Four-star guard Isaac McKneely and 4-star forward Isaac Traudt are expected on Grounds today (June 11) for the beginning of their weekend official visits at the University of Virginia. McKneely, the 2021 Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year in West Virginia, is UVA’s lone class of 2022 commitment. Traudt, a skilled 6’9” rising senior forward out of Nebraska, is one of head coach Tony Bennett’s top uncommitted targets in the class.
McKneely visited UVA twice unofficially for games during the 2019-20 season, including a trip to the Hoos’ regular season finale win over Louisville, just before the NCAA enforced a year-plus dead period because of the coronavirus. The Poca High School standout pledged to UVA on January 30 of this year and looks forward to his first visit as a commit.
“I want to get around the players and see who I will be with when I get there,” McKneely said in this Sabre EDGE report. “I can’t wait to meet them in person. I can’t wait to get to a game in the fall or winter. It’s a really fun atmosphere.”
Weeks before McKneely committed, Virginia extended an offer to Traudt, a prospect Coach Bennett and company had been evaluating for many months. The talented prospect has spoken highly of UVA in previous interviews, telling The Sabre: “I think [UVA] would be a pretty good fit for me. I like how they play offensively, how they utilize their wings like Sam Hauser, and even big guys like Jay Huff on the perimeter too. [Coach Bennett] showed me film of Sam coming off screens and shooting 3s, but also initiating actions. I definitely like their priority on defense with the Pack Line. We run something similar at our school. I think I could potentially go in and pick it up pretty fast. Off the court, I’m a big fan of Coach Bennett. I like how he is open about his faith because that’s how I am and I think it’s cool.”
— Isaac Traudt (@ittraudt) June 8, 2021
Traudt scheduled five college visits for June. He has taken two – a June 1 unofficial to Creighton and an official visit to Nebraska last weekend. After Virginia, he plans on taking officials to Michigan State and North Carolina.
The in-person visit experiences, Traudt told The Sabre in this EDGE article, will be paramount in his college decision.
“It’s really exciting,” Traudt said. “I’m happy to get a few visits set up. I’m looking forward to getting out to campuses because that’s what it’s going to be about.”
When it comes to making a commitment, Traudt believes the final decision will be “be a gut feeling, most definitely. I want to be one-hundred percent sure when I make my decision. I’ll need a lot of time to think.”
What will Traudt be looking for on these official visits?
“It’s mostly just keeping an open mind for us, taking it all in,” Traudt said. “For sure we will ask questions about how they plan to utilize me, who is coming back, things like that. Nothing too critical. We’ll sit back and take it all in.”
Class Of 2023 Visitors
As mentioned in our “Basketball Recruiting Primer” article posted May 31, UVA reportedly will host a pair of class of 2023 guards in the coming days.
Jake Weingarten of Stock Risers reports that Goodpasture Christian School (Madison, TN) combo guard Isaiah West has set an unofficial visit on Grounds for June 12. Mississippi, Nebraska, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest are among the early offers for the 6’2” rising junior, who is rated a 4-star prospect by Rivals (No. 27 nationally in his class) and 247Sports (No. 41 nationally).
Reed Sheppard, a 6’3” shooting guard out of North Laurel (London, KY), is scheduled take an unofficial visit to UVA on June 14 according to this report from 247Sports. Iowa headlines Sheppard’s early list of offers. His father, Jeff, played at Kentucky in the 1990s.
Class of 2023 recruiting will heat up on June 15, which is when college coaches can begin making phone calls to rising junior recruits. As of now, UVA has not offered any class of 2023 prospects, but perhaps .