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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Dorian Finney-Smith’s departure is a blow to Virginia Tech

If Virginia Tech hoped to keep its current roster intact with its surprising decision to hire former assistant James Johnson as its new coach, then that strategy doesn't seem to have been effective so far.

Top recruit Montrezl Harrell remains undecided about whether to enroll at Virginia Tech as planned next year or ask for his release. And now comes reports from the Daily Press and the Virginian Pilot that talented freshman forward Dorian Finney-Smith intends to transfer to another school.

Finney-Smith, the most coveted recruit to sign with Virginia Tech during Seth Greenberg's tenure, endured a challenging freshman season in which he struggled to score consistently enough. He averaged only 6.3 points per game, shot a team-low 36.6 percent and missed 25 straight shots during one three-week stretch in ACC play.

The Daily Press report indicates the two-time Virginia state player of the year had been mulling a transfer for months, but the recent coaching turnover could not have helped. Not only was Greenberg fired last month, the assistant primarily responsible for recruiting Finney-Smith, John Richardson, returned to Blaine Taylor's staff at Old Dominion.

If indeed Finney-Smith does leave Virginia Tech, it's a significant blow to the Hokies' hopes of making the NCAA tournament next season. The 6-foot-8 forward may not have met expecations offensively last season, but his athleticism and length made him a factor on the glass and defensively and gave him a high ceiling longterm.

It's unclear where Finney-Smith might be interested in transferring if he does leave, but Old Dominion would seem to be an obvious candidate. In addition to Richardson being back there, Finney-Smith's brother Ben Finney also had a successful career playing for the Monarchs.

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