Virginia Basketball Recruiting Notes: More Rankings, & The Hoos Make Two Top 10 Lists

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Rivals.com has released its final Top 150 for the class of 2020. All three Virginia basketball signees made the list, with wing Jabri Abdur-Rahim receiving the highest mark.

Abdur-Rahim, a 6’7”, 205-pound senior who is now officially a Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.) graduate, is no. 42 on the final Rivals 150. Scotlandville Magnet (Baton Rouge, LA) point guard prospect and Louisiana 2020 Gatorade Player of the Year Reece Beekman comes in at no. 69, while Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) shooting guard prospect Carson McCorkle is no. 133.

McCorkle, who missed most of his senior season due to a foot injury, may head to Charlottesville with a chip on his shoulder.

For the third time in the Tony Bennett era, Virginia has three Rivals 150 prospects in a class. The Hoos achieved this previously in 2012 (Justin Anderson, Mike Tobey, Evan Nolte) and 2016 (Kyle Guy, Jay Huff, Ty Jerome, De’Andre Hunter). UVA has landed five Rivals.com 4-star recruits in the past two classes (the 2020 group plus Casey Morsell and Kadin Shedrick from 2019).

Virginia’s 2020 Class is no. 22 in Rivals.com’s team rankings. Abdur-Rahim, Beekman, and McCorkle are all rated as 4-star prospects.

UVA Makes The Cut With Two Top Rising Seniors

Highly regarded class of 2021 forwards Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Kendall Brown have announced their top 10 lists. Both prospects included the Cavaliers. Realistically, though, UVA is probably not among the favorites for either at this point. That could change should the Cavaliers get one or both prospects on Grounds in the coming months.

Baldwin Jr., a 6’9”, 210-pound sharpshooting forward out of Hamilton (Sussex, WI), revealed his top 10 on May 10. Duke, Georgetown, Kentucky, Michigan, Milwaukee, North Carolina, Northwestern, UCLA, Virginia, and Wisconsin remain in contention for the no. 3 rising senior in the nation according to Rivals and 247Sports.

While some of the nation’s best programs remain in the running, don’t count out Milwaukee. Baldwin Jr.’s father, Pat Baldwin, serves as head coach of the Panthers men’s basketball program. The elder Baldwin played college basketball at Northwestern.

Check out highlights of the younger Baldwin below, courtesy of Movement Hoops.

Virginia offered Sunrise Christian (Bel Aire, KS) small forward Kendall Brown back in February, and the Hoos are on the 6’7”, 205-pound rising senior’s top 10 along with Arizona, Arkansas, Baylor, Illinois, Kansas, Marquette, Maryland, Minnesota, and Ohio State.

Brown, who is rated the no. 14 rising senior in the nation by Rivals and the no. 16 rising senior in the nation by 247Sports, is an explosive athlete with tremendous rise and finishing ability. The Minnesota native transferred to Sunrise Christian before his junior year.

What’s Next?

Brown, Indiana forward Trey Kaufman, and Pennsylvania guard Jordan Longino are the rising senior prospects Virginia has offered scholarships this year. By our count the Hoos have offered 10 rising high school seniors in total. One of those targets – forward Caleb Furst (Purdue) – has committed elsewhere.

Of those 10 offer recipients, Virginia is a top contender with Paul VI (Fairfax, VA) guard Trevor Keels and Steward School (Richmond, VA) center Efton Reid, prospects that have been high on head coach Tony Bennett’s wish list for a long time. Those two and Arizona forward DaRon Holmes II have taken official visits on Grounds. Although there was some buzz that Keels could commit soon, the latest reports suggest that none of the three are in any hurry to make their college decisions.

Because of the coronavirus, the NCAA has extended the recruiting Dead Period through June 30. Until the Dead Period is lifted, prospects cannot make in-person visits to schools. If recruits, Keels and Reid included, cannot make visits until July or August, they may put their decisions on hold until the late summer, fall, or possibly later. If that happens, does Virginia wait or begin more heavily pursuing other targets? That is what I’ll be interested in seeing in the weeks and months ahead with respect to class of 2021 recruiting.

Looking ahead to 2022, in past years the spring and summer has been a big time for evaluating and offering rising high school juniors. The coronavirus has forced the cancellation of evaluation opportunities this spring and summer – the annual NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville is the latest lost event – and there is plenty of uncertainty regarding what rest of the summer will look like.

“It will be extremely difficult,” Virginia associate head coach Jason Williford said of evaluating prospects. “Luckily, we had a little bit of a head start with some [class of] 21s. I think the biggest challenge will be the class behind them. We can start contacting [class of 2022 recruits] on June 15. Not being able to see those guys [play] and have a feel for their game, it’s going to be difficult but everybody’s got the same handicap and we’re just going to have to make the most of watching a ton of film.”

Virginia has extended one scholarship offer in the class of 2022, to Montverde Academy (Montverde, FL) wing Caleb Houstan. Courtside Films produced highlights of the 5-star prospect below.

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