Virginia Basketball Recruiting Notes: Dead Period Extended; Trey Kaufman Radio Recap

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Those hoping the recruiting dead period would be lifted after September 30 were disappointed on Wednesday (September 16), when the NCAA’s Division 1 Council announced it was further extending the period through the end of the year.

Here is the official release from the NCAA:

The Division I Council extended the recruiting dead period through Jan. 1. The Council has been reviewing the dead period on a regular basis since April. A dead period precludes all in-person recruiting. Phone calls and correspondence can continue to occur.

Members also adopted emergency legislation prohibiting schools from giving complimentary game tickets to prospective student-athletes and their high school or two-year college coaches during the dead period.

“While the Council acknowledged and appreciates the growing desire to resume in-person recruiting by select coaches’ associations, Council members ultimately concluded the primary concern right now must be protecting the current student-athletes on our campuses,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “We encourage our coaches to interact with prospective student-athletes virtually in this time period.”

The decision to implement the dead period was first made at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. The Council has continued to extend the dead period under the guidance of medical experts. The majority of coaches associations also supported an extension of the dead period.

Normally this time of year, Division 1 men’s basketball coaches would be busy heading to schools for fall workouts. The recruiting dead period prevents coaches from visiting schools to evaluate prospects, so this extension is another blow as far as evaluations are concerned. As mentioned in the release, the period also prevents prospects making official or unofficial visits to Division 1 colleges, which impacts one of UVA’s primary frontcourt targets in 2021, Trey Kaufman.

Trey Kaufman Photo – Photo Credit: Matt Stone of the Courier Journal

What’s Next For Trey Kaufman?

Silver Creek (Sellersburg, IN) senior forward Trey Kaufman provided insight into his recruitment in an appearance on WJHI Jeffersonville – Jeffersonville (IN) High School’s radio station – on Wednesday (September 16). (Note: There is no link to the interview, but if one comes available we will be sure to update this article accordingly.)

What did we learn? For starters, the consensus 4-star Kaufman is not sure what’s next for him decision-wise after narrowing his list to Indiana, Indiana State, North Carolina, Purdue, and Virginia last week.

“I really don’t know,” Kaufman told WJHI’s Wyatt Williams.

When he decides to commit will “definitely be a feeling thing,” Kaufman said, adding that he is not sure if he will narrow his list further. When ready, he may just commit to one of the five.

The 2019 Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year released his top five on the heels of visits to Virginia and North Carolina. Kaufman could not have face-to-face contact with coaches from either staff because of the dead period, but he was able to take a close look at the campuses and facilities.

Kaufman has visited all five schools on his final list. However, he has not had the in-person interaction at Virginia and North Carolina that he has had at the Indiana schools. If he signs in November, the NCAA’s decision to extend the recruiting dead period ensures he won’t be able to take official visits to either UVA or UNC to get that in-depth look at the culture and the team (how he’d get along with the players, etc) before a decision comes. (Kaufman’s interview with WJHI came before the NCAA announced the latest extension to the dead period.)

“I think it’s kind of extended my recruiting back, more than I’ve wanted,” Kaufman said of the impact of the dead period on his recruiting/decision. “I’m not a big person that likes recruiting just in general. It’s just not really my personality, but I do think it’s one of the biggest decisions I’ll make, and we definitely want to make the right one.”

Williams asked the 6’9”, 215-pound Kaufman to go in-depth on his final five. Indiana State, where his uncle played college basketball, is a school where Kaufman has made strong relationships. The Silver Creek star said he believes in head coach Greg Lansing. With Purdue, Kaufman noted that has a good relationship with head coach Matt Painter, has been recruited by the Boilermakers for a long time, and says the playing style “fits me the best” of all the finalists. As for UVA, UNC, and Indiana …

“Beautiful campus,” Kaufman began, speaking of Virginia. “I think their big thing is the fact that they had De’Andre Hunter, who I believe went fourth overall in the NBA Draft, and having a player that’s at least similar – I know we’re not 100% perfect matches, but a player like that who’s similar to how I play and how I want to play and have him go that high, you know, guaranteed multiple million dollars, that’s hard to look by, and so I think that’s their kind of big selling point. Another thing – I don’t want to say this with every coach – but another great coach, great guy, faithful guy. Virginia’s a really good academic school as well.”

“North Carolina, they’re a blue-blood school. Lot of culture there,” Kaufman said.

“They’re always going to be up there (nationally),” Kaufman added of the Tar Heels. “I like the coach as well. They kind of came on a little bit later than the other schools, which I don’t fault. We’re going through a pandemic, so it’s kind of hard to recruit during that time and I’m kind of just still building a relationship with them.”

“Indiana, I’ve known them for probably the longest,” Kaufman said. “I think Coach O (Tom Ostrom) calls me every other day, and we just kind of have an ongoing relationship with their players. I’ve probably been to their arena the most. And it’s just so close to home. Another thing is their players. I’ve all played with them or against them.”

We hope to reach Kaufman for his thoughts on the latest NCAA extension, a more in-depth look on his experience in Charlottesville and communication with Coach Bennett, and more.

UVA In Dallan Coleman’s Top 11

Virginia received its first class of 2021 commitment over the weekend, from 6’5” guard Taine Murray. The New Zealand native gives UVA another talented wing prospect in the program in 2021, and with two scholarships left available in the class, the backcourt does not appear to be a real need. Still, the Hoos remain in hot pursuit of 5-star wing Trevor Keels, a longtime Tony Bennett top target. Duke, Villanova, and Virginia are the 6’5” senior’s three finalists.

Virginia did make the top 11 for West Nassau (Callahan, FL) senior guard Dallan Coleman, a prospect who has been in communication with Bennett but has not been offered. Auburn, Central Florida, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Louisville, Memphis, Mississippi, Montana State, Texas Tech, and Wake Forest round out the final list.

If Virginia were to offer, I believe it would only come in the winter or the spring, after the November Early Signing Period, sof the Sunshine State star waits until the spring to decide and Keels goes elsewhere, he could be a prospect to remember. However, this 247Sports report dampens the possibility of a late decision.

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