The coronavirus has brought an abrupt end to the college basketball season. Its impact won’t stop there as we transition into recruiting. Combined with a potential rule change that could allow transfers immediate eligibility, uncertainty is at an all-time high during an already chaotic time of year. There are more questions than answers right now.
In-Person Recruiting on Hold
The National Association of Basketball Coaches has recommended a suspension of recruiting activities. While there’s no official rule in place yet, don’t expect recruits to visit or coaches out on the road anytime soon.
Late cycle decisions of transfers and unsigned seniors are likely to be delayed. New names will still enter the transfer portal. We might hear reports of Virginia talking to them. But without visits, decisions will wait.
It’ll also impact class of 2021 recruiting efforts. The weeks following the season are usually a valuable time for coaches. April 30th is the final day they can meet with recruits at their schools or homes until September. After that, the only in-person contact allowed would be if the recruit visits grounds.
Immediate Eligibility for Transfers
It could be coming soon. The Division 1 Council plans to consider changes at their April meeting, potentially to be implemented for the 2020-21 school year. If approved, undoubtedly more transfers will follow. For better or worse, it would change recruiting and roster management strategies drastically.. Coaches are just hoping for a clear and swift verdict, so they can adjust and move forward.
Evaluation Periods at Risk
Live evaluation periods are scheduled for the weekends of April 17th and 24th. Those are immensely important to coaches, especially under the NCAA’s new recruiting calendar. It’s their only opportunity to attend AAU events until July. Given the current climate, it seems unlikely they’ll take place as planned.. The best case scenario might be for one weekend, possibly rescheduled.
The 2021 class is the first to feel the full brunt of the recruiting calendar changes adopted last year that shortened AAU live periods (April and July) from a total of 21 days down to 10. Coaches already believe they aren’t given enough time for proper evaluations. Taking even one weekend away would make it more difficult to identify new targets, not to mention harm potential recruits in need of exposure.
Virginia has one scholarship open for next season. They have a prized target in mind. Harvard graduate transfer Seth Towns named the Wahoos to his final six along with Ohio State, Michigan, Kansas, Maryland, and Syracuse. The 6’7 combo forward will be eligible immediately with two seasons left to play.
Towns earned Ivy League Player of the Year honors for the 2017-18 season, averaging 16 points while shooting 44% from three-point range. He’s missed the last two seasons with a knee injury. A Columbus, Ohio native, he chose Harvard out of high school over offers from Michigan and the hometown Buckeyes. He very well could be the best transfer available this year.
Last weekend’s visitors
Class of 2021 big man Efton Reid was back at JPJ for the showdown with Louisville. It was his third visit to UVA since September. He’s also considering Louisville, where he took an official visit the prior weekend. It’s believed he intends to remain in the 2021 class, but he hasn’t closed the door on a possible reclassification.
There were three other guests behind the bench last Saturday. 2021 guard Lucas Taylor from Heritage (NC), 2021 guard Tyler Lundblade out of Faith Christian (TX), and 2022 Poca (WV) guard Isaac McKneely. None of them hold offers as of yet.
Virginia Signee to Play for State Title
Future Hoo floor general Reece Beekman has led his Scotlandville squad into the Louisiana Division 1 state championship game again. They’ve won the last two titles with Beekman taking home game MVP honors both times. St. Augustine is the opponent, game set for Saturday at 5pm est. Reece is a strong candidate for Louisiana Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year honors.