Virginia Men's Basketball

Virginia’s First 2024 Offer, London On Hold, and The LRA Showcase

Tony Bennett is starting 2024 recruiting off unusually early. Wahoo fans are getting antsy waiting for the verdict from prized point guard target. And the first-ever Locker Room Access Showcase. All in the latest rundown.

All in for Jarin

Virginia extended its first scholarship offer to the class of 2024 on Friday.  Unsurprisingly, the recipient was Seaforth (NC) forward Jarin Stevenson.  We’ve known the day would come eventually, but Tony Bennett doesn’t typically make scholarship offers this early.  It’s quite a statement on how the staff feels about Stevenson.  

He’s already visited twice, most recently for the Blue-White Game in October.  Coach Williford has made multiple trips to Seaforth as well, including for the game last week that likely sealed Jarin’s scholarship offer. 

Jarin is from a basketball family.  He’s the son of former Richmond star Jarod Stevenson, who now coaches him at Seaforth.  His mom played at North Carolina.  They live nearby Chapel Hill.  So the Tar Heels are naturally considered the favorite.  But Coach Williford has his own unique connection, having spent time playing professionally in South Korea where Jarin grew up during his dad’s long playing career there.  

The recruiting process for the class of 2024 will pick up this summer and then become the main focus in the Fall.  It really hasn’t started yet.  But unlike early offers from some other schools, each one from Tony Benentt is a very serious thing.   Get used to hearing Jarin’s name.  

London on Hold

Elite 2023 recruit London Johnson has indicated a few times that the announcement of his college decision could be coming soon.   The Norcross (GA) point guard has a top 6 of Virginia, Clemson, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Southern Cal.  He’s UVA’s top target in the class, and the only player being recruited at the point guard spot. 

“I look to make my decision around new years and I already have an idea where I’m going.  It’s just a matter of the day to announce.”  he told 247Sports in December.  

I don’t believe anything has changed with Johnson.  He’s just decided not to announce yet.   There hasn’t been any activity around him for a while.  He’s not taking visits and coaches aren’t coming to see him.  That fits with him having already made his decision, and the parties involved knowing about it.  

At this point, it could be a while. London has proven to be unpredictable, so you never know.  Early spring would be my bet though.  Recruits typically do it before their season gets into full-gear, as in New Year’s as he talked about, or they wait until the season is over so as not to take away attention from their team.  

I know people are antsy.  But despite the delay, Virginia fans should feel really good about their chances.  The coaching staff clearly does, otherwise we’d see activity involving other point guards.  It’s their most urgent need.  From what I understand, reclassification to 2022 is an option on the table as well.  

Showcase Saturday

If you’re planning to be in town for the Wahoos game on Saturday, consider arriving early to catch some great high school basketball.  You’re bound to recognize former Hoos in attendance, and maybe see some future Hoos on the court.  

The first-ever Locker Room Access Showcase will be held at Charlottesville High School on January 15th.  Tickets are FREE if you reserve ahead of time, or available for just $5 at the door.  

The first game features The Blue Ridge School, Mamadi Diakite’s alma mater.  Former Virginia walk-on Cade Lemcke is their head coach.  They have a very talented roster, led by Syracuse commit Maliq Brown.  They’ll face Catholic High School out of Virginia Beach, one of the top teams in the state.  Their 2024 guard Josiah Rickards is getting Division-1 attention.  

Norfolk Collegiate takes on St. Anne’s-Belfield (STAB) in the second game.  Two great coaches, both UVA basketball alums.   Wahoo legend Junior Burrough coaches Norfolk Collegiate, while well-known trainer of Hoos Damin Altizer leads STAB.   

The second game has a compelling storyline for Virginia fans.  Old teammates Jason Williford and Junior Burrough will see their sons go head-to-head.  Both are playing big roles as freshmen on really good teams.  Austin Williford at STAB and Justin Burrough at Collegiate.  They both have bright futures.  Especially watch out for young Williford.  A scout told me last summer that he has the potential to be a top 25 player in his class nationally.  

Consider coming by and making a full-day of basketball.  They’ll also have door prizes, raffles, and a pop-up shop featuring exclusive merchandise.


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