Junior College All-American guard Tomas Woldetensae verbally committed to the University of Virginia men’s basketball program last week, days after making an official visit on Grounds. On Monday (May 13), the 6’5”, 195-pound prospect made his commitment official by signing a letter of intent with the Cavaliers.
UVA head coach Tony Bennett announced the signing in an official press release.
“We are excited to welcome Tomas into the Virginia men’s basketball family,” Bennett said. “Tomas is a talented guard who is a complete player. Earning a degree from UVA is important to Tomas and his family, and we’re looking forward to him joining our program this fall.”
Woldetensae (pronounced Thomas Woal-duh-TEN-sigh), a sharpshooter who starred at Indian Hills Community College in Iowa, bolsters a Cavalier backcourt sorely in need of scoring and ballhandling following the departures of guards Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome and guard/forward De’Andre Hunter, who declared for the 2019 NBA Draft. He made 47.6% of 210 attempts from behind the arc this past season, averaging 17.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists on his way to earning All-American honors and Iowa Community College Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors.
In addition to his 3-point shooting prowess, the talented guard is an outstanding free throw shooter, making 89.3% from the charity stripe in 2017-18 and 88.8% of his foul shots in 2018-19.
Indian Hills head coach Hank Plona describes Woldetensae, who helped the Warriors to a 60-8 record the past two seasons, as a “a real complete guard. He has led the team as a point guard-type, but he is also a scorer. He has kind of done it all here. He’s a good passer, but his biggest strength is shooting the ball. He can shoot the ball at a very high rate. He can make it from 23, 24 feet, in every which way. Obviously, that makes him a weapon. In addition, he’s a very smart basketball player. He has improved in leaps and bounds, and he’s passionate about expanding his game. I wouldn’t say he’s a point guard. I wouldn’t say he’s a wing. He’s kind of a complete, do-it-all guard who is versatile to play in different situations.”
Woldetensae, a native of Bologna, Italy, spent the first three years of high school in his home country before enrolling at Victory Rock Prep in Bradenton, Florida. He attended the Sunshine State prep school for two years, including a postgraduate year, before enrolling at IHCC.
Virginia men’s basketball will welcome four new scholarship players to the program this summer – Woldetensae, Panther Creek (Cary, N.C.) guard/forward Justin McKoy, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) shooting guard Casey Morsell and Holly Springs (N.C.) forward/center Kadin Shedrick. Coach Bennett and company are still actively pursuing more prospects for next season.
The projected 2019-20 scholarship breakdown for the reigning national champion Cavaliers is below, and tentatively includes UVA redshirt junior forward Mamadi Diakite, who has declared for the 2019 NBA Draft but has left open the possibility of returning to school.
UVA’s 2019-20 Scholarship Projection (Including Mamadi Diakite)
Point Guards: Kihei Clark (Soph)
Wings: Tomas Woldetensae (Jr), Kody Stattmann (Soph), Casey Morsell (Fr)
Combo Forwards: Braxton Key (Sr), Justin McKoy (Fr)
Posts: Mamadi Diakite (RS Sr), Jay Huff (RS Jr), Francesco Badocchi (RS Soph), Francisco Caffaro (RS Fr), Kadin Shedrick (Fr)