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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57 Replies to “Keels Decision Looms While Virginia Eyes Transfers”

  1. Bill

    I think the biggest nightmare for any coach is to honestly think his team is loaded with talent at every position, and then he slowly realizes that his team doesn’t have ANY talent at ANY position, yet he’s given out all of his available scholarships. I’m not saying that this is Tony Bennet’s problem.

    But once you win the national championship, nothing is good enough for the fans. They literally expect a national championship every single year. Go ahead. Laugh. Then remember that UCLA under John Wooden won it for 7 consecutive years before they lost in overtime to N.C. State in Greensboro. So yeah, in the back of their minds, some UVa fans were thinking, “Hey……why not us? Why couldn’t we win 7 national championships in a row? We’re a better academic school than UCLA. Yeah!….The national championshp is a realistic goal for us every year from now on!”

    Back to my first paragraph; can we really win big-time with Caffaro as our starting center next year, and with a way-underweight Kadin Shedrick as our power forward? I’m talking about finishing first in the ACC during the regular season again. Not in my opinion we can’t. Do we have any scholarships left for next year? I’ve pretty much written off Efton Reid, III, because I think he’s going to try out for a G League team or find some obscure team overseas to play for.

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    1. Bill

      After reading what Keels said after he committed to Duke, it was obvious that no school finished second for Keels. He said he had known Jeremy Roach for 4 years. The other schools were just dreaming if they thought they had a chance at getting Keels. Why was he even discussed on UVa websites the past 2 seasons?

      But I noticed that one Duke fan basically questioned the athletic talent of Keels. So, we’ll see about him. Is Keels a power guard, or a guard who can shoot 3-pointers? If UVa can get Gardner, the player from East Carolina, I feel pretty confident in saying that next year at least, Gardner will be a better player than Keels, no matter how much playing time Keels gets at Duke.

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