The Early Signing Period for Division 1 men’s basketball begins today. It lasts through next Wednesday, November 20, and within the week’s time the University of Virginia is expected to receive signed letters of intent from Jack Salt , B.J. Stith , and Isaiah Wilkins .
Stith, a 6’5″, 200-pound wing player, is the son of legendary Cavalier and former NBA player Bryant Stith. BJ played for his father at Brunswick (Lawrenceville, VA) for three seasons, helping the Bulldogs to three straight state championships in that time. He is attending highly regarded prep school Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, VA) for his senior year.
Stith, who committed to the Hoos in September of 2011, is Virginia’s most highly regarded prospect with Rivals, Scout, and 247Sports ranking him as a 4-star player. 247Sports ranks Stith as the no. 42 overall recruit in the country in the class of 2014. Rivals (no. 48) and Scout (no. 66) also have him as a top 75 senior in the nation.
Like Stith, Greater Atlanta Christian (Atlanta, GA) forward Isaiah Wilkins has connections to the NBA as well, as his stepfather is Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins.
The younger Wilkins, a 6’7″, 200-pound prospect, averaged 16.2 points, over 11 boards, and over two assists per game his junior season. He also had 158 blocks in 2012/2013, earning AA Player of the Year honors while leading GAC to a state championship and 29-3 overall record.
Wilkins emerged on the major college recruiting scene this past summer, with Virginia being one of a handful of major programs to extend an offer. The Virginia coaches envision Wilkins growing into an Akil Mitchell type of player.
“I think a lot of the reason why some of the major programs [waited to offer Wilkins] was because he is 6’7” and they were wondering if he would be a 3 or a 4. That question was being tossed around,” GAC head coach Eddie Martin told TheSabre.com. “They finally figured out that the bottom line is this kid is a player. He can really play the game. He has excellent basketball IQ. He understands how to play.”
ESPN, Rivals, Scout, and 247Sports rank Wilkins as a 3-star prospect. Rivals ranks him as the no. 107 player in the nation.
Joining Stith and Wilkins will be 6’10”, 230-pound Jack Salt , who attends Westlake School in Auckland, New Zealand. Tony Bennett, who recruited New Zealand while at previous coaching stops at Wisconsin and Washington State, began giving Salt a serious look this past summer and eventually came through with an offer.
“Jack is still growing at 6’10”. This is an upside for any team,” Westlake head coach Mark Jackson wrote in an e-mail interview with TheSabre.com. “He is still developing that athletic potential. He will get better and wants to get better. There is a passion and desire present. He wants to develop both his shot and his shot range. Athletic ability will improve further.
“Academically he is a good student. He has high personal integrity. When I am questioned by coaches, most of the basketball questions they know about, but academic, school, social, interaction with peers, initiative, etc., are areas where they have gaps. These are areas of strength for Jack. He leads well. He will take action. He also has gathered experience in the International game. He understands the game.”
When UVa issues an official release on these three recruits, we will post it on TheSabre. I also plan to catch up with all three for further comments and analysis in the coming weeks.