Headed into his junior season, Jalen Cone had no plans to reclassify from 2020 to 2019, despite being academically eligible to do so.
Still, after the conclusion of the college basketball season gave way to early entries into the NBA Draft, graduation and a massive transfer portal, Cone, a point guard, became a hot commodity with more than a dozen new schools inquiring about the feasibility that he would come in 2019.
On Sunday, Cone announced that he would indeed reclassify and on Thursday he revealed where he’d play next season, picking Virginia Tech over Texas A&M, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Boston College and Tennessee.
He said the key factor in his decision was, “Mike Young’s style of play.”
Young was hired on April 7 to replace Buzz Williams.
“He likes to play fast, he loves transition buckets and ball-screens for the guards,” Cone said. “They only have one returning guard and he said he really needed someone to run the show. They’re giving me the keys to the car from day one and that was the most attractive thing to me.”
This past season, Cone averaged 27 points and seven assists for Walkertown (N.C.) High School; his career scoring average is 32 points a game.
Cone will attend summer school to finish his high school credits and report to Blacksburg, Virginia, in August.
“I loved everything about the campus and the school,” Cone said. “Then I’ll be playing in the best basketball league in college basketball. It was hard to turn that down.”
Cone is the Hokies’ second commit in the 2019 class, joining Bishop Moore Catholic (Orlando, Fla.) point guard Hunter Cattoor.
Then over the last month Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY