UVa Among High-Majors In Pursuit Of SF DeAndre Hunter

Heading into July, Friends’ Central (Wynnewood, PA) class of 2016 small forward DeAndre Hunter had about eight scholarship offers. Certainly that’s a solid number of schools to consider, but following an excellent final month on the AAU circuit the 6’7”, 185-pound prospect now has over 20 scholarship offers to choose from.

UVa is one of the most recent schools to come through, with Tony Bennett offering Hunter a scholarship in the latter part of last week.

“He just told me he was impressed with the way I played,” Hunter said, recalling the phone conversation he had with the Cavaliers’ head coach. “He liked the way I played defense and competed. He thinks I could play Justin Anderson’s spot and try to be like him the next couple of years.”

Prior to the offer, Hunter had no communication with the Virginia coaches. Even so, he says UVa is “definitely in the mix” and he might in fact head to Charlottesville for an unofficial visit on Monday or Wednesday next week. Hunter was in Charlottesville in June for the NBPA Top 100 Camp.

“I didn’t see a lot of the campus when I was there, but the gym we played in was very nice,” Hunter said.

Asked for his initial impressions of the Virginia program, Hunter said: “They definitely get after it on defense and I like that. They are in the top five for defensive statistics for sure. Their guys come off screens and the move on offense. I like that.”

Villanova is another new offer for Hunter, who provided his thoughts on this development as well.

“Since [Villanova] is local, that’s good,” Hunter said. “They’ve been watching me for a couple of years. When I finally got the offer… it’s a good feeling.”

The influx of new opportunities is obviously welcomed, but Hunter will now be busy working to narrow things down in the coming weeks.

“In the next couple of weeks I probably will narrow my list to see where I want to go and plan for my officials,” Hunter said.

“I don’t have a timetable really,” Hunter replied when asked if he would sign in November or next spring. “Whenever the decision comes, I’ll make the right decision.”

Hunter does plan on making at least one, maybe two visits over the course of the next few weeks. He goes to Arkansas this weekend, and again he may head to Charlottesville sometime next week. He has previously visited St. John’s, St. Joseph’s and Temple.

Asked what he is looking for in a school from a general standpoint, Hunter answered: “A good environment where I’m comfortable, a good coach, and a system that fits my talents.”

Philly Pride AAU Director Amauro Austin envisions Hunter as a player who has the potential and the versatility to play the 3 or the 4 on the major college level. The standout rising senior sees himself as “probably a 3.”

“I feel like I play defense well. For my size, I can really handle the ball well,” Hunter said, describing his strengths.

Austin recalled Hunter’s development over the past several years.

“DeAndre has been on the high-major radar probably since the 9th grade,” Austin said. “Now, a lot of big-time schools came to see him when he was on our 15-and-under team. The big boys came to see him. They liked what they saw. Going into his 10th grade season, he was doing something with his high school team and he broke his leg. That put him out for his whole sophomore season. He played in three events last summer (2014), but he didn’t get cleared to play until June. The only high-major willing to offer from what he had done in the past was NC State. Others liked him but needed to see more. He still favored his right leg some last summer. What people saw this year was the real DeAndre Hunter. He was always a top 75 type of player. Now that he is fully healthy, he is probably a top 40 national prospect.”

Hunter had an excellent final AAU season, capped off by an outstanding July. He also played well his junior season, earning Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week.

Austin describes Hunter as a player who “doesn’t do one great thing but does an abundance of things really, really well. He has a pro type of game on offense. He does a lot of work before he catches. He is a thinking man’s basketball player. He can shoot, has range, is a good passer, and he is a very good athlete. And he’s a clean cut kid. He’s an A-one kid.”

Connecticut, LaSalle, Maryland, Massachusetts, Miami, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Rhode Island, Rutgers, Tennessee and UNLV are among the other schools that have offered Hunter. UVa will have a chance to impress should the talented