Virginia Basketball Recruiting: Updates Following The First June Evaluation Period

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit

Division 1 men’s basketball recruiting is ramping up. Since June 15, coaches have been able to make phone contact with prospects in the class of 2023, and last weekend coaches took to the road to make in-person evaluations for the first time since the 2019-2020 high school season.

Not much has changed in the past week-and-half with respect to Virginia men’s basketball recruiting. The Hoos have one commitment and five scholarships available in the class of 2022 and seven for the class of 2023. Head coach Tony Bennett has distributed five scholarship offers to rising high school seniors and none in the rising junior class. Still, we have learned some things since the lengthy dead period ended on May 31.

Class of 2022 Update

Coach Bennett spent the latter part of the June 18 evaluation day watching Virginia’s lone commitment in the class of 2022 – Poca (W.V.) 4-star guard Isaac McKneely – in action at the Kentucky/West Virginia shootout.

McKneely, wing Bobi Klintmann, Texas point guard Austin Nunez, St. Anne’s-Belfield (Charlottesville, VA) wing Justin Taylor, and Grand Island (NE) forward Isaac Traudt are the five rising seniors Virginia has offered at this point. McKneely is UVA bound and more solid than ever following his official visit June 11-13. Justin Taylor will be the next to come off the board with an announcement planned for Saturday, June 26.

UVA, Indiana, North Carolina, Syracuse and Virginia Tech are the finalists for the 6’6” local star. I do not expect UVA to be the choice and suspect the Hoos may wind up playing against him in the ACC, but we’ll find out on Saturday.

A clear top target of Bennett’s in this class is Isaac Traudt, who is set to take an official visit to UNC this weekend. The 6’9” forward has made a pair of visits to Creighton as well as visits to Nebraska (official), Virginia (official) and Michigan State (official) so far this month. UVA has done a great job in recruiting Traudt and he has spoken glowingly of Coach Bennett, the program, his fit in the program, and the official visit he made alongside McKneely.

“I just told [Coach Bennett] I was blown away with everything,” Traudt said in this EDGE article. “I knew the staff were great people, but I didn’t know how the facilities were so amazing. The same with the campus. I knew it was historic, but it was more than I thought. I didn’t know there would be a cool college town either.”

“I think Virginia could potentially be a good fit both on the floor and academically, and I think I fit the culture,” Traudt added. “It’s an intriguing option for me.”

Traudt has not ruled out signing early, but he also floated the possibility of waiting beyond the November signing period to make a commitment. In my opinion, if the Nebraska star decides to wait until the fall or beyond to commit, I don’t think he ends up in Charlottesville.

The 6’8” Klintmann, a native of Sweden who has drawn De’Andre Hunter comparisons from the Virginia staff, will enroll at Sunrise Christian in Kansas for his senior year of high school. He has spoken favorably of Virginia and likes the Hunter comparison, but at this point the next step for UVA here is getting him on Grounds for a visit. Same goes for Nunez.

Who else Coach Bennett and company are seriously targeting in 2022 should become clearer in the coming weeks, when the staff is able to make more evaluations. Virginia’s coaches were spotted at events in DC/Maryland, Kentucky, New Jersey and North Carolina last weekend. We know Coach Bennett made his way to the DMV Live event at DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD) last Saturday. One game he watched for sure was St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, MD) vs. Bishop McNamara (District Heights, MD). McNamara features 6’11” rising senior post Favour Aire, who claims offers from Georgetown, Georgia, Indiana, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Virginia Tech, among others.

Cam Whitmore, a 6’6”, 200-pound wing out of Archbishop Spalding (Severn, MD), shined at the DMV Live event. He earned offers from Alabama, Louisville and UNC and Louisville over the weekend, adding to an offer list that already included Florida, Maryland, Seton Hall and Villanova, among others. He has been on Virginia’s radar as far back as June of 2020, when coaches were first able to contact members of the 2022 Class.

UVA was represented at a Westtown High School (PA) contest in New Jersey last Friday. Class of 2022 guard Jameel Brown plays for Westtown. The 6’5″ combo guard had an impressive weekend according to multiple reports. Brown has expressed interest in visiting UVA. The Cavalier coaches appear to be keeping tabs on him, but at this point the amount of interest is unclear. UVA has not offered the former Purdue commit.

A second June evaluation period begins Friday (June 25) at noon and runs through Sunday (June 27) at 6 p.m., and as was the case with last weekend’s events, prospects will be showcased in high school-related events. The AAU circuit takes center stage for three weekends in July.

Class of 2023 Update

Filling out the class of 2022 is a priority. Class of 2023 recruiting is as well. Coach Bennett and assistant coach Kyle Getter began last weekend in Kentucky at the Titans/Rockets Shootout in Kentucky, watching North Laurel (London, KY) shooting guard Reed Sheppard. Sheppard, who has received scholarship offers from Arizona State, Iowa, Louisville and Texas A&M, among others, reportedly visited UVA days before the event. Coach Bennett’s appearance at this event shows the significant interest he has in the 6’3”, 170-pound guard.

In addition to Sheppard, UVA coaches also saw fellow class of 2023 prospects Kaleb Glenn, Cyr Malonga, and George Washington III in action according to Jake Weingarten of Stock Risers.

Glenn is a 6’6”, 200-pound wing out of Louisville. The 4-star prospect claims offers from Arizona State, Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, South Carolina, Wake Forest and West Virginia. He made unofficial visits to Louisville and Wake Forest earlier this month.

Malonga is a 6’11” center out of Evangel Christian School in Louisville. Reported offers include Georgetown, Georgia, Illinois and Mississippi State.

A 6’2” point guard, Washington III is a product of Christian Academy of Louisville. Auburn and Ohio State offered the standout prospect on June 15. The Buckeyes offer came while Washington III was on an unofficial visit.

At the St. Frances vs. Bishop McNamara game at DMV Live on Saturday, Coach Bennett saw class of 2023 prospect Jahnathan Lamothe of St. Frances. The 6’4” guard is rated a 4-star and national top 40 prospect by Rivals and 247Sports. Creighton, DePaul, Georgetown, Mississippi State, Pitt, Rutgers, Seton Hall, VCU and Virginia Tech are among the reported offers.

On Monday of this week, class of 2023 point guard Chase Clemmons made his way to Charlottesville for an unofficial visit. The 6’0” Georgia native visited Georgetown (offer) prior to UVA. Since his time in Charlottesville, Clemmons has traveled to the University of Georgia (offer). Houston, Mississippi, and Nebraska have reportedly offered as well.

A number of other class of 2023 prospects were contacted by Virginia on June 15 or in the days after. Cavalier Associate Head Coach Jason Williford was excited to dive into the class of 2023 …

Sheppard and Clemmons were contacted on or after June 15. Here is a rundown of some of the rising juniors Virginia has reportedly contacted.

POINT GUARDS

Layden Blocker, Point Guard
– 6’2”, 170 pounds, Sunrise Christian (Wichita, KS)
– Reported Offers: Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Creighton, Kansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, TCU
– Rivals ranking: 4-star, No. 33 in nation
– 247Sports ranking: 4-star, No. 57 overall in nation in c/o 2023, No. 12 point guard in nation in c/o 2023
– Source: Kevin McPherson, AR Hoop Scoop

Caleb Foster, Point Guard
– 6’3”, 175 pounds, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, VA)
– Reported Offers: Auburn, Clemson, Georgetown, Illinois, Louisville, Memphis, NC State, – Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Washington
– Rivals ranking: 5-star, No. 10 overall
– 247Sports ranking: 4-star, No. 22 overall, No. 6 point guard
– Source: Jake Weingarten, Stock Risers

Blaise Porter, Point Guard
– 6’0”, 165 pounds, New London (IA)
– Reported offers: Bryant
– 247Sports ranking: NR
– Source: Hoop Scoop Media & Matthew Bain

Colin Porter, Point Guard
– 5’10”, 160 pounds, Blazer High School (Ashland, KY)
– Reported offers: Akron, Lipscomb, Marshall, Morehead State, Radford
– Rivals ranking:
– 247Sports ranking:
– Source: EAB Tennessee

WINGS

Myles Colvin, Wing
– 6’5”, 190 pounds, Heritage Christian (Indianapolis, IN)
– Reported Offers: Miami (OH), Purdue, Tulane
– Rivals ranking: NR
– Note: Father is former Purdue football player Rosevelt Colvin
– Source: Jake Lieberman

Reid Ducharme, Wing
– 6’5”, 175 pounds, Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.)
– Reported Offers: Brown, Iowa, U-Mass, Stanford
– Rivals ranking: 4-star, No. 82 overall (rated as a point guard)
– 247Sports ranking: NR
– Source: Andrew Slater

Kwame Evans Jr., Wing
– 6’9”, 190 pounds, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (Baltimore, MD)
– Reported Offers: Auburn, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Texas, Virginia Tech, Xavier
– Rivals ranking: 5-star, No. 15 overall
– 247Sports ranking: 5-star, No. 6 overall, No. 1 small forward
– Source: Jake Weingarten, Stock Risers

Brandon Gardner, Forward
– 6’7”, 185 pounds, Gray Collegiate Academy (West Columbia, S.C.)
– Reported offers: Auburn, Clemson, DePaul, Georgetown, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Wake Forest
– Rivals ranking: 4-star, No. 32 overall (rated as small forward)
– 247Sports ranking: 4-star, No. 39 overall, No. 7 power forward
– Source: Jake Weingarten, Stock Risers

Joey Hart, Guard
– 6’3”, 170 pounds, Linton-Stockton (Linton, IN)
– Reported offers: Indiana State, New Orleans
– 247Sports ranking: NR
– Source: Rick Semmler

Drew Steffe, Wing
– 6’5”, 170 pounds, Memorial High School (Frisco, TX)
– Reported offers: Arizona State, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Rice, SMU, TCU, Tulane, UTEP
– Rivals ranking: 4-star, No. 88 overall
– 247Sports ranking: 3-star, No. 64 overall, No. 10 shooting guard
– Source: Endless Motor Sports and Travis Banham, 247Sports

Bryson Warren, Guard
– 6’2”, 160 pounds, Link Year Prep (Brandon, MO)
– Reported offers: Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Kansas (recent visit), Kansas State, Maryland, Memphis, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Seton Hall, Tennessee, Texas A&M, TCU, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech
– Rivals ranking: 4-star (rated as a point guard)
– 247Sports ranking: 4-star, No. 32 overall, No. 4 combo guard
– Source: Kevin McPherson, AR Hoop Scoop

Isaiah West, Guard
– 6’3”, 170 pounds, Goodpasture Christian School (Madison, TN)
– Reported offers: Georgia Tech, Mississippi, Nebraska, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Xavier
– Rivals ranking: 4-star, No. 61 overall
– 247Sports ranking: 4-star, No. 41 overall, No. 8 combo guard
– Source: NYBA Basketball

Simeon Wilcher, Guard
– 6’5”, 165 pounds, Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)
– Reported offers: Auburn, Connecticut, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Memphis, Miami, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, St. John’s, UCLA, Wake Forest
– Rivals ranking: 5-star, No. 13 overall
– 247Sports ranking: 5-star, No. 7 overall, No. 2 combo guard
– Source: Endless Motor Sports

POSTS

Carter Lang, 6’9”, Forward/Center
– 6’8”, 225 pounds, St. Anne’s-Belfield (Charlottesville, VA)
– Reported offers: Mississippi, Old Dominion, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech
– Rivals ranking: 4-star, No. 76 overall
– 247Sports ranking: NR
– Source: Jack Herron

Gus Yalden, Forward/Center
– 6’8”, 240 pounds, IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) (native of Appleton, WI)
– Reported offers: Arkansas, Auburn, Illinois, Iowa, Marquette, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Rutgers, Stanford, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Xavier
– Rivals ranking: 4-star, No. 65 overall
– 247Sports ranking: 4-star, No. 49 overall, No. 6 center
– Source: Jake Weingarten, Stock Risers

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit