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Radford Reinstated! Championship Aspirations Return

By Grant Mitchell | February 23
Radford southflorida
Photo: Jessica Hill

He's back.

Virginia Tech's lead announcer for football and basketball, Jon Laaser, announced via Twitter Tuesday evening that Tyrece Radford would be reinstated immediately following a suspension invoked on January 25th.

Rumblings of a return had been growing louder throughout the buildup towards the weeknight action against Georgia Tech until finally an official employee confirmed the information.

The sophomore guard had enjoyed an excellent season up until late January, averaging 11.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for an 11-3 Virginia Tech squad.

Head Coach Mike Young has been by Radford's side since the beginning, defending the character of his young star at every turn.

"I care for that guy. We're moving in a good direction there" said the Hokies' leader back on January 30th.

Radford made sure to support his teammates during his physical absence by encouraging and cheering for them on social media before ultimately traveling with them to Coral Gables, Florida, to witness an 80-76 overtime victory from the sidelines.

An announcement made roughly 90 minutes before tip-off against the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday, February 6th, indicated that a return was imminent, although it was incumbent upon Radford to continue to uphold the expectations that the university had for him during his reintegration process.

Radford was a crucial component in the Hokies' early-season success, leading the team in rebounds and assists against #3 Villanova, scoring the most points at #24 Clemson and topping all three major categories versus the #19 Duke Blue Devils.

Although VT dominated the eighth-ranked Virginia Cavaliers in its second game without the Baton Rouge, Louisiana product, his presence was missed severely in a loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers. The maroon and orange received little production from their backcourt in both scoring and rebounding and were intimidated physically.

Combine these misfires with an injury to Jalen Cone, Radford's replacement in the starting five, and the star's absence is all the more emphasized.

Joe Bamisile provided excellent minutes for VT off the pine after Cone's injury, notching 11 points and three assists in 25 minutes of action in his first sustained appearance outside of garbage time, though Radford's experience and presence cannot be replaced.

Nicknamed "Boots" for his extreme toughness and work rate, Hokie fans at home have been left to wonder what could have been had their young star been available as usual. Now, they will not have to worry anymore.

Radford has an otherwise spotless record and is said to be of the highest character by his teammates and coaching staff. Him rejoining the team marks the return of their catalyst and, in many aspects, identity.

Every season is about surviving the ups and downs: now that the Hokies have gotten their troubles out of the way early, there is only one goal in everybody's mind, courtesy of the man himself:

"The Championship, baby. You already know."

— Tyrece Radford