Virginia Tech Hokies' Basketball Signees for 2013 Bring Promise

Justin CatesCorrespondent INovember 15, 2012

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 10:  The Hokie Bird, mascot of the Virginia Tech Hokies, performs during the first half of the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the first round of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 10, 2011 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

First year head coach James Johnson has started his debut season winning on the court, as well as impressing off of it.

Wednesday marked the start of college basketball's early signing period for 2013 recruits and the Hokies signed four players to national letters of intent.

Center/forward Trevor Thompson, 6'11", averaged 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks per game at Ben Davis High in Indianapolis, Ind. He will play a post-graduate season at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, Wis.

Thompson is considered a 3-star recruit by most major services. He runs the floor well and can score in a variety of ways. At just 210 pounds however, he will have to fill out quickly to battle with other ACC posts.

Forward Maurice Kirby (6'9", 235 lbs) hails from Chandler, Ariz. where he averaged 7.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and two blocks per game for Basha High School. 

Kirby and Thompson quickly upgrade a very thin Hokies frontcourt. The only proven players currently on Tech's roster, 6'9" forward Cadarian Raines and 6'7" forward Jarell Eddie will be seniors in 2013. 

Ben Emelogu is a 6'5" shooting guard from South Grand Prairie High School in Grand Prairie, Texas. Ben averaged eight points and two rebounds per game as a junior. ESPN rates him as the No. 56 shooting guard in the country and a 3-star recruit.

Donte Clark is Tech's most heralded recruit in this class. The 6'4" shooting guard is ranked a 4-star recruit by and ESPN, as well as the No. 89 overall recruit by ESPN. Clark averaged 15.8 points, 3.8 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game last season at Kennedy Charter Public School in Charlotte, N.C.

Joining Clark and Emelogu in the backcourt will be sophomore transfer Adam Smith. Smith came to Tech after averaging 13.7 points per game as a freshman for UNC Wilmington.

He was an all-rookie selection in the Colonial Athletic Conference and will give the Hokies another good shooter. 

Head coach James Johnson told, “When you add Adam Smith to this group, you have three guards that can score the ball in different ways. Then you add the two guys up front. The way the league is, with the new teams coming in, physicality, size and athleticism were very important to us in this class.”

The Hokies will go from having razor-thin depth this season to having comfortable balance with an infusion of youth in 2013. 

More importantly, Johnson has steadied a program that was in complete disarray back in the spring when Seth Greenberg was fired. 

This is a very solid class that proves why was JJ was Seth's top recruiter. There may be growing pains this season, but the near future looks promising.