In case you’ve been away for the weekend, let’s catch you up on the latest UVA men’s basketball recruiting news.
Head coach Tony Bennett and company hosted transfer targets Nigel Johnson and Noah Dickerson on visits this past weekend. Johnson, a 6’1”, 185-pound guard, committed to the Hoos while in Charlottesville. As a graduate transfer, the soon-to-be Rutgers graduate will be eligible to play for the Cavaliers this coming season. Johnson has one year of eligibility remaining.
Dickerson, a sophomore power forward, has asked for and been granted a release to transfer from the University of Washington. UVA did not gain a commitment from Dickerson while he was on Grounds, and he is now back at UW considering his next move.
Despite the fact that the 6’8”, 245-pound Atlanta (GA) native did not commit over the weekend, I think UVA still has a chance. However, the longer he takes to decide the less likely he is to choose UVA in my opinion. If he ends up in Charlottesville, I suspect we’ll know soon. For now, Dickerson has not ruled out returning to Washington and may still be deciding whether he wants to take a redshirt, particularly after finishing strong in what was a productive sophomore season (12 points, 8 rebounds per game).
So what’s next for the Wahoos? While Dickerson is obviously a player the staff really wants, Bennett isn’t likely going to wait if he feels there are other suitable options available. Connecticut big man transfer Steven Enoch may still be on the radar, although frankly we haven’t gotten much news on him since he announced his decision to transfer. Virginia does appear interested, though. A new name has emerged from the prep ranks and he is senior forward Francesco Badocchi, a native of Italy playing at Bishop Miege in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.
Badocchi, who I’ve seen listed anywhere from 6’6” to 6’8”, appears from his highlights to be a forward in the Darion Atkins/Akil Mitchell mold.
Rivals.com reports that the Bishop Miege standout is scheduled to take an official visit to UVA this coming weekend. More recently, Hooz Got Next reports via Twitter that Badocchi has not yet scheduled anything.
— Hooz Got Next (@HoozGotNext) April 10, 2017
Illinois is reportedly interested in Badocchi, who holds offers from East Tennessee State and Miami of Ohio.
If history is any indication, these names are probably not the only ones on UVA’s radar right now. Under Bennett, Virginia typically plays things close to the chest. With Nigel Johnson on board for the coming season, I do believe UVA is finished recruiting the graduate transfer market but still in pursuit of a traditional transfer (such as Dickerson or Enoch) or prep player with the post being the likely positional priority. I’m not ruling out a perimeter player, though.
In terms of the 2016/2017 Recruiting Calendar this month and next, a Dead Period (no in-person contact of any kind) runs from April 10-13. A Recruiting Period goes from April 14-19 with a Quiet Period starting April 20 and running through July 5. Official visits can take place this weekend and throughout the Recruiting and Quiet periods. The weekends of April 21-23 and April 28-30 are Live Evaluation Periods, though, meaning the coaches will be on the road evaluating talent at AAU competitions during those times. Another Dead Period takes place May 18-26.