There has been plenty of Virginia men’s basketball recruiting news within the past week, so let’s get you caught up. We begin with the two seniors Virginia has the best chance of landing, Riverside Academy (Reserve, LA) combo guard Jared Butler and Hudson Catholic (Jersey City, N.J.) combo guard Luther Muhammad.
Butler took an official visit to UVA the weekend of September 1-3 before visiting Alabama officially last weekend. Alabama head coach Avery Johnson and staff followed up with an in-school/in-home visit with the standout prospect yesterday.
Alabama, Baylor, Southern Cal, Texas, Virginia, and Wichita State made up Butler’s final 6 schools as of August 8. Alabama and Virginia certainly appear to be the frontrunners right now, though. UVA has done well in making Butler a priority the past few months. However, Alabama has been involved longer and Butler has established a very good relationship with Johnson.
Bennett is expected in-home with Butler tonight.
Muhammad, a 6’3” prospect, made an official visit to Ohio State last weekend. This week has been filled with coaches visiting his school and/or home, with St. John’s in Monday per New York Post reporter Zach Braziller. Virginia, OSU, and Xavier represented at Hudson Catholic on Tuesday according to Adam Zagoria, who added that West Virginia was expected to be represented yesterday. These five schools are Muhammad’s finalists.
Muhammad visited UVA last month and St. John’s this past June. Zagoria reported in late August that Muhammad had September officials lined up to Ohio State (8-10), Xavier (15-17), and West Virginia (22-24). No decision timetable has been announced.
With point guards James Akinjo and Andrew Nembhard no longer options — Akinjo has committed to UConn while Nembhard has eliminated UVA according to Jeff Borzello — Butler and Muhammad are Virginia’s best bets at this point. The Cavaliers did make guard Kaden Archie’s final 8, but as of yet he has not scheduled a visit to Charlottesville.
Staying on the class of 2018 front, forward Mason Forbes is at least getting consideration from the Virginia coaches, with associate head coach Ron Sanchez making his way to Folsom High School (CA) earlier this week. Forbes, who is listed anywhere from 6’7” to 6’9”, is a post prospect in the mold of an Isaiah Wilkins or Akil Mitchell.
— Sasha Harris-Forbes (@sashaforbes) September 13, 2017
As of now Virginia has not offered Forbes, who played for the Oakland Soldiers on the 2017 Nike EYBL circuit. Oakland ended up winning the prestigious Peach Jam event.
Forbes made an official visit to San Diego State the first weekend in September. According to this report, he has officials scheduled to Princeton, Harvard, and Saint Mary’s, too.
Finally, ESPN’s Paul Biancardi reports that Oak Hill Academy senior combo guard Will Richardson has scheduled three official visits – Georgia, Oregon, and Gonzaga. Virginia has offered the Georgia native. However, as is the case with Nembhard and Archie, for the Cavaliers to be considered a serious contender the staff needs to get him on Grounds for a visit.
Class of 2019 Recruiting Heating Up
September 9 marked the beginning of a Recruiting Period, and Coach Bennett and company have been busy seeing and evaluating high school juniors as well as seniors. The Hoos have extended two new offers within the past week to class of 2019 prospects.
On September 8, Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi reported that Virginia offered Bishop Miege (Mission Viejo, KS) post Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. Robinson-Earl, a former teammate of UVA true freshman forward Francesco Badocchi, also boasts offers from Creighton, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Notre Dame and others. His parents both attended Kansas, so the Jayhawks could prove difficult to beat.
Last Saturday the Hoos hosted St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) shooting guard Casey Morsell on an unofficial visit. The 6’2” junior returned home having been offered a scholarship by Coach Bennett.
— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) September 9, 2017
Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, Penn State, St. Joseph’s, Temple, and Virginia Tech are among the other schools that have offered the sweet-shooting Morsell.
Adam Zagoria reported this past Monday (September 11) that Bennett visited New Jersey’s Gil St. Bernard’s School, where he further scouted guard Khalif Battle. Battle, the younger brother of Syracuse sophomore guard Tyus Battle, took an unofficial visit to UVA earlier this summer, so there is mutual interest between the two parties. No offer from Virginia at this point, though.
Other stops by the Virginia staff this week included …
– Topeka (KS) shooting guard Zach Harvey, per Julius Kim. Per Rivals, the 4-star prospect has offers from Creighton, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oregon, UCLA, Wake Forest.