A 6-foot-8 forward from Portsmouth’s Norcom High, Finney-Smith made the
The Daily Press first reported Finney-Smith's intentions, quoting sources. Then Tech officials confirmed.
Tom Gabbard, Tech's associate athletic director in charge of basketball, said Finney-Smith's mother, Desiree Finney, requested her son's release last weekend in a meeting with Gabbard and new Hokies coach James Johnson.
Previously, Johnson had met with Finney-Smith and Desiree Finney, according to Gabbard.
"J.J.'s position is going to be if you don't want to be at Virginia Tech and you're unhappy here, we don't want you here," Gabbard said. "We're trying to build something. You only go through this (playing college basketball) once, and you need to be happy."
Gabbard added that Tech will grant Finney-Smith his release to a school "not in direct competition" with the Hokies, meaning an ACC rival.
Finney-Smith and Norcom coach Leon Goolsby could not be reached for comment.
Finney-Smith's season was marred by a prolonged scoring slump in which he missed 25 consecutive shots. His shooting percentage for the season was 33.2, lowest among Tech's starters, and sources said he's been pondering a change since January.
"This has been brewing for months," a source said, explaining that Finney-Smith never was comfortable at Tech.
Johnson confirmed Finney-Smith's desire to transfer.
At Norcom, Finney-Smith was a two-time
The coaches who played leading roles in Finney-Smith’s choosing Virginia Tech recently departed the program. The school fired head coach
Finney-Smith's brother, Ben Finney, played for the Monarchs.
Sources said it is unlikely Finney-Smith would transfer to ODU. Among his previous finalists, that would leave Florida as his lone option.
Rivals.com rated Finney-Smith the Class of 2011’s No. 31 prospect, the Hokies’ most heralded signee since
Finney-Smith is Virginia Tech basketball’s second consecutive
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