Virginia Basketball Recruiting: Perimeter Target Board, Post Quinerly

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While top point guard target Jahvon Quinerly has eliminated the Cavaliers, Virginia remains in the running with top post target David McCormack. ~ Photo by Kris Wright

Consensus 5-star point guard Jahvon Quinerly is set to make his college decision. His choice will be either Arizona or Villanova, eliminating Virginia and four other finalists from consideration. Quinerly’s decision, while not surprising if you take a look at his recruitment the past few months, leaves Cavalier fans to imagine “what if” this talented prospect had ended up donning the orange and blue alongside the talent head coach Tony Bennett and company have assembled.

Alas, UVA’s top overall target in 2018 is indeed headed elsewhere. But class of 2018 recruiting is far from over and Virginia remains in the running with some very promising perimeter targets and an in-state big man whose stock has risen drastically this spring and summer.

The big man in question is David McCormack, who has worked … and worked … and worked his way into becoming not just one of the top big men in the class of 2018, but also one of the top overall prospects in the class. Virginia is battling the likes of Duke and Kansas, among others, for this tenacious 6’9”, 275-pound Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, VA) rising senior, who is also receiving attention from Kentucky. McCormack has been Virginia’s top post target for months. As things stand right now, he appears to be the only offered post target on the Cavaliers’ board.

McCormack reportedly (per The Shiver, KU’s 247Sports site) will take an unofficial visit to Kansas on the 22nd of August. He has visited UVA, Duke, NC State and Oklahoma State this late spring and summer. When he will commit is anyone’s guess right now, but we know Virginia has a fighting chance.

On the perimeter, assistant coach Jason Williford said in a radio interview with WINA’s Best Seat that Virginia could use a player who can get his own shot. Most of the remaining targets are either point or combo guards who are also proven scorers.

Quinerly and Michael Devoe both eliminated Virginia within the past week. I’m not sold Virginia was in hot pursuit of Devoe, but no matter … he is now focused on eight other programs. Providence Day (N.C.) star Devon Dotson remains a long shot while UVA and Elijah Weaver have gone their separate ways, leaving the following players on Virginia’s perimeter target board (scholarship offers only) for the class of 2018 …

James Akinjo, Point Guard, Salesian (Richmond, CA)
UVA just offered the 6’0” Akinjo, so at this point it’s a matter of seeing if the Cavaliers can gain any traction and score a visit. He told Scout.com late last month that California, Connecticut and Indiana would get visits this fall.

Kaden Archie, Combo Guard, Midlothian (TX)
A similar scenario to Akinjo. Virginia recently offered the 6’6″ standout, so we’ll see if the Hoos can gain any traction.

Jared Butler, Combo Guard, Riverside Academy (Reserve, LA)
Butler revealed his top six schools this evening and, as expected, Virginia made the cut. Butler told Evan Daniels of Scout.com on July 29 that he wants to visit Alabama, Texas and Virginia, so don’t be surprised to see him schedule an official to Charlottesville here soon. Baylor could be a school to watch, having just offered the explosive scorer. All four of these schools as well as Southern Cal and Wichita State made Butler’s top list.

Duke (no. 32 in the black jersey) is a top remaining class of 2018 perimeter target of head coach Tony Bennett. ~ Photo by Kris Wright

David Duke, Combo Guard, Cushing Academy (Lowell, MA)
Providence has a long established relationship and has landed Duke’s Mass Rivals AAU teammate AJ Reeves. There is no question that Virginia is making a very strong push here, though, and has made Duke a prime target. The 6’4″ guard told Rivals.com’s Corey Evans on August 6 that he was open in his recruitment. The big thing to watch, assuming Duke doesn’t go ahead and commit, is official visits. Although Duke made an unofficial visit to UVA last summer, it’s key for the Cavaliers to get him back on Grounds.

AJ Green, Point Guard, Cedar Falls (IA)
The Des Moines Register reported last week that Green is expected an August decision. This situation reminds me of Sam Hauser, a Wisconsin native who took an official visit to Virginia before deciding to stay in-state and play for Marquette. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see UVA get a closer look with a visit; however, I believe Green ultimately will stay home and attend Northern Iowa, where his father serves as an assistant coach.

Keldon Johnson, Wing, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, VA)
According to OrangeBloods.com, the 6’6” Johnson will make an official visit to Texas the first weekend in September. The Longhorns are considered by some to be the favorite, so this visit is worth watching. UVA feels like a longshot right now, but we’ll see if the Virginia native gives the Hoos another close look with a visit.

Nate Laszewski, Wing, Northfield Mount Hermon (Gill, MA)
The 6’9” Laszeweski could play the 3 or be a stretch-4 on the next level. His recruitment has exploded recently with offers from North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin, among others. Again, since this is a new offer, we’ll see how much traction the coaches can get.

Noah Locke, Combo Guard, McDonogh (Owings Mills, MD)
The 4-star sharpshooter announced that Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Providence, Virginia and Xavier are his final eight schools.

Prep Hoops interviewed the 6’2” standout following his reveal and he said the following about Virginia (click here for the full article) …

“They’re a great program too. Always at the top of the standings throughout the country. I’ve talked to Coach Bennett plenty of times and he tells me I’ll be able to come in and play but I have to lock in on defense. I really like that, it forces you to show a lot of grit. Coach Bennett has played in the NBA, so I’m sure he has a whole bunch of connections there. They have some great history there with Malcolm Brogdon winning NBA Rookie of the Year last year and guys like Justin Anderson seeing success in the NBA. Plus, it’s close to home.”

In the same Prep Hoops report, Locke reveals he would like to commit before the start of his senior season.

Look for Locke to make more college visits before committing. GatorCountry.com reports that Florida will host Locke on an official in September. In addition to Florida, the only finalists Locke has yet to visit are Kansas and Ohio State. I expect him to set trips to those schools.

A case could be made for any of the schools on Locke’s list. I’ve thought since a late June trip to Ann Arbor that Michigan was the favorite. The below quote from Prep Hoops strengthened my feeling, but it’s also interesting that he hasn’t committed yet.

“Man I really like Michigan. When I went to visit, Coach Beilein took my family and I on the entire visit himself and showed us everything. It was great there. The atmosphere was great. We’re walking out on the streets and people were just excited to see him and us walking around. The facilities were great. I fit their playing style, too. We actually run a lot of their sets here at McDonogh.”

Luther Muhammad, Combo Guard, Hudson Catholic (Jersey City, N.J.)
Virginia, Ohio State, St. John’s, West Virginia and Xavier made 4-star point guard Luther Muhammad’s top five. Courtside Films just released new highlights of the Hudson Catholic (Jersey City, N.J.) rising senior. You can’t (and I don’t) put tremendous stock in a highlight package, however I must say I like the skill set the 6’4” Muhammad displayed. Liked his ball-handling, shooting, ability to get to the basket, defense … the 4-star looks like a great fit for UVA. The first step for the Hoos is getting him on Grounds for a visit.

Andrew Nembhard, Point Guard, Montverde (FL)
Virginia has been mentioned with Nembhard, who recently reclassified from the 2019 Class to 2018. However, Virginia is not listed as a school recruiting him the hardest in this August 8 tweet from Canadian Ballers. Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Gonzaga and Stanford are listed.

Robert Phinisee, Point Guard, McCutcheon (Lafayette, IN)
Hard to gauge much in this recruitment, though the Virginia coaches did watch him last month. The consensus is that he’ll stay in-state.

Will Richardson, Combo Guard, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, VA)
The 6’4″ Richardson has kept pretty quiet on the recruiting front, although we did learn recently that he’ll attend Oak Hill Academy his senior year. The Hinesville (GA) native is considering offers from UVA, Alabama, Georgia, Memphis, Miami, Ohio State, Oregon, Wake Forest and Wichita State, among others.

Possible overseas target emerges

All Metro Hoops reports that Virginia and Arizona are recruiting Kody Stattmann, a 6’6” shooting guard and Australian native. Horace Naismith had the following write-up on Stattmann, who is at the Adidas Nations event.

“This kid can flat shoot the ball. What I like even more was ability to create space with the dribble for his shot and move without the ball. He had crafty finishes when attacking the basket and has sleepy bounce. Has Arizona and Virginia among others in the recruiting hunt.”

Click here for the full All Metro Hoops report. Click here for another article on Stattmann’s potential.

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