Virginia Men's Basketball

Recruiting Rundown May 16th

Hoos make the cut for a pair of 5-stars

Kendall Brown included Virginia in his Top 10 list released today. The 6’7 wing out of Sunrise Christian (KS) is ranked as the #16 prospect in the 2021 class according to the 247Sports composite. He was offered in February after coaches made recruiting rounds during a gap between games. So far, Marquette and Ohio State have received official visits, and he’s been to nearby Kansas. The Jayhawks hold the lone crystal ball prediction.

Last weekend, it was Hamilton (WI) forward Patrick Baldwin to flash the V-Sabres in his edit. The son of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Head Coach Pat Baldwin is ranked #3 overall in the 2021 class. He was a summer teammate of Virginia signee Reece Beekman for Phenom University on the Nike EYBL. There was never a scholarship reported from Virginia, but it appears he quietly submitted it to VerbalCommits.com on April 10th. He’s taken unofficial visits to Duke, North Carolina, and Northwestern. Duke holds all six crystal ball picks. Like with Brown, UVA appears to have a long uphill climb to actually come out on top.

Zoom Season Continues

According to various reports, Tony Bennett has held virtual meetings with most of his targets from the 2021 class in recent weeks. Philadelphia guard Jordan Longino was the latest after picking up an offer last month. Efton Reid, Trevor Keels, Trey Kaufman, Max Christie, and Jeremy Sochan have each had their turn.

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All of those guys hold UVA offers, except the British import Sochan. That’s someone we should probably start getting familiar with. He first grabbed attention last summer when he was named MVP at the Eruo Championships. This was his first season competing in the US at powerhouse program La Lumiere (IN). A 6’8 versatile forward, he’s consistently mentioned Virginia interest since arriving while picking up offers from Florida State, Xavier, Vanderbilt, Utah, and Georgetown. Michigan State and Kansas are also reportedly involved.

The familiar names, top targets Trevor Keels and Efton Reid, have kept busy with virtual visits. Keels has met with Duke, UConn, Michigan, Georgetown, Miami, Villanova, and North Carolina. I’m hopeful that the end could at least be coming into view. Meanwhile Efton has Zoomed with Pittsburgh, Michigan, Kansas, Georgetown, Miami, Texas, and Maryland. He’s still weighing the possibility of reclassifying to 2020 or transferring to a prep school for his final high school season. UVA needs him to stay in 2021.

Dead Period Extended Again

The NCAA announced this week that the dead period would extend another month through June 30th. That was of course expected, but it officially wipes out two scholastic live periods as well as Top 100 camp. They’ve also gone ahead and canceled the NCAA Academies that were scheduled for July. It seems likely the July AAU evaluation weekend will be at best pushed back to a later date.. They’re discussing the possibility of multiple weekends in August or September instead. For now, like so much else, it’s all uncertain.

What’s become clear is all this doesn’t really have much impact on current recruits. They’re still finding a way of doing what needs to be done to move the process along. It’s the discoveries that would have happened through AAU competition that are taken away. Opportunities for lesser known players in the 2021 class to emerge. If things fall right, that might not matter at all for us. But let’s hope something can be arranged safely so everyone can get their chance to be seen. The coaching staff might be more concerned about not getting a proper opportunity for early evaluations of rising juniors. That group, the class of 2022, can start hearing directly from colleges starting on June 15th. The cycle never really ends.

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