southern Miss last year.
Rockbridge County graduate Jeff Early, a first-team All-Timesland selection in 2008, was named captain of the Missouri Valley Conference All-Improved team after averaging 13.1 points and 7.2 rebounds as a senior at Southern Illinois. Early is now playing professionally in Puerto Rico.
Northside High School product Catherine White, a graduate student at Virginia, finished fourth among collegiate runners and cut 14 seconds off her previous best time in the 10,000 meters while competing in the Stanford Invitational. White, who began her career at Arkansas, missed two full seasons before undergoing ankle reconstruction.
Emory & Henry baseball player Andrew Stockstill, a freshman from Patrick Henry in Roanoke, went 4-for-4 on Tuesday against Virginia Intermont and raised his batting average to .349. He has started 24 of the 25 games in which he has appeared for the Wasps (8-21).
In the family
Gary Wunderlich, the nationally ranked kicking specialist who committed to Virginia on Monday, is the first cousin of North Cross School kicker-punter Penn Draper, whose mother and Wunderlich's mother are sisters. Wunderlich and Draper, a second-team all-state receiver, are both juniors.
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