ACC Basketball

Freshmen Orientation: Maurice Kirby

Maurice-Kirby

Name: Maurice Kirby

School: Virginia Tech

Position: Center

Measurements: 6-9/230

From: Chandler, Arizona

High School: Basha

AAU Team: Belmont Shore

Twitter: @Kirby_21VT

RANKINGS:

ESPN: 2-Star | #33 Rated C

Scout: 2-Star

Rivals: 2-Star

247Sports: 2-Star

Quick Thoughts:

Big men take more time to develop, that’s a well known fact and Kirby is a prime example of that theory.

This kid has an amazing wingspan, the kind that any coach in any conference would dump their own wives for. The problem is, as he’s gotten bigger, he’s had trouble playing with his growing body.

He doesn’t look comfortable inside and will drift away from the rim, rather than bang inside. He also lacks solid ball handling skills and will turn it over from time to time.

He does have good vision and passing skills. He keeps the ball up high and can find cutters to the rim from above the free throw line. However, a glorified point guard is now what you’re hoping to land with a 6-9, 230 pound guy.

However, what he does have is a soft touch and is capable of hitting from 15-feet out from around the elbow.

On the defense, he doesn’t have the athleticism to chase people outside and quick guards can work around him inside, but with his length, he could develop into a solid shot blocker.

In the end, the Hokies’ coaching staff is recruiting the length and hoping to coach the rest. Over time, he’ll need to live in the gym and add some upper body strength. With his frame, he could be a load inside with muscle.

Also, once he gets the footwork down, he should eventually be able to develop one or two go-to moves and maybe a back to the basket game.

Freshman Outlook:

Virginia Tech won’t be a giant team and will primarily go with a three-man rotation at the 4-5 spots with Cadarian Raines and C.J. Barksdale starting, with Joey Van Zegeren coming off the bench.

After that, all head coach James Johnson has are two freshmen, Kirby and Trevor Thompson. I’d give Thompson the edge. He’s a little light and will get pushed around in the paint, but he does have some ability to put the ball in the basket and is known as a solid rebounder.

This means Kirby’s time on the court will be extremely limited headed into his rookie year.

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