Virginia Coaches Out Recruiting Over Exam Break

Virginia Coaches Out Recruiting Over Exam Break

With 11 days between games during exam break, the Virginia coaching staff has been busy recruiting.  Tony Bennett eyed a new target, then he and his assistants spent the weekend in DC.  Another prized recruit is setting official visits.  And future Hoos have been in action.  

The Boss's Road Trip 

Tony Bennett along with assistant Orlando Vandross made a trip to New Hampshire on Wednesday to take in a Brewster Academy game.  Their reason for being there was 2025 wing Dwayne Aristode, a new arrival from the Netherlands.  



Aristode has been a popular attraction for college coaches since enrolling at Brewster this fall.  He’s already taken visits to Wake Forest and UCLA.  There are reports of interest from other programs such as Duke and Kentucky.  He’s chosen so far not to disclose which schools have extended scholarship offers, but I believe Virginia is now on that list.  

Virginia is recruiting Aristode with the intention of using him at the power forward position, as he explained in a recent Rivals interview.  That fits perfectly with their plan for the class of 2025.  Bennett is searching for an athletic combo forward. 

There are several other recruits being pursued for that spot.  The most serious involvement seems to be with St. Thomas More (CT) forward London Jemison.  Bennett also made a trip to see him in October.  Highland School (VA) jumbo wing Nate Ament has visited on multiple occasions.  Duke is believed to be the favorite in his recruitment.  And Harvard Westlake (CA) stretch forward Nikolas Khamenia was recently offered.  

Weekend in DC

There were two big high school events around the nation’s capital over the weekend, the Gonzaga Classic and National Hoops Festival at DeMatha.  Virginia assistant coaches Jason Williford and Orlando Vandross were around all weekend, joined by Bennett on Sunday.    

Three 2025 guards who hold UVA offers were in action. Gonzaga (DC) combo guard Derek Dixon received a heavy dose of the UVA staff's attention. Bullis (MD) athletic guard Adrien Stevens had one of the weekend's best performances with Bennett watching.  And the UVA boss made sure to see Sidwell (DC) sniper Acaden Lewis.  All three of them took unofficial visits to Charlottesville in the fall. 

Depending how things play out with spring roster turnover, UVA may only have room for one guard in the class.  They’re the furthest along with local product Chance Mallory of St. Anne’s Belfield right now.  However, they're very much in the mix for all three DC area guards.  The same is certainly true of Southern Durham (NC) big guard Jackson Keith.   

Of the players who don’t yet have a UVA offer, Georgetown Prep (DC) guard Akbar Waheed probably helped himself the most.  He was frequently mentioned as a standout, with Williford in attendance for multiple games.  They also got a chance to see stud forward Saddiq White of Myers Park (NC) and big guard Davion Hannah for Nicolet (WI).  Virginia coaches have been in contact with all three. 

Latrell Allmond and his John Marshall (VA) team played in front of UVA coaches at DeMatha too. The 2026 big man is one of only two players in that class to receive a scholarship offer from Virginia.  The other being guard Jonathan Sanderson of Saline (MI).  Both visited in the fall.  

Tiller Sets Visits 

2025 forward Bryson Tiller is taking official visits.  The five-star prospect from Atlanta was at Kansas over the weekend, and will then head to Indiana this coming weekend.  He said there are other upcoming visit plans that haven’t yet been finalized.  There’s a good chance one of those visits will be to Virginia in the near future. 

Tiller is a candidate to reclassify up to 2024.  And by taking these early official visits, it’s probably a signal that he’s strongly considering that option.  Virginia offered him a scholarship very early on.  And they’ve been active in his recruitment.  Tony Bennett was in Atlanta to see Tiller at the Overtime Elite combine in September.  

With the increasing possibility of Virginia sophomore Ryan Dunn moving on to the NBA after this season, there could be an attractive opening for a player like Tiller at UVA.  That’s the scenario in which the Hoos could potentially be a factor in his recruitment.  Even then, the odds of him choosing UVA aren’t great.  He also has pro options.  It’s a complicated recruitment as is often the case for elite prospects.  

Commits in Action

Virginia’s two committed 2024 recruits have had good starts to their senior high school seasons.  

Forward Jacob Cofie led his Eastside Catholic (WA) squad to a 2-0 start.  Including a 33-point outburst by the future Hoo in their season opener against Seattle Prep 



And Canadian guard Ishan Sharma is turning heads.  Fort Erie Academy came across the border for a couple high-profile events in the early season, giving some scouts their first look at the sharpshooter.



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