Virginia Tech suspends expected starter Chris Clarke

Virginia Tech forward Chris Clarke has been suspended indefinitely, the school announced Wednesday.

No further information was provided by the school.

Clarke, a 6-foot-6 senior, was runner-up for ACC Sixth Man of the Year last season and was expected to move into the small-ball starting lineup for the Hokies. The versatile forward averaged 8.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists as a junior.

"My main focus is just guarding a bigger guy and rebounding, because on the offensive end, I'll have an advantage, but defensively, usually they're taller than me and sizewise, they're bigger than me," Clarke told ESPN recently at ACC media day. "So I got a lot of work to do."

Without Clarke, Buzz Williams will need to rely more heavily on returnees P.J. Horne and Ty Outlaw, as well as freshman Landers Nolley, to fill the void. Horne and Outlaw have both played some undersized power forward in the past, while Nolley is an excellent outside shooter who was ranked in the ESPN 100 in the 2018 class.

Virginia Tech was ranked No. 15 in the preseason AP poll. The Hokies open the season at home against Gardner-Webb on Nov. 9.