When Virginia Tech secured a commitment from Wright State transfer Grant Basile, the Hokies hoped they found an able replacement for their top scorer the last two seasons, Keve Aluma.
In his Tech debut on Monday night, Basile scored 30 points in a 95-57 romp over Delaware State, matching Aluma’s career high.
When Tech (1-0) welcomes Lehigh (0-1) on Thursday, the Hokies will look for more of the same from the versatile 6-foot-9 forward.
Basile was an immediate hit on Monday, flashing his inside/out repertoire. He made 12-of-16 shots from the floor, including 6 of 9 from beyond the arc. Basile also had 10 rebounds.
Still, it wasn’t enough to satisfy Hokies coach Mike Young.
“He scored 30 and he probably gave up 24,” Young said. “Plus six is not going to be good enough here. He’s capable. He’s just a little timid on that (defensive) end right now with how we want to play.”
Basile will get help on Thursday with the return of Justyn Mutts. The forward, who led Tech last year in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, sat out the opener serving a one-game suspension for playing in an unsanctioned pre-draft evaluation event.
Mutts, who has played 119 college games at three different schools, and Basile, who has played 96 games, give the Hokies extraordinary experience and versatility in the frontcourt that Lehigh can’t match.
In a 90-72 loss at Syracuse on Monday night, Lehigh was outrebounded 39-26. The seven frontcourt players listed on the Mountain Hawks’ roster have combined for 17 college starts.
Coming off three straight losing seasons, Lehigh’s strength is its backcourt. Evan Taylor had 20 points, hitting four 3-pointers against the Orange. He was the only Lehigh player in double figures.
Of four incoming freshmen brought in by Mountain Hawks coach Brett Reed, three are frontcourt players. Henri Adiassa and Tommy Conniff, both 6-11, and Bube Momah, who is 6-8, played a combined 23 minutes on Monday, producing five points and three rebounds.
“There’s a number of steps that we’ve got to continue to take as we integrate new players into our program, as people kind of solidify certain roles for our program, but it’s very promising,” said Reed, who is in his 16th season.
–Field Level Media