Less than a week into the offseason, things are already hopping. The Virginia coaching staff has been busy reaching out to transfer recruits. And their top target in the 2023 class has set the date for his commitment announcement.
April Hoos Day?
2023 Norcross (GA) point guard London Johnson will announce his college choice on Friday April 1st, according to a report from Joe Tipton of On3Sports. Johnson released a final 6 back in December, which included Virginia along with Clemson, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Southern Cal.
Johnson visited UVA for the Blue-White Scrimmage in October. That was the last college visit he’s taken. And Virginia hasn’t been active with any other competing players in the meantime. Everything looks very promising for the Hoos. We’ll find out for sure on Friday.
Ranked as high as 27th in his class by Rivals, Johnson would be Virginia’s first commit of 2023 should he choose the Hoos.
We’re still in a gray area with transfers. So far, only former walk-on Malachi Poindexter has entered the portal. Until we know who and how many leave, it won’t be clear what type of addition they’ll pursue. And right now, they don’t have an open scholarship. But judging by all the transfers the coaching staff have contacted this week, it’s safe to assume that’ll change in the coming days.
It’s important to keep in mind, this is all a process. Things will move fast from here. Names will come and go. It’s chaotic. They’ll never actually get to the point of recruiting most of the players mentioned. .
Virginia recruited Princeton point guard Jaelin Llewellyn in the 2018 class. They’re among the many interested in him now that he’s available as a graduate transfer. He averaged 15.7 PPG this season for the Tigers, while hitting 39% from beyond the arc. His first visit will be to Alabama this weekend.
LSU freshman Brandon Murray has heard from the Hoos. The Baltimore native was a starter in his first-year, averaging 10 points per game. Georgetown is believed to be the early team to beat after they hired an LSU assistant close to Murray.
They’ve reached out to Kentucky redshirt-sophomore wing Dantaie Allen. Hampered by injuries early in his career, he never was able to establish himself there. His numbers in limited minutes this season don’t show it, but he’s a high-level shooter. 40% from three as a freshman.
Belmont freshman guard Will Richard is one of the more popular names in the portal. UVA contacted him this week. He averaged 12 PPG, including a couple big games against power conference opponents. Out of the Atlanta area, UVA was familiar with him in high school.
They’ve also been mentioned with class of 2022 guard Bryce Lindsay, who was committed to South Carolian before their coaching change. It’s not the first time we’ve heard UVA connected with him. A sharpshooting combo guard out of Baltimore, Coach Williford has seen him play on quite a few occasions.
Brown grad transfer Jaylan Gainey is a hot commodity. A two-time Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, he led the league with 2+ blocks per game. The Hoos have been mentioned. But he’s already visited Florida State and they seem to be the very heavy favorite.
Former WAC Player of the Year Fardaws Aimaq from Utah Valley is one of the most heavily sought after transfers. He averaged nearly 19 points and over 13 rebounds this season. Virginia is among the many involved on a list that includes Kentucky.
Ball State big man Payton Sparks, the MAC’s freshman of the year, has heard from UVA. The Indiana native averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds in his first-year. He listed West Virginia and Iowa State among the schools most serious with him right now.