University of Virginia men’s basketball fans in the Eastern Time Zone are waking up to some good news on the recruiting front. Taine Murray, a 6’5”, 200-pound guard out of Auckland, New Zealand, has committed to the Hoos.
Murray, who posted his announcement via Instagram at roughly 2:30 a.m. EST (6:30 p.m. in New Zealand), is UVA’s first pledge in the class of 2021.
View this post on Instagram
Blessed to announce that I’ve committed to the University of Virginia (@uvamenshoops) to play for Coach Tony Bennet in the ACC. Thank you to my family, friends and coaches who have supported me allowing me to be in this position today. I would also like to thank Basketball New Zealand, North Harbour Basketball Association and Rosmini College #Committed #GoHoos
Murray chose the reigning national champions over Maryland and Stanford – a final three he revealed last month. He also considered scholarship offers from California, Colorado, Creighton, and Purdue.
Murray attends Rosmini College Secondary School in Takapuna, Auckland. UVA has connections to Auckland, including former player Jack Salt and current Director of Player Development/Coaching Staff Consultant Kirk Penney, who are graduates of Westlake Boys High School in Auckland.
In addition to high school hoops, Murray has played in the Australia/New Zealand National Basketball League, alongside and against professional players. He is signed on to play with the New Zealand Breakers this coming season as an unpaid developmental player.
ESPN Australia/New Zealand writer Olgun Uluc described Murray as “the best [class of 2021] prospect in NZ, so it’s good for the Breakers to keep him around their program. I’m told Murray will be an unpaid DP, so he’ll keep his NCAA eligibility for 2021.”
Virginia has two scholarships still available in class of 2021 recruiting. The Hoos are on the final lists for 5-star guard Trevor Keels and 4-star forward Trey Kaufman, who have narrowed their focus to three and five schools, respectively. Neither has a clear decision timetable as of this writing.
With Murray on board, Virginia’s 2021-22 season scholarship projection now looks like this:
Point Guards: Kihei Clark (Sr), Reece Beekman (Soph)
Wings: Kody Stattmann (Sr), Casey Morsell (Jr), Jabri Abdur-Rahim (Soph), Carson McCorkle (Soph), Taine Murray (Fr)
Combo Forwards: Trey Murphy III (R-Jr), Justin McKoy (Jr)
Posts: Papi Caffaro (R-Jr), Kadin Shedrick (R-Soph)
Highlights of the newest Hoo are below. In order, the videos are of Murray in the NBL last season, his junior year highlights at Rosmini, and at the Great American Shootout. Click here to view highlights from 2019 Basketball Without Borders.