By Mychal Hunter
Coming in at #14, Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker
NAW went to Blacksburg as a five star prospect that was suspected to be a multi-year player, similar to MJ Walker. Unlike Walker, he did not waste any time, bursting onto the scene in his first game against Detroit-Mercy with 24 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. He followed that up with a 29 point game against the Citadel and then two games later posted a 20 point performance against Washington.
The remainder of the season was a bit up and down as you can expect from a freshman who is getting acclimated, but everyone who was watching knew this guy is special. Overall, NAW logged 11 games with 15 or more points and the Hokie’s were 8-3 in those contests. Alexander-Walker ended the season averaging 10.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He did average more turnovers than assists, but it was basically 1:1 which is typically acceptable for a scoring wing.
The thing that I absolutely love about this kid is his ability to shoot the ball. Few freshmen step on campus and immediately shoot 40% (39.3 to be exact), but that is exactly what he did. That isn’t 40% on 5 attempts, that was on 148 chucks, 19th most in a Virginia Tech season in the last 25 years. Going back to 1992-93, NAW is the only Virginia Tech freshman to hit more than 50 triples in a season. He also ranked 17th overall (all classes) in that time period in three point percentage, minimum 100 attempts.
Bottom line here is the kid is a special shooter and with the expectation that he will make a jump in his sophomore season, you can safely assume that Nickeil will be a household name to true college basketball fans by the time conference play rolls around.