Sunday night promises to be a big night for the UVa men’s basketball program. There is the obvious, the first-ever regular season game at John Paul Jones arena. The atmosphere will be electric, setting up nicely for the big night on the recruiting front as well. Coach Dave Leitao and company expect to host three 2007 class recruits making their official visits this weekend, and they expect a number of 2008 prospects in town as well.
The official visitor list is headlined by five-star power forward Patrick Patterson, a 6-8, 235-pound recruit out of Huntington High School (Huntington, W.V.). This is the final official visit for Patterson, who has taken officials to Florida, Duke, Kentucky and Wake Forest. Home-state West Virginia remains in contention as well, though the Mountaineers only received an unofficial visit.
Patterson has visited UVa on previous occasions, including for the Elite camp this summer. Following this weekend’s trip, the talented post player is expected to narrow his list to three or four schools. He plans to watch his finalists carefully through their 2006-2007 seasons and will sign in the spring.
An outstanding prospect, Patterson earned state Player of the Year honors in leading his high school program to a state championship last season. He enjoyed a terrific off-season, including an MVP performance in the NBPA camp in Richmond, Virginia. Patterson has ideal size and strength for a power forward and he is a solid offensive player as well.
Patterson isn’t the only big man making an official visit. Joining him will be Tomasz Kwiatkowski , a 7-0, 245-pound center out of Lee Academy in Maine. A native of Poland, Kwiatkowski moved to the United States this year and enrolled at Lee Academy. Lee Head Coach Carl Parker does not expect Kwiatkowski to make a decision any time soon.
“He is new to America and really doesn’t know where anything really is,” Parker said in last week’s EDGE article on Kwiatkowski. “He really hasn’t seen anything in terms of American colleges and facilities. He’s not the typical American recruit, who has already been wooed and recruited.”
Baylor and Rhode Island join UVa as the schools that have offered. With a productive season at Lee Academy, Kwiatkowski would likely see many more offers assuming he does indeed wait until the spring (as he is expected to do).
6-3 Mustapha Farrakhan is the only backcourt player making an official visit this weekend. As a junior at Thornton Township (Harvey, IL) last season, he averaged 18 points per game. Thornton Township Head Coach Troy Jackson gave a scouting report of his talented standout in last week’s feature profile on the EDGE.
“He has great three-point touch,” Jackson said of Farrakhan. “Shooting has always been his forte, but he has developed an ability to get to the basket through hard work and dedication.”
Farrakhan has taken official visits to Penn State, Vanderbilt and Illinois. He has enjoyed all three visits so far, but Virginia certainly has a chance here. A decision is expected to come soon after this weekend’s trip, as Farrakhan is expected to sign early.
Farrakhan is a “terrific student” according to Jackson and academics will play a significant role in his decision. This decision could go any way, although Penn State may be the longest shot right now according to sources.
Other visitors in town…
Penn Charter senior point guard Sammy Zeglinski, who has signed with UVa already, plans to be at Sunday night’s game. He may be joined by fellow UVa signee Jeff Jones , although Jones was not certain that he could make the trip.
2007 class target Mike Scott plans to be in Charlottesville on Sunday night as well. The 6-8, 215-pound Hargrave Military Academy forward has taken official visits to Virginia and N.C. State. Although he heavily favors the Cavs, Scott may end up waiting to sign in the spring as his father would like for him to make a few more visits before making a final decision. Stay tuned, though, because this could be a fluid situation.
Several top targets from the 2008 class are expected as well. This includes Ed Davis , the 6-8, 215-pound five-star forward out of Benedictine (Richmond, VA). Davis, a top priority for the Cavs, has a top five of Connecticut, Georgetown, UNC, Virginia and Virginia Tech, although the ‘Hoos are considered the possible team to beat at this point. Davis maintains that he will wait to make a decision until next year, however.
Other potential 2008 class visitors include 6-4 guard Elliot Williams (St. George Academy – Memphis, TN) and 6-2 point guard Andre Jones (Nansemond River – Suffolk, VA). Williams already has a handful of offers, including one from UVa and one from hometown Memphis. He is rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and a three-star recruit by Scout.com.
Jones, who reportedly has offers from Virginia and Virginia Tech, is rated a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Other visitors are likely to be in town as well, so stay tuned as we learn more names. Also stay tuned to the EDGE next week for recruiting reports from what promises to be an exciting weekend.