It's shaping up to be a dynamic 2017 recruiting class for Virginia Tech. On Wednesday, the Hokies snagged their second four-star basketball recruit for the class when Cushing Academy (Mass.) point guard Wabissa Bede announced his commitment.
What does his decision mean for the Hokies? We break down Bede's commitment and how he got to this point.
There were a few programs, including Virginia Tech, that were aware of Bede heading into the summer open evaluation period. Each year, there's at least one recruit who takes off and makes good use of that period on the AAU circuit. And this year, Bede was definitely one of those guys.
He was part of championship teams at the Adidas Finale, Peach State (where he was MVP) and the Adidas Contenders Cup. And plenty of coaches took notice.
The Hokies offered in mid-July after his tear in Las Vegas for Mass Rivals. But by that point, Minnesota, Seton Hall, Butler, DePaul, VCU, UMASS, Providence, Rhode Island, LaSalle, Boston College and Temple had already offered.
By Aug. 9, Bede had a top five. Virginia Tech, Butler, Minnesota, UMASS and LaSalle had all drawn his focus most, though the first two seemed to gain a bit more traction.
Bede set official visits to Butler Aug. 26, Virginia Tech Sept. 23 and UMASS and LaSalle in October. After his Butler trek, Bede talked about how much he liked the vibes and the atmosphere.
To show just how much the Hokies wanted Bede, their four-star pledge for the 2017 class, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, made his official visit as well. Those two seemed to have a bond during Bede's first and only time in Blacksburg. Bede said his mother, who accompanied him, also loved the trip.
Bede quickly set an announcement for 5 pm this past Wednesday. And to no surprise, Virginia Tech was the choice.
What it means for the class
What a lethal backcourt the Hokies now have going forward. Alexander-Walker has developed into an all-around threat, who can shoot, drive and routinely get to 20 points in a game.
Bede is the guy who can get Alexander-Walker the ball in the space he needs it to succeed. But Bede can certainly create for himself.
While his best attribute might be as a floor general, getting others involved and setting the tone, Bede can also drive and stop and pop when he needs to. He's been referred to by Scout analyst Brian Snow as 'tough, skilled and athletic.'
Point guard was a HUGE need for Virginia Tech in this class. The Hokies needed someone to run the offense over the next few years, provide lockdown defense up top and get his teammates involved.
And Bede satisfies all those characteristics. He's arguably the best point guard they could have pulled in.
"I think it's a big pickup. Wabissa Bede was one of the breakout stars of July and I thought he really made a statement with his play. He was playing alongside another talented point guard in Makai Ashton-Langford. But I thought Wabissa did a terriffic job of really playing with energy. He's such a competitive kid who plays so hard and he competes at both ends of the floor.
I think he's got a lot of potential as an on-the-ball defender. I think he's a good driver, he plays well in transition. He's not a great three-point shooter, but he's streaky and he's certainly capable of getting hot and making shots. I think he's a guy who continues to improve and is really taking a positive step forward in terms of prospects in the past five or six months."
-- Evan Daniels, Scout.com national basketball recruiting director
What it means for Virginia Tech as a program
Last season and again this season, the Hokies will be run by senior Seth Allen and sophomore Justin Robinson. But going forward, they needed help in the form of reinforcements.
Bede is a guy who should pair well with Robinson next season. After all, he played with another big point guard for Mass Rivals in Ashton-Langford. But even after Robinson graduates, Bede should slide in seamlessly.
Right now, it looks like Bede is a guy who should be around three or four years. But the way he's quickly progressed, he has the potential to be an early NBA entrant.
But even if he's only at Virginia Tech a couple of seasons, he's the type of players the Hokies need to take the next step of getting to the NCAA Tournament, making a deep run and staying in the top half of the ACC.