Following four live evaluation periods the past two months, University of Virginia men’s basketball recruiting is starting to crank up. Two class of 2022 prospects from the Sunshine State are among the four scholarship offers Cavalier head coach Tony Bennett has extended this week.
Six-foot-six, 230-pound wing Brice Sensabaugh, who attends Lake Highland High School in Orlando, and Montverde Academy (FL) 6’8” forward Malik Reneau are the latest seniors to be offered by Virginia. Sensabaugh has been red-hot on the recruiting trail this summer, claiming 18 scholarship offers since June 19. In order, he has announced offers from Florida International, Xavier, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Indiana, Cincinnati, Florida, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Alabama, Illinois, Clemson, Miami, Oklahoma, Stanford and Virginia over the course of the past four-plus weeks.
Sensabaugh has played well for E1T1 (FL) on the Nike EYBL circuit this month. Through 10 games, he has averaged 17.1 points (46.5% FG, 32.6% 3PFG on 46 3s, 78.3% FT), 3.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.6 turnovers per game according to The Circuit. Inside the Hall published the following highlights of Sensabaugh in action at the 2021 EYBL, which concludes this weekend with the Peach Jam championship.
The Rivals and 247Sports 3-star prospect made unofficial visits to Florida and Vanderbilt last month. He indicated on his Instagram page that he will reveal his top eight schools next Friday, July 30.
Reneau has also enjoyed recruiting success this month, landing offers from Washington, South Carolina, UVA and Indiana. In addition, he tweeted that he has been “reoffered” by Florida State, which originally extended a scholarship in June of 2020. He claims offers from Memphis, Ole Miss, Seton Hall, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma State and Miami as well.
Reneau tweeted the following with respect to UVA.
— Malik A. Reneau (@MalikReneau) July 22, 2021
Reneau plays for Nightrydas Elite (FL) on the Nike EYBL circuit. According to The Circuit, he played in six games with the club this month, displaying his ability on both ends of the court by averaging 20.3 points (59.3% FG, 73.5& FT), 9.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. The Rivals and 247Sports 4-star power forward posted double-doubles in his final three EYBL games (Nightrydas did not make the Peach Jam finals round).
Good outing for Malik Reneau with 27 points on 14 shots in an overtime loss to Expressions. Strong, aggressive, athletic, versatile big man who plays both ends of the floor. Showing more to his game in the EYBL setting creating for himself and others. Next step is the jumper. pic.twitter.com/HP6mZrTNW4
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) July 17, 2021
Below are highlights of Reneau from earlier this spring, courtesy of Endless Motor Sports.
Virginia has scholarship offers out to six uncommitted seniors, including point guard Austin Nunez, wing prospects Leon Bond, Bobi Klintman and Sensabaugh, and forwards Isaac Traudt and Reneau. Coach Bennett and company take to the road for another AAU-centric evaluation period this weekend (June 23-25) and will be able to scout at the 2021 NBPA Top 100 Camp July 28-29.
Sheppard Lands UVA Offer
Coach Bennett paid close attention to North Laurel (London, KY) guard Reed Sheppard throughout the June evaluations and first two July evaluation periods, and this week he extended a scholarship offer to the 6’3”, 175-pound junior. UVA joins Kentucky, Arizona State, Clemson, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Ohio State and Texas A&M in having offered. The question is … Can any school beat out UK?
Jamie Shaw of Rivals.com and the ABC Report seems to think Virginia has a chance, and Ben Roberts of The Lexington Herald writes here that UVA could be a prime competitor.
Watch this one … https://t.co/egFD9b262W
— The ABC Report (@iamjamieshaw) July 22, 2021
Sheppard, who took an unofficial visit on Grounds in June, praised Bennett and UVA to Jake Weingarten of Stock Risers in this article.
“Coach Bennett is a good coach but more than that he is a tremendous man,” Sheppard said in the Stock Risers report. “UVA has a really pretty campus and it’s not too big so it’s really nice. It was a blessing to be able to take a visit there and meet all the coaches and see what they have going on.”
Kentucky, where both of Sheppard’s parents played college basketball, remains the clear favorite for the talented combo guard according to analysts at Rivals and 247Sports. He reportedly does not plan to commit anytime soon.
Sheppard becomes the third 2023 Class prospect to receive an offer from Coach Bennett. Philadelphia wing Justin Edwards was the first, landing an offer in June, and as reported earlier this week the Hoos have offered Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, VA) point guard Caleb Foster.
McKneely Concludes AAU Career
Poca (W.V.) 4-star guard and Virginia basketball class of 2022 commitment Isaac McKneely concluded his AAU career last week. In nine games in his final season with Wildcat Select on the Adidas 3SSB circuit, the 6’4” senior averaged 18.3 points per game (41% FG, 34.2% 3PFG). McKneely scored in double-digits in all nine contests, highlighted by a 32-point outburst against the Compton Magic. He drew praise for his play.
Watched Virginia commit Isaac McKneely earlier. High-level shooter, quick release, deep range. Gets great elevation on his release. Sees the floor really well, made passes with both hands. Played almost exclusively on the ball. Think he could be useful off pindowns, etc. #3SSB
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) July 8, 2021
— Miles Masercola (@MasercolaMiles) July 18, 2021
Brandon Jenkins of 247Sports wrote why UVA should be excited by McKneely, while fellow 247Sports reporter Eric Bossi tabbed the standout prospect and Virginia as being the “Best Match.” In this article, Bossi described McKneely as a “slightly bigger version of Kyle Guy” who “plays in attack mode, makes others around him better and is a tough competitor.”
Next week, McKneely is expected to compete in Orlando (FL) at the 2021 NBPA Top 100 Camp. Nebraska forward Isaac Traudt, who made his official visit to UVA the same weekend McKneely made his and is at the top of Coach Bennett’s wish list in the class of 2022, has also been selected to the event.