According to a report from Jeff Goodman, one of the best transfers on the college basketball circuit has picked his home for the 2019-20 season. All-ACC big man Kerry Blackshear Jr. will transfer from Virginia Tech to Florida. The Gators, per Goodman, landed Blackshear over several other SEC programs, including Texas A&M, where his former coach, Buzz Williams, now runs things.
And yes, I’m told that Kerry Blackshear Jr., has committed to Florida, per multiple sources. Gators beat out Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Arkansas and Texas A&M.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) June 27, 2019
This has been quite the process for Blackshear; he declared for the 2019 NBA Draft while simultaneously entering the transfer portal over two months ago. While Virginia Tech and Mike Young remained hopeful, Blackshear’s return to Blacksburg seemed unlikely — even after he pulled his name out of the draft.
Young has done quite well assembling a roster since he landed at Virginia Tech; even with several key NBA departures, like Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Justin Robinson, the Hokies will bring back Wabissa Bede and Landers Nolley. Jalen Cone, a 4-star 2019 guard, committed to the program, too. Young also landed Wofford transfer Keve Aluma, who he coached for two seasons prior.
However, Blackshear loomed as the long shot, and that’s proven to be true; he’s now a Gator. He was also the most important ball in the air, too. This departure certainly lowers the floor and ceiling for next season’s Virginia Tech squad.
In the 2018-19 season, Blackshear emerged as an All-ACC talent — averaging 14.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Outside of Zion Williamson and De’Andre Hunter — the No. 1 and No. 4 pick in this year’s draft, respectively — no frontcourt player in the ACC was a better source of efficient offense.
Quick Numbers: Kerry Blackshear
According to Synergy Sports, Blackshear shot 52.1 percent on post-ups and 69.6 percent out of the pick-and-roll. Overall, he shot 64.2 percent at the rim (15 dunks). Blackshear, in Tech’s spacey half-court offense, could stretch opponents out beyond the 3-point line, too. He wasn’t a statue glued to the block, and his 21 3-pointers helped to open up other aspects of his game.
A huge point of differentiation, though, for Blackshear this season was his evolution as a facilitator. With Justin Robinson out due to injury, Blackshear’s two-man actions with Alexander-Walker in the pick-and-roll became a staple of Virginia Tech’s offense.
It was more than just Blackshear’s rim gravity and post scoring; he started to function with precision as a passer from the elbows — providing an efficient hub of offense for the Hokies to work through. As a result, he handed out 3.2 assists per 40 minute, which essentially doubled his rate of the two previous seasons. During ACC play, he posted as assist rate of 19.2 percent.
With Blackshear heading south to Florida, the page has almost completely turned over at Virginia Tech from Buzz Williams to Mike Young. Virginia Tech’s loss — one of the top veteran post players in college hoops — is Florida’s gain.