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Virginia Tech’s Robert Brown to transfer closer to home

Mar 27, 2013, 10:56 AM EDT

Robert Brown, Tyler Thornton, Josh Hairston

James Johnson’s rebuilding job at Virginia Tech got that much harder on Tuesday after, as sophomore Robert Brown announced his intentions to transfer to a program closer to his Florida home.

“Robert wants to be closer to home, and over the course of the year, that was something we were really talking about,” Brown’s father told the Washington Post. “He had a lot on his mind and he said, ‘I just really want to go home or closer to home.’ We’re a close-knit family and we really haven’t been able to see him other than on quick visits and whenever he came to Florida. I think it’ll be a good change of scenery.”

Brown was a four-star recruit coming out of high school, but a prolonged slump in ACC play dropped his scoring average to 8.3 points and his shooting percentages to 33.1% from the floor and 23.5% from three.

Brown’s departure, combined with the graduation of Erick Green, Dorian Finney-Smith’s transfer and Montrezl Harrell going to Louisville instead of Virginia Tech, put Johnson in a really tough spot. Building a program is not an easy thing to do. It gets harder when you have to try while your best players keep heading out the door.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.