Cone Says Goodbye to Blacksburg
The transfer portal giveth, and the transfer portal taketh away.
Just before 3 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 25th, guard Jalen Cone announced that he would be leaving Virginia Tech.
“After prayer, giving it long thought and conversations with my loved ones I’ve decided to reopen my recruitment and enter the transfer portal,” stated Cone in a social media post.
Isaiah 43:2-3🙏🏿thank you Hokie Nation🧡 pic.twitter.com/cYmaNe4oVi— Jalen Cone (@J15Cone) March 25, 2021
The sophomore is revered as one of the purest shooters of the long ball in America, sinking 41.1% of his 246 attempts in Hokie Colors.
Cone, a Walkertown, North Carolina native, only appeared in 15 of VT’s 22 games this season, initially held out by a foot injury for the first three games of the season and later suffering a season-ending ankle injury in a February 6th clash with the Miami Hurricanes.
The quick-trigger guard started four times this season, all during the suspension of fellow guard Tyrece Radford, averaging 9.2 points and 19.9 minutes in his appearances this campaign.
A former four-star recruit and ninth-ranked point guard prospect in America, Cone enlisted at Virginia Tech despite fierce competition for his services from Baylor, Tennessee, Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State.
Cone’s departure from the program opens up the second empty slot on the roster after freshman Joe Bamisile entered the portal on Monday, March 22nd.
What Cone lacked in physical stature, officially listed at an optimistic 5-foot 10 inches, he made up for in nuclear capability. Cone made six three-pointers in two separate games this season and recorded a career-high of 23 points in a narrow defeat to Louisville.
While it would be easy to hit the panic button, Head Coach Mike Young has been in a similar circumstance already, losing Landers Nolley II after the 2019-20 season; Young then responded by winning the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year award in the next season. If there is one person to trust to handle this situation, it is the popcorn man.
Cone’s departure also solidifies the rotation further as there are less mouths to feed: Hunter Cattoor is likely to become the full-time sixth man while Darius Maddox and incoming freshman Sean Pedulla could see minutes that they would not have otherwise.
Of course, this also means that another position on the team has been created: who will fill that vacancy and where they will come from remains to be seen.