Mike Young and the Virginia Tech basketball team will get back a crucial cornerstone next season in Hunter Cattoor.
The guard revealed Tuesday night that he’ll be returning to Blacksburg for his fifth and final year of eligibility.
“I was going back and forth,” Cattoor said during a conference call Wednesday. “There were some days where I made my mind on one decision and the next day it flipped, so there was just a lot going into it. The biggest thing was I just mentally wanted to be at peace with my decision. And that’s what it came down to. I felt when I was ready, that coming back was the best decision for me.”
Cattoor has flourished with the Hokies, starting in all 66 games he’s played in over the past two years. He averaged a career-high 10.8 points per game last season and finished top-three on the team in steals and assists.
The relationships Cattoor has built over the past four years with his teammates and coaching staff played a big factor in his decision.
“Knowing these guys the last four years, and of all of that they’ve poured into me, and the same to them, that kind of thing is special around here,” Cattoor said. “With knowing there are a lot of unknowns out in the world, and everything going on, I just wanted to stay true to the guys that have been loyal to me.”
The Florida native had originally committed to Wofford, but chose to play for the Hokies after Young left Wofford for Virginia Tech in 2019.
“I grew up here — I came here as an 18-year-old, now I’m going to be 23 at the end of this year,” Cattoor said. “So it’s been a long four years, a lot has happened. But I just wanted to be happy with my decision, have no regrets. … I feel like I’m at peace and that I’m not gonna have any regrets and I’m looking forward to this next year.”
With 251 made 3-pointers under his belt, Cattoor is just 17 shy of the Virginia Tech record. A.D. Vassallo set the record of 267 in 2009 after playing in 133 career games. Cattoor has played in 119 games, and the career 41% 3-point shooter will likely break the record early next season.
“It’d be a cool thing to have my name beside,” Cattoor said. “Obviously, a lot more goes into it than me shooting the ball. Having teammates that are passing me the ball, coaches putting me in the right position, teammates screening for me. So it’s an individual record, but a lot goes into it with the team.”
Although he will certainly have experience on his side in year five, there are still multiple things Cattoor believes he needs to work on — most notably, his comfort level with the ball in his hands and his defense.
“I’ve been a good shooter for my whole career,” Cattoor said. “But at the end of the day, I feel like there’s still another level in me to get better at. So just tuning up things around my game. Obviously getting my body healthy, being in my fifth year in college, I’m gonna be in the treatment room a lot more. But I’m excited to just kind of keep my body healthy, and hopefully have a healthy fifth year.”
Cattoor couldn’t pass up working on the “unfinished business” he and the Hokies have left.
“Winning another ACC championship, making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, I feel like there’s a lot more on the table for us to accomplish,” Cattoor said. “So I’m ready to get to work and see where we can go.”
Michael Sauls, email@example.com, Twitter: @mcsauls