Ishan Sharma Commits To Virginia

Ishan Sharma Commits To Virginia

Tony Bennett moved quietly to snag another recruit ahead of the upcoming signing period.  Ishan Sharma announced his commitment to Virginia on Thursday, following a recent official visit.  The 6’5” guard out of Fort Erie Academy in Canada chose the Wahoos from a list of offers that included Seton Hall, Virginia Tech, and Arizona State.  He joins forward Jacob Cofie in Bennett’s 2024 recruiting class. 



Ishan Sharma’s Recruitment

Sharma was a late emerging recruit who became popular after a strong showing at Nike Peach Jam in July.  The majority of his scholarship offers flooded in at that time.  He considered programs at both the high and mid major levels.  Academics were clearly a priority to him, as he chose to take his other official visits to Yale and Rice instead of the power conference schools that were in pursuit. 

The Virginia coaching staff took notice of him in July as well.  Associate Head Coach Ron Sanchez was on hand in Los Angeles to see him play during the final live period of the summer. Once they missed out on Kon Knueppel, attention turned Sharma’s way.  Tony Bennett made the trip to Canada for a first-hand look in late September.  

It was all handled very quietly.  UVA had Sharma down for an official visit on the weekend of the Blue-White scrimmage.  He was offered a scholarship at that time.  His commitment came less than a week later. 

Both UVA commits, Ishan Sharma and Jacob Cofie, are expected to sign their letters of intent during the upcoming early signing period which runs from November 8th through the 15th.  

What Ishan Sharma Brings to Virginia

Sharma has one exceptional skill, and it’s very valuable in the game of basketball.  He’s a great shooter.  The three-point line accounts for most of his scoring.  With deep range and the ability to hit shots at a high rate both off the catch and off the bounce, it makes him a real weapon.  

He had a great showing at Nike Peach Jam, averaging 16.6 PPG.  During the full EYBL season, he shot 44.8% (47/105) from three-point range.  It was consistent too.  He made multiple threes in 16 out of 19 games.  

Sharma has flashed some playmaking ability, and he’s good at attacking closeouts off the dribble.  But three-point shooting is clearly the strength of his game.  He only converted 37% of his attempts from inside the arc this summer.  

The biggest question is whether he can defend at the ACC level.  One thing is for sure, he’ll have the best coaching staff to help develop him on that end of the floor.  With good size for a guard at 6’5” and decent lateral agility, there are tools to work with despite not being a very explosive athlete. 

This is definitely an upside play by Bennett.  Given Virginia’s quality group of young guards, it’s hard to project what role Sharma might have early in his career.  But his shooting prowess gives him the potential to be an important piece for the Wahoos long term.  

Virginia’s Recruiting Going Forward

With the addition of Ishan Sharma, Virginia now has 12 projected scholarship players for the 2024-25 season.   

Virginia is almost certainly finished for the early signing period.  They still have an open scholarship, so there’s potential for another addition in the spring.  In the meantime, the coaching staff’s focus will be on the class of 2025.  

Local product Chance Mallory of St. Anne’s Belfield (VA) is their top target in the backcourt.  UVA is in serious pursuit of him.  He’s become a popular recruit nationally with offers from Villanova, and Maryland, among others.  There’s also a possibility that he could choose to reclassify to 2024 later on.  

There are two priority recruits up front.  Grayson (GA) forward Jacob Wilkins visited last weekend.  He’s the son of NBA legend Dominique Wilkins and the brother of Virginia assistant coach Isaiah Wilkins.  The Hoos are battling Georgia and Alabama right now for him.  They’re also heavily involved with St. Thomas More (CT) forward London Jemison who has picked up recent offers from Syracuse and Villanova.  

The Wrap

This is only the second time in 10 years that UVA has gotten an early signing period commitment from a senior after September.  The last time it happened was with Kihei Clark, whose recruiting story was similar in some ways.  It’s not something they do often, diving in with a recruit this time of year.  The coaching staff clearly believes they've found something good in Sharma.

Only 18 more days until a new season tips off, be sure to follow along on Locker Room Access.  

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