Virginia Basketball Recruiting Notes: Bennett Watches Josiah James

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According to TMP Basketball’s official Twitter page, Porter Gaud (Charleston, S.C.) class of 2019 point guard Josiah James picked up two new scholarship offers on Sunday (April 29). Florida State is one. The other is Michigan State, which, according to MLive.com, happens to be his father’s alma mater. Kurt James played basketball for the Spartans from 1980-1982.

Without having spoken directly with the younger James, the Michigan State offer seems significant. Meanwhile, Virginia, which offered a scholarship in July of 2017, watched on the 6’7”, 195-pound prospect during the April 20-22 and the April 27-29 Live Evaluation periods. Head coach Tony Bennett watched him on Sunday (April 30) at the On The Radar Hoops Sweet 16 Session II event in Powder Springs (GA).

Whether or not Virginia could ultimately land James is a question, but I certainly believe the Rivals.com 5-star could become one of Bennett’s top targets in this class. When you think of a versatile, skilled player with the size to defend multiple spots just like De’Andre Hunter, James would certainly fit that bill.

Morsell has been a consistent producer for Team Takeover this EYBL season.

Morsell Wraps Up Strong Weekend

Through two sessions of the 2018 Nike EYBL circuit, only one team remains unbeaten. That is Team Takeover, which improved to 8-0 on the circuit after pulling away from the New Jersey Playaz Club on Sunday (April 30).

Team Takeover guard and Virginia commit Casey Morsell capped off a strong performance this past weekend in Indianapolis with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field against the Playaz. Morsell made 4-of-4 free throws and went 1-of-3 from beyond the arc in the win. In four games in Indy, the St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) star rising senior shot 65.4% (17-of-26) from the field, 90.9% from the free throw line (10-of-11) and 45.5% from 3 (5-of-11) while averaging 12.3 points per game (stats per D1Circuit.com).

Through eight games, Morsell is averaging 11.5 points (50% FG, 38.7% 3PFG, 76.9% FT) and 1.1 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per game. He has scored in double digits in seven of the eight games.

Session III of the 2018 Nike EYBL circuit begins May 11 and lasts through May 13.

More Virginia Basketball Recruiting Notes

– Morsell’s newest Team Takeover teammate is class of 2019 forward/center Armando Bacot, a coveted recruit out of Trinity Episcopal (Richmond, VA). Last weekend was Bacot’s first with Team Takeover. The transition on both sides appears seamless, as the 6’10”, 250-pound rising senior scored in double-digits in two of Team Takeover’s four games, including a 14-point, 8-rebound performance against the Playaz.

Morsell told TheSabre.com that he and Bacot have been friends since their elementary school days, something that could only help Virginia. At this point I still think Bacot heads outside the Commonwealth for college, but UVA has continued its pursuit of the coveted prospect and is in his Top 10.

– Patrick Engel reports a Virginia assistant was on hand for Team Thad vs. Team Rio on Sunday (April 29). Team Rio features Aidan Igiehon, a class of 2019 forward/center who we know has a Virginia offer.

– Elevate Hoops reported Virginia represented at BTI Hoops’ game on Sunday (April 29). BTI Hoops, a California-based AAU program, should be used to seeing the V-sabres by now. Coach Bennett and company have been common spectators at BTI games during the first two Live Evaluation sessions. The prime targets include class of 2019 guard Drake London and class of 2020 wing forward Ziaire Williams.

– Hooz Got Next reported that Bennett watched Team Loaded VA on the Adidas circuit on Sunday (April 29). As mentioned previously, the Cavalier head man has offered a scholarship to Norfolk Academy (Norfolk, VA) class of 2020 forward Mark Williams and is recruiting Trinity Episcopal (Richmond, VA) class of 2020 wing Henry Coleman. Coleman had a good weekend that resulted in a scholarship offer from TCU’s Jamie Dixon.

– Coach Bennett reportedly scouted Boo Williams 17U this past weekend as well. Class of 2021 point guard Carter Whitt could be a name to remember. The 6’3”, 170-pound Whitt visited UVA for a game this past season. The Raleigh (N.C.) native has had some struggles this early EYBL season, averaging 5 points (31% FG, 31.6% 3PFG), 3.4 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 2.2 turnovers per game through eight games, but he’s just a rising sophomore and has one high-major offer under his belt in Ole Miss.

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