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Virginia Tech basketball notes: Young says path exists for Radford to rejoin team

Virginia Tech basketball notes: Young says path exists for Radford to rejoin team

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The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team has won its past two games even though it has been without suspended standout Tyrece Radford.

But the Hokies (13-3, 7-2 ACC) are obviously better with Radford than without him.

Radford was indefinitely suspended from the team Jan. 25 after being arrested by Blacksburg police a day earlier.

Is there a path for Radford to play for the Hokies again, either this season or next?

“Yes. There is a path. I’m not sure when,” Tech coach Mike Young said Monday on the ACC coaches’ weekly video conference.

Radford has been charged with one misdemeanor count of first-offense driving while intoxicated and one misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon.

What has to happen for Radford to rejoin the Hokies?

“There’s a number of things here, none of which I’m comfortable sharing,” Young said.

Radford was pulled over by Blacksburg police at 1:16 a.m. on Jan. 24. He was unable to perform field tests properly, according to Blacksburg police, and was placed under arrest for driving under the influence. He was given a breath test at the Blacksburg Police Department. His blood alcohol level was 0.13%, according to Blacksburg police.

Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt said in an email last week that during a search of Radford related to the DUI arrest, “a pistol was found on his person.”

Radford is set to be arraigned in Montgomery County General District Court on Feb. 9.

Tech athletic director Whit Babcock declined to comment Monday on whether the decision to reinstate Radford is up to him, passing on the question to an athletic department spokesman.

“We’re still working through the process with campus and are unable to comment until the matter is resolved,” the spokesman said in an email.

The department will follow the protocols in the university’s student conduct policy for athletes, said the spokesman.

Under that policy, an athlete charged with a misdemeanor is subject to a review by the athletic director or designee; athletic department sanctions could include suspension from play and practice or dismissal from the team, among other possibilities. The same review process will again be used by the athletic director or designee if the charge results in a conviction. The athletic director may delegate deciding on the sanctions for a misdemeanor if he sees fit.

Radford was the team’s second-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder at the time of his suspension.

Nevertheless, the Hokies won 62-51 at Notre Dame and upset then-No. 8 Virginia 65-51 last week.

“Great response, going to Notre Dame … and then to come back in here on Saturday against a really good Virginia team,” Young said. “We got thrown for a loop last week, but just a good group, a conscientious group that does it the right way. It’s a real team.

“Our defense, night in and night out, we can count on that. That’ll keep you in games.”

Tech, which visits Pittsburgh on Wednesday, rose four spots to No. 16 in the new Associated Press Top 25 poll Monday. UVa fell six spots to No. 14.

Aluma, Sheppard honored

The Virginia Tech men’s and women’s basketball teams swept ACC player of the week honors Monday after each squad recorded an eye-opening victory last week.

Tech center Keve Aluma was named the ACC men’s player of the week by a media panel.

After scoring 14 points, snaring 12 rebounds and blocking three shots in the win at Notre Dame, Aluma tallied a career-high 29 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out four assists as Tech ended UVa’s seven-game winning streak.

“Aluma was terrific,” UVa coach Tony Bennett said Monday. “He’s really good in terms of scoring in multiple ways.”

Aluma also was named the national player of the week Monday by the Naismith Trophy organization.

Tech senior guard Aisha Sheppard was named the ACC women’s player of the week by a panel of ACC coaches, sports information directors and media members.

She scored 28 points and made four 3-pointers in Thursday’s overtime win over then-No. 2 North Carolina State, which was the highest-ranked foe the Hokies have ever beaten. She had 18 of her points in OT, helping Tech break an NCAA Division I women’s record by scoring 26 OT points. She had 16 points, five 3-pointers and four assists in Sunday’s win over North Carolina.

“As the [State] game was waning, we’re coming down to crunch time, we put the ball in her hand and she delivered,” Tech women’s basketball coach Kenny Brooks said.

Citizens adds MASN

MASN has reached an agreement with Citizens Cablevision for MASN and MASN2 to be part of that company’s channel lineup.

MASN not only airs Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals games but replaced NBC Sports Washington as the ACC’s regional cable affiliate.

MASN debuted on Citizens Ch. 168 on Monday, with MASN2 on Ch. 169. Citizens has customers in Floyd County, Fort Chiswell and New Castle.

MASN will be airing three Tech games this week, including the men’s game at Pitt on Wednesday; the women’s game at Pitt on Thursday; and the men’s game at Miami on Saturday.

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Mark Berman covers Virginia Tech men’s basketball and many other teams at the university. He also helps cover other colleges, including Radford, VMI, Roanoke, Washington and Lee and Ferrum.

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