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Virginia Men's Basketball

Busy First Week of Fall Recruiting for Virginia

The commitment of Elijah Gertrude dominated the Virginia news this week.  There’s been lots of other activity though.  With the recruiting period opening last Friday, coaches have been out and about visiting recruits on their home turf.   The 2024 class is starting to become the main attraction now.  That’s where most of the action has been.  But as has become clear this week, Tony Bennett is doing all he can to add more to his 2023 class as well.  

Still Work To Do

Virginia is used to having the luxury of turning the page to juniors in September.  So, it was unusual to see Tony Bennett visit two seniors this week.  . 

He was at Word of God Academy in Raleigh on Friday to see guard Davin Cosby Jr.  For those wondering, Elijah Gertrude’s commitment had already been in the bank for several days at that time. UVA didn’t let that slow their pursuit of Cosby at all.  Coach Williford stopped by on Thursday as well.  They want another shooter.  

Wake Forest and Alabama were also on hand twice to see Cosby.  They seem to be the prime competition for UVA to overcome.  He’s already taken official visits to all three.  Tennessee and NC State are in the picture too.  

Not surprisingly, Bennett was at the South Kent School in Connecticut at the first opportunity on Tuesday for point guard Elmarko Jackson.  He’s been UVA’s top target in that spot since early summer.  It’ll be a hard recruitment to win, but I do expect they’ll get a visit and have that chance before it’s over.  He recently visited Miami, and has upcoming trips scheduled to Ksnsas and Texas.  There’s no clear favorite.  Villanova is very much in the mix too.  

There’s some involvement with combo guard George Washington III, a former Ohio State commit.  Assistant coach Kyle Getter was in to see him on Monday.  Dayton would probably be the team to contend with if UVA does jump in. His dad is on the women’s coaching staff there.  

And Sidwell Friends (DC) point guard Cameron Gillus is on grounds today for an unofficial visit.   No scholarship offer yet, but they’ve been monitoring him for a while. Coach Williford was at Sidwell on Friday.

Bennett Visits 2024 Trio

Over the next month or so,  the UVA coaches will see just about every  junior they’re interested in.  But it’s always especially noteworthy who the head coach shows up for.  Bennett made a sweep through the Charlotte area on Thursday to attend open gyms at three different schools. 

His first stop was at Combine Academy.  The main attraction there is Rakease Passmore, a ridiculously athletic wing. He doesn’t have an offer yet, but there’s very serious interest as Bennett’s visit indicates.  They eyed him quite a bit over the summer too.  UPDATE: Rakease was offered a scholarship on Friday.

Carmel Christian guard Jaeden Mustaf was offered a scholarship on his unofficial visit in August.  Bennett returned the favor, stopping by on Thursday.  He had a huge summer, leading his team to the Adidas circuit championship.  Offers from Indiana, Maryland, and several other ACC schools poured in.  You might remember his dad, Jerrod Mustaf played at Maryland. 

And Bennett was at Salisbury High School on Thursday night for guard Jayden Harris.  He also picked up a scholarship offer back in August while on a visit.  A big guard with a scorer’s mentality, it’s looking like he’ll be a hot commodity.  Houston, Wake Forest, and VA Tech head coaches have all been in.  Tennessee is very involved too.  

Target Watch

Everybody with offers not mentioned above.  

2023

Jesuit (CA) wing Andrej Stojakovic is scheduled to visit Oregon this weekend.  He has UVA in his top 6 along with Stanford, UCLA, Oregon, Texas, and Duke.  Of the finalists, only Virginia and Duke haven’t gotten visits yet.   And Duke isn’t really involved anymore.  

Totino-Grace (MN) guard Taison Chatman is set to announce his college choice next week.  He has the Wahoos in his top five, but they’ve never been seriously in contention.  All signs point to Ohio State.  

2024 

Sidwell Friends (DC) forward Caleb Williams had Coach Williford in the gym on opening day.  He’s already visited twice. That’s shaping up as a priority recruitment so far.  He’s planning a couple early official visits to Indiana and Michigan.  Villanova is all over him too.  

Coach Getter was in Las Vegas on Saturday to see point guard Dedan Thomas Jr. .  He’s a candidate to reclassify.  That’s part of the reason UVA has already offered, and why schools are recruiting him so hard this early.  

I’m not sure if the coaches have been to Paul VI since the recruiting period opened.  But wing Isaiah Abraham recently visited for the home football opener, his second trip to UVA.  .  

UVA hasn’t made it down to see Seaforth (NC) forward Jarin Stevenson yet.  They’ve only had one open gym.  North Carolina and Georgetown head coaches were on hand.

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