Sources: Virginia Tech guard Tyrone Garland plans to transfer

Virginia Tech sophomore guard Tyrone Garland plans to transfer at the end of the semester, he confirmed on Twitter on Friday afternoon.

One source said Garland, a Philadelphia native, has returned home after finishing exams and won’t be on the bench when the Hokies take on Campbell Saturday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum.

When asked Thursday whether Garland was going to remain with the team this season, Coach Seth Greenberg declined to comment specifically about the situation. Garland would be the third men’s basketball player to transfer from Virginia Tech in the past year. Last December Ben Boggs transferred to Valparaiso and this past offseason forward Manny Atkins decided to transfer to Georgia Southern.

“You can’t play 13 guys. That’s the way it is,” Greenberg said Thursday. “The guys that have left our program have left because they wanted an opportunity to play more.”

Garland never could find his niche in Blacksburg. He finished his high school career as the third-leading scorer in Philadelphia Public League history, but listed at 6-foot-1, Virginia Tech was hoping it could mold him into a point guard.

He averaged 2.7 points per game in limited action as a freshman last year, but things looked to be on the upswing when Garland started Virginia Tech’s season opener against East Tennessee State in place of an injured Erick Green. He scored a team-high 13 points that night.

However his minutes steadily decreased from there, and since freshman guard Marquis Rankin returned from a torn meniscus 12 days ago, Garland has played just one minute in the past three games combined. This season, he’s averaging 4.6 points and 1.3 assists per contest.

After the Hokies’ most recent win over Norfolk State, when Garland didn’t remove his warm-up shirt the entire game, Greenberg was asked about the lack of playing time.

“Marquis is right now a good play starter and good on ball defender. We’ve got to get other guys more minutes,” he said.

Virginia Tech has already signed two players – Montrezl Harrell and Marshall Wood – for its 2012 recruiting class but is allowed to have 13 scholarship players on its roster. If injured senior JT Thompson decides to apply for a medical redshirt after tearing his ACL before the season, Garland’s departure would mean the Hokies now have two open scholarships.

Mark Giannotto is a Montgomery County native who covers high school sports for The Washington Post. He previously covered Virginia and Virginia Tech football for five years.

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