Virginia men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett has made St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) shooting guard Casey Morsell a priority in class of 2019 recruiting. This Wednesday, April 4, Coach Bennett will find out if his efforts have paid off in the form of a commitment from the talented 6’2″, 170-pound junior.
Monday evening (April 2), Morsell tweeted …
April 4th #TheNextChapter
— Casey Morsell (@CaseyMorsell) April 2, 2018
Speculation was rampant that perhaps Morsell was announcing a commitment date. Sure enough, St. John’s head coach Patrick Behan confirmed to TheSabre.com moments later that his star would be announcing his college choice on April 4. Morsell then told Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post that there are three finalists: Virginia, Penn State and Oklahoma State.
“I got the [head coaching job at St. John’s] in June last summer. Shortly after, (Virginia assistant coach) Jason Williford got in touch with me,” recalled Behan in an earlier interview with TheSabre.com. “Toward the end of the summer the scholarship offer came. Tony Bennett and his whole staff watched a fall workout. They made a presence in our gym as well as in getting to know Casey. They’ve done a great job and Casey has definitely appreciated it.”
Further discussing Coach Bennett’s role, Behan said: “I think Coach Bennett really keeps in touch with the family a good amount. He has done a nice job of connecting with the family. He’s a great guy. Everything you see and hear about the qualities he has, they all ring true. His assistants have done a fantastic job as well.”
In addition to the three finalists, Morsell received scholarship offers from Florida, Georgetown, Maryland, St. Joseph’s, Temple, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. He is rated a 4-star prospect and the No. 66 prospect in his class by Rivals, while 247Sports rates him as a 4-star and the No. 83 junior in the country.
Morsell averaged 14 points (55 made 3s, 80% free throw shooter), five rebounds, 1.5 steals and one block per game for a 23-12 St. John’s squad this past season. He’ll play for Team Takeover on the Nike EYBL circuit this spring and summer.
“He’s a two-way player kid who can create his own shot,” Behan said of Morsell, who primarily played off the ball his junior season. “He is great with ball screens. He’s great in a short amount of space. He has a great jab game, and when he gets to the basket he is strong enough to finish around the rim. Defensively he has gotten bigger and stronger. He’ll definitely be our leader going into next year.”
As the scholarship situation currently stands, Virginia has four scholarships available to use in the class of 2019. Morsell would be a terrific start ahead of the start of AAU season and the April live evaluation periods.
Below are two sets of highlights of Morsell. The first is from St. John’s 49-47 win over WCAC-foe Gonzaga in February of 2018. This video is courtesy of Hoop Major. Below that is a mixtape of Morsell’s freshman and sophomore seasons and AAU play, courtesy of Capitol Hoops.
— Hoop Major (@HoopMajor) February 7, 2018