Former Charleston Southern star guard Phlandrous Fleming Jr., George Mason guard Tyler Kolek, East Tennessee State wing Damari Monsanto, and Wichita State forward Trey Wade are newest transfers reportedly receiving interest from the University of Virginia.
— L'Dreco Thomas (@CShoalsBball) April 3, 2021
George Mason transfer Tyler Kolek is hearing from Marquette, Oklahoma, Penn State, Wofford, Northeastern, Davidson, Elon, Richmond, Virginia, and UConn, a source told @Stockrisers.
Averaged 10.8 points. A return to George Mason is also still an option.
— Jake (@jakeweingarten) April 5, 2021
— Damari k. Monsanto® (@31damari) April 5, 2021
— Dushawn London (@DushawnLondon1) April 5, 2021
Fleming, a graduate transfer, is a two-time Big South First-Team selection and two-time Defensive Player of the Year. The 6’4”, 210-pound guard averaged 20.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game as a senior this past season, making 32% (47-147) from beyond the arc, 39.5% from the field, and 80.6% of his free throws. The Athens (GA) native discussed the possibility of returning home and more with the Athens Banner-Herald in this March 23 article. At that point, Texas A&M was the only school to offer.
“There is a possibility, we’re in contact right now and I would love to go home,” Fleming told the Athens Banner-Herald. “The hometown will definitely be a decision I’d love to make.”
“I want to see how good I really am, that’s what everyone wants to know,” Fleming said. “The Big South Conference isn’t as good as the SEC, the ACC, the Big East and all of those, so it’s going to be big-time basketball. I love (Athens), but I can’t count out others either.”
Fleming tweeted that he plans on making his college announcement on Sunday, April 11.
Wade, a 6’6”, 220-pound forward, is a graduate transfer as well. He began his career at UTEP, where he spent two years before transferring to South Plains College for his redshirt sophomore campaign in 2018-19. He attended Wichita State each of the past two years. As a redshirt senior this past season, Wade averaged 6.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Virginia would probably be eyeing him for his athleticism, defense and rebounding at the 4. Wade knocked down 19-of-61 from beyond the arc this past season and was 22-of-68 (32.4%) from 3 the previous season.
Monsanto, a 6’6”, 225-pound wing, averaged 27.4 minutes, 11.8 points, and 7.3 rebounds per game this past season as a freshman. The majority of his shots – 147 of 249 – came from 3, where he made 35.4% of his tries. Wake Forest is one to watch here as Demon Deacons head coach Steve Forbes recruited Monsanto to ETSU.
Also a freshman, the 6’3”, 190-pound Kolek was the 2021 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year. The Rhode Island native averaged 10.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game, making 35.8% of his 3s on the way.
Whether or not Virginia has offered any of the four mentioned is unclear. Coach Bennett would have to be sold on the short-term and long-term impact of Monsanto and Kolek, whereas Fleming and Wade would provide needed depth next season, which would be their only season of eligibility.
News on Previous Targets
– One player we know Virginia wants is 6’7”, 235-pound forward Jayden Gardner, who is transferring from East Carolina following his junior season. Gardner, who has two years of eligibility remaining if he wants to use it, would fill a great need for the Hoos in the post, providing low post scoring and rebounding potentially for the next two seasons.
Virginia and NC State were quick to strike as the first to set up Zoom meetings with the productive post. Arkansas, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma State, Pitt and Rutgers have had Zoom meetings since according to Jake Weingarten of Stock Risers. Alabama, Boston College, Florida, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Xavier have reportedly shown interest as well.
– As mentioned in my April 1 offseason report, Virginia is hot on the trail of shooting guard Armaan Franklin, a sophomore at Indiana. Making Coach Bennett’s pursuit more difficult is new IU head coach Mike Woodson’s success in re-recruiting Hoosiers who entered the transfer portal when previous coach Archie Miller was let go. Four players have announced their intentions to return to IU. This includes forward Jordan Geronimo, a freshman who UVA contacted.
Franklin has not announced a final decision, but the Indianapolis (IN) native could be tough to pull from Bloomington. In addition to IU and UVA, Illinois is also in pursuit of the 6’4” guard.
– You can cross guard Justin Powell (Tennessee commit), forward CJ Felder (Florida commit) and forward Noah Gurley (Top 8 did not include UVA) off the list of possible transfers for the Hoos.
High School Targets
Paul VI (Fairfax, VA) 5-star class of 2021 guard Trevor Keels committed to the Duke over Kentucky, Villanova and Virginia last week. IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) postgraduate senior center Efton Reid plans to announce his commitment on April 15, but UVA is not expected to be the choice.
Coach Bennett is open to adding more prospects to Virginia’s class of 2021, which currently only includes New Zealand guard Taine Murray. Central (Brookfield, WI) forward David Joplin is a high school senior decommit that has UVA’s attention.
Former Texas 2021 signee David Joplin has been in touch with the following programs since his release:
6’8 wing forward instantly becomes one of the most coveted HS prospects in the country. pic.twitter.com/EVOSRYCeiN
— Endless Motor Sports (@endless_motor) April 5, 2021
Joplin, a 6’8” prospect, committed to Texas before Shaka Smart left. He announced on April 3 that he had requested a release from the letter of intent he signed with the Longhorns. You’ll notice that Marquette is one of the interested schools. It seems likely that Joplin would want to play for the head coach he committed to at an in-state school, but we’ll see if the Hoos can make inroads with the versatile forward.