Virginia is still looking for possible late additions to next year’s roster. A couple new interesting names popped up this week. Meanwhile, it’s the busiest AAU weekend of the Spring as the coaching staff eyes potential 2022 recruits. Even during a dead period, there’s a lot happening in multiple areas of recruiting at the same time.
Murphy’s Draft Stock Rising
Virginia’s 6’9 sharpshooter Trey Murphy is projected as the 26th overall pick in CBS’s latest NBA Mock Draft. That’s the highest we’ve seen him so far. For now, he’s still in the testing lane. That means he’s entered the draft while staying within NCAA rules to maintain his option of returning to college.
Here’s what Gary Parrish of CBS wrote about him.
Murphy had no problem adjusting to the ACC after spending his first two years of college at Rice. He’s proven over the span of three seasons to be a consistent high-level shooter, one who should be able to carve out a niche in the NBA.
Murphy’s potential early departure would leave the Hoos with just nine scholarship players, making it almost a requirement for them to add at least one more.
Searching for a Forward
Virginia is still in need of immediate frontcourt help for next season, especially given the growing likelihood that Trey Murphy stays in the draft. Thankfully, the transfer portal never seems to stop. There were a couple of very interesting fresh entries in recent days.
Henry Coleman is leaving Duke. The 6’7 freshman was recruited by UVA out of Trinity Episcopal in Richmond. There’s a lot of talk that he might choose to stay home to play at VCU this time. Bennett and staff are in contact with him. We’ll see where it goes.
On Friday, news broke that Boston College forward Steffon Mitchell will be transferring. He’s a senior looking to take advantage of the free year of eligibility. Tony Bennett seems to be a fan of his, having complimented Mitchell several times in postgame remarks. He’s the ultimate versatile glue guy in the frontcourt, perfectly fitting what UVA is in the market for. His home state Minnesota Gophers are trying to rebuild a roster with transfers. They’ll be a major factor. But I do expect the UVA staff to look into this one.
Another Guard, Maybe?
Judging by recent reports, UVA is still open to the right guard addition. Iowa sophomore transfer CJ Fredrick mentioned UVA among the schools to contact him. The 6’3 guard is a career 46% three-point shooter. That makes him a hot commodity. Kentucky is considered the heavy favorite to land him.
I’m keeping an eye on Jalen Pickett from Siena too. Virginia contacted the 6’5 junior point guard shortly after Armaan Franklin committed. We don’t know much of what’s going on with him. It’s been all quiet since that initial report. Baylor, Penn State, Maryland, Illinois were among the early contacts on a list that’s surely grown in the last two weeks.
Almost a Live Period
This is the busiest AAU weekend of the Spring. It was originally supposed to be an evaluation period for college coaches to be out seeing prospects in-person. But there’s still a lot going on. Nearly all the 2022 recruits of interest are playing at major events against top competition. Even if coaches can’t be there, they’re watching on streams at home. They’re surely keeping tabs on established targets. But the more interesting part is the potential for new offers to be earned.
Point guard Seth Trimble from Wisconsin did a Zoom call with Coach Bennett back in January. His stock has continued to climb, recently picking up offers from Marquette and Purdue. Playing for Phenom University at the Grassroots Showcase in Louisville weekend, there will surely be lots of coaches tuned in. Virginia undoubtedly among them.
Big man Noah Clowney from Dorman (SC) has made a name for himself in a short period of time already this AAU season. He’s picked up offers from Indiana, Georgia, Clemson, and Georgia Tech over the past two weeks. There will be more on the way if he produces again this weekend at the Sweet Sixteen in Atlanta. UVA has been in contact. They haven’t offered a true big man in the 2022 class yet, but that’s definitely on the agenda.
Raining in the Dot Dome
This Isaac McKneely kid might be pretty good. The class of 2022 UVA commit caught fire in the Sectional Championship game on Friday night, matching a career high with 41 points. He had 30 at the half and could have gone for a lot more, but the game out of hand. When he gets it rolling like that, the Poca sniper is capable of putting up some crazy numbers. He’ll take a long awaited official visit to UVA the weekend of June 11th along with top forward target Isaac Traudt.