Today is a banner day for the Virginia Tech basketball program. Five players faxed in their letters of intent to head coach Seth Greenberg, and those players represent the best recruiting class in school history, and one of the top classes in the nation this year. The talent haul includes three four-star players (on a five-star scale) and two three-star players.

The Virginia Tech coaching staff did an excellent job finding players that fit their system, and filling out the roster at their positions of need. Each player is capable of playing more than one position, and all five positions are represented in this recruiting class. Let’s take a closer look at each player.

PF/SF Jeff Allen, 6-7, 235

Jeff Allen is a very seasoned player who has a lot of experience against big time competition. He spent time at DeMatha High School in Maryland, where he played with current Virginia Tech freshman guard Nigel Munson. DeMatha is one of the top high school programs in the country.

Allen then transferred to Oak Hill Academy for his senior season, where he was a standout on a team of standouts. Other players on that team included Nolan Smith (Duke), Ty Lawson (UNC), Michael Beasley (Kansas State, and the #1 recruit nationally by Rivals) and Landon Milbourne (Maryland). This season Allen is prepping at Hargrave Military Academy, and he will face more top competition. He is rated the #1 prep school player in the country.

Allen is a combo forward who can play with his back to the basket, or on the wing. He is an athletic player who can move in the open court and handle the basketball. He can knock down the open three pointer, and he also does the dirty work on the inside on the glass.

Jeff Allen is a unanimous Top 100 player. Some scouts believe Allen is one of the Top 35 players in the nation. Rivals rated Allen the #88 player in the country, and that ranking is low compared to all other services. PrepStars lists Allen as the #60 recruit nationally.

Whatever his ranking, Allen is expected to have an immediate impact on the program.

SG Dorenzo Hudson, 6-4, 210

Dorenzo Hudson is a big, physical guard who is playing with Jeff Allen at Hargrave this year. The two have reportedly become good friends, and they are meshing well on the court as well. Hudson is best described as a scorer. He is a good shooter who can shoot the three pointer.

Hudson’s midrange scoring game is outstanding. He is also very good at coming off screens from three point range. His size and physical play make him a very dangerous guard when he gets into the lane. TSL basketball expert Rev. Zeke Vodka describes Hudson as “a matchup nightmare.”

Simply put, Hudson is a big-time scorer who can beat a defender in a number of ways, and he is a good bet to be the top scorer of this recruiting class. Hudson chose Virginia Tech over offers from schools such as Boston College, Georgia, Wake Forest, South Carolina, NC State, Miami and Clemson, as well as many others.

Some recruiting experts rank Hudson even higher than Jeff Allen. PrepStars has Hudson the #58 player nationally, while Van Coleman ranks him #59. Rivals has Hudson at #104, the lowest that you’ll see him rated. lists him at #51.

C Gus Gilchrist, 6-9, 235

Gus Gilchrist is the closest thing to a true center that the Hokies recruited this year. He has already filled out quite a bit since he committed to Seth Greenberg, and Mike Gentry and his staff will make him even bigger and stronger after he arrives in Blacksburg for the 2007-08 season.

Gilchrist is a major defensive presence on the inside, with long arms and a physical nature to battle opposing post players. On the summer AAU circuit, he played Patrick Patterson, one of the top 15 players nationally, better than any other big man in the country.

Gilchrist is also known for his ability to rebound the basketball, and that is something that Virginia Tech has been sorely lacking. Because of this ability, he’ll be a contributor from day one. He made progress on his low post arsenal over the summer, but he still needs to develop some more post moves.

Gilchrist committed to Tech early in the process, before he began impressing on the summer camp circuit. rates Gilchrist the #54 player in the country. He is #110 in the Rivals rankings, #101 by PrepStar, and #98 by Van Coleman.

PG/SG Malcolm Delaney

Malcolm Delaney is an extremely valuable member of Virginia Tech’s recruiting class because he can play both guard positions. He will continue the tradition of the combo guard after Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon depart following their senior season.

Delaney is expected to share the point guard duties with Nigel Munson when he first arrives in Blacksburg. He could also potentially see time at shooting guard. Delaney is known for his ability to shoot the three pointer. At the Peach Jam event back in July, he shot 77% from three point range.

Because of his ability to play both guard positions, Delaney will see the court quickly when he arrives in Blacksburg. He could potentially be a backup at both guard positions as a freshman, or even start.

There should be no problem with Delaney’s qualification status, as he carries a GPA of over 3.0. He chose Virginia Tech over offers from Iowa State, Indiana, Maryland and Clemson.

Delaney is ranked in the top 100 by some scouts. rates him #89 in the nation. PrepStars lists Delaney at #112 nationally.

SF/SG Terrell Bell, 6-7, 190

Terrell Bell is the least heralded of Virginia Tech’s recruits, but he is a perfect fit for Seth Greenberg’s offense. Bell, a wing from Stone Mountain, Georgia, could potentially play small forward or shooting guard, though his future is probably at small forward.

Bell is very good in the open court. He is an outstanding passer for his position, and is perfectly content to set his teammates up for the easy shot rather than score himself. In some ways, he could be considered a point guard in a small forward’s body. In fact, some consider his biggest flaw to be his unselfishness.

Bell is a solid outside shooter who can hit the open jumper if the defender backs off of him. His is a very good ball handler at this stage in his career, which makes some believe that he will eventually play the shooting guard position at Virginia Tech.

Bell chose Virginia Tech over Cincinnati, Providence, Georgia, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Van Coleman rates Bell as the #56 player in the nation and the best of Tech’s signees. PrepStars has Bell at #113 nationally.

The Class as a Whole

Without a doubt, this is the best recruiting class that Virginia Tech has signed since Dell Curry’s group came aboard, and it is arguably better than that prestigious class. And it certainly is the best back-to-back classes the Hokies have put together when you factor in the 2006 recruiting class of Nigel Munson and Lewis Witcher, both top 100 players.

This class not only helps fill the roster with young, talented players, but it will also give the Hokies a number of options at each position in 2007-08. Virginia Tech should have the most depth at small forward, where Deron Washington will be a senior, A.D. Vassallo will be a junior, and freshmen Jeff Allen and Terrell Bell will be capable of playing the position.

On the inside, the Hokies will have plenty of bodies with Robert Krabbendam (r-Jr.), Lewis Witcher (So.), Cheick Diakite (Jr.) and Terrance Vinson (r-So.), with freshmen Jeff Allen and Gus Gilchrist. Allen is expected to factor in at power forward early in his career, and could possibly play small forward later in his career.

The Hokies will be thin at guard, where each player will be a sophomore or younger. But there will certainly be a lot of ACC-caliber talent on the court.

Virginia Tech could potentially add to this already outstanding class. Wing Rihards Kuksiks, a native of Lithuania and a world class shooter, will decide this afternoon between Arizona State, St. John’s and Virginia Tech.

The Virginia Tech recruiting class is beginning to receive some major press. Last week, Van Coleman named the Hokies’ recruiting class as the #10 class in the country, and the #2 class in the ACC, behind only Duke in the conference.’s rating system has the Hokies at #12 in the country. Here is a list of how the Hokies stand in some well-respected recruiting rankings:

VT 2007 Recruiting Class Rankings
Service ACC
Van Coleman 2 10
Scout 2 12
Bob Gibbons 2 12
Rivals 2 16

2008 Recruiting

Virginia Tech already has two verbal commitments from 2008 recruits. 6-6 J.T. Thompson, a likely small forward, is an early member of the 2008 top 100. He is the cousin of 2007 star Dorenzo Hudson. The other 2008 commitment is shooting guard Shamarr Bowden, who is currently listed as a top 150 recruit.