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Virginia Men's Basketball

Keels Decision Looms While Virginia Eyes Transfers

As Virginia’s season continues into the NCAA Tournament, it’s already come to an end for most teams around college basketball.  With that, the late recruiting cycle is underway.  Monday was full of new transfers entering the market.  There will be waves more to follow.  A few weeks ago, I outlined what to expect during this hectic Spring.  It’s starting now.  UVA has been connected to a pair of transfers and another longtime target is ready to make his choice.  

The Keels Reveal

Class of 2021 guard Trevor Keels has set his announcement date for April 4th.  The five-star rated prospect out of Paul VI (VA) is down to a final four of Virginia, Duke, Villanova, and Kentucky.  It’s been a marathon recruitment that Coach Bennett and staff have stayed active in all the way to the finish line.  From what I understand, he hasn’t told any of the schools what his choice is yet.  Most of the recent expert predictions are for Villanova, but no one seems very confident about it.  We’ll find out his verdict on Easter Day. 

Hoos in Contact

It was reported by multiple sources last week that Virginia is among the many schools interested in Auburn transfer Justin Powell.  The 6’6 freshman guard averaged better than 11 points and 4 assists in 10 games before missing the remainder of the season with concussion symptoms.  The Virginia staff is familiar from his time at Montverde Academy (FL) where they recruited his teammate Cade Cunningham.  He’s a Kentucky native.  UK sources claim he’s theirs if John Calipari decides to pursue.  However, Powell maintains his recruitment is wide open with no favorite.  As a 44% three-point shooter, he’s in major demand.  

Virginia has also been tied to Providence transfer Greg Gantt.  There’s some history here.  The 6’8 forward received an offer from the Hoos out of Trinity Christian (NC) in the Class of 2019.  They weren’t much of a factor in his original recruitment though.   He’s known for his defense first, which could fit what Bennett is in the market for up front.  But he hasn’t been very productive yet in college, averaging four points and three rebounds this season.  This is a former top 60 or so recruit.  The talent is still there, and it’ll draw plenty of suitors.    

Former Recruits in the Portal

Louisville sophomore big man Aidan Igiehon is heading for the exit.  His name hit the portal yesterday.  Virginia once offered the athletic Irishman a scholarship back in the 2019 class.  His career never got off the ground at Louisville.  He’s been plagued by injuries, only logging a total of 102 minutes over two seasons.  Like with Gantt, the talent is there.  He’ll be in demand.  UVA will probably look for someone more proven, but it’s worth monitoring.  

UMass center Tre Mitchell entered his name yesterday.  He’ll be one of the most sought after transfers on the market.  The 6’9 sophomore has averaged 18 points over his first two college seasons.  This isn’t your typical Atlantic-10 transfer.  He was a former top 100 ranked prospect who chose UMass over schools like Indiana and Syracuse.  Virginia has a little bit of a relationship.  Assistant coaches went to see him a few times in high school.  He’s a Pittsburgh native, so I’d expect the Panthers to be a factor.  

Isaac in Action

After a long delay, the West Virginia high school season got underway in March.  Class of 2022 Virginia commit Isaac McKneely has his Poca Dots off to a 3-1 start.  He also passed the 1,000 career point mark last week.  They’ll be back in action tonight against Shady Spring as part of the Par Mar Shootout held at West Virginia State University.

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