Backroom Banter First Edition

I’m going to try to do more of this going forward for our VIP subscribers. It’s sort of the news that isn’t fit to print. It’s me, so it’ll be mostly on the topic of recruiting of course. . A lot of the stuff that I’m not comfortable putting in the public forum is what it amounts to, whether recruiting intel or just unverified rumors from good sources.

I mentioned in the other thread, I’ve heard that they expect the Villanova game to be played as things stand now. Obviously in the world we live in, that’s far from guaranteed. I don’t want to get people’s hopes up, circumstances could change at any time. But right now it’s on track. There is talk that it could be moved away from MSG though.

I’ve heard the two first-years that aren’t seeing many minutes are handling it well so far. Jabri Abdur-Rahim is understandably disappointed but remains upbeat and gets the big picture of why he chose UVA. And Carson McCorkle is open to considering the option of a 5th year. They seem to be in the low risk of transfer category for now.

Recruiting

Expectations are for this next offseason to be very very busy for recruiting. We could be looking for five or more commits by next Fall. Seven isn’t out the question if we’re hit by transfers and things fall right with '22 recruits. Unsigned seniors, transfers, and potentially a large 2022 class. They’re evaluating for everything, planning for various scenarios.

Can’t talk about recruiting without mentioning Trevor Keels. No update really. We shouldn’t be hopeful, but it’s not hopeless either. They’re still actively involved. Most expect him to decide some time this Winter.

They’re not active with Efton Reid now. I’m not going to say it’s 100% over because he’s going to put out a list soon. We’ve seen scenarios before, Braxton Key comes to mind, where UVA re-engaged with recruits after being thrown in as window dressing on final lists. That’s about all this would be, a very remote possibility.

There’s some high school action going on, which opens the possibility for new recruits to emerge. Early signs suggest there could be a hidden gem in our backyard, 2021 Fork Union forward Anouar Mellouk. He was already on the radar. Williford went to a couple practices last year. He was very much a project at the time. Now he’s starting to turn potential into production. It’s a small sample size right now. If it continues, he’s going to become very popular. UVA is keeping a close eye. Put him in that category of spring offer candidates with Estonian forward Markus Ilver. A recent article from Prep Hoops has the basics on Mellouk.

We finally made the first 2022 offers last week. They’re in really good shape with Poca (WV) guard Isaac McKneely. Zach just interviewed his high school coach. When you read that, I think you’ll understand why he’s heavily predisposed to fitting in at UVA. He and Bennett already have a great connection. This is probably one of those guys he’s not going to let go of. I’ve heard from multiple people that UVA feels they might be able to get an early commitment, and it’s not out of the question that he volunteers it. But over the summer, he told them he’d like to wait until after his junior season before considering it, so they won’t push.

An impeccable outside source told me last week that there’s a lot of talk that UVA is in deeper with STAB guard Justin Taylor than is being let on. I haven’t been able to back that up with anyone on the UVA side however. The rumor is that moving into the 2021 class could be an option, with the plan to redshirt. Again, very unverified, but that’s what this post is all about. There is a realistic scenario in which they get both McKneely and Taylor, but it probably involves losing certain players to transfer.

As Stockrisers reported earlier, Bennett is scheduled to do another Zoom call with Grand Island (NE) forward Isaac Traudt . They watched his game last night online. I don’t know if Tony’s ready to hand out an offer, but he’ll surely be breaking down Isaac’s game as he does for recruits on official visits. Regardless of when the offer comes, this one’s gonna get real. They like him, on and off the court. They think he can do some Sam Hauser things, as a very skilled mulit-positional player. He’s been very receptive too. Long way to go with him. He’s getting blue blood interest. But I feel comfortable saying UVA is in the best early position.

17 Likes

Good stuff HGN. Love this type of feature.

4 Likes

Do you think they’ll offer any guys the extra year to come back?

Not HGN, but from the people I’ve talked to, McCorkle and JAR could come back for a fifth if they wanted. Doubt JAR does in the long run tho

4 Likes

Everybody has the option. Yeah Zach’s on it. The freshmen, mostly McCorkle, is where it could come into play.

5 Likes

Any feelings on an offer for Nunez? I see a couple of predictions for TX on the 247 site.

Thanks. Exactly the kind of content I hoped to get. Keep it up.

3 Likes

Texas will be tough to beat for Nunez, assuming they focus in on him. He’s earned his UVA offer but this is a new age under TB where he sees an offer as a promise to spend his time recruiting each player. That’s what makes them such hard decisions.

2 Likes

HGN, This thread is a grand slam. I love our position with Mcneely. One thing that is bothering me is the lack of athleticism and quickness on the team. Do you see us trying to improve that in the 22 class?

3 Likes

Yeah they’re gonna look for athletic guard or wing by '22. Right now there are a couple spots tagged for '22 and others they’d rather get through Spring and see what the roster looks like and what’s available in the late cycle before they move it to '22. That’s where guys like Alphonzo Billups and Chris Bunch could come in.

6 Likes

This reminded me of the OG Hooz Got Next posts on Facebook when he only had like 200 likes. I mean that as a compliment

4 Likes

:joy:

Thanks. Might have been on FB a year before hitting 200 likes though. lol Early days wee rough, was clueless about social media, but yeah I guess I did lay it all out there as I saw it.

5 Likes

I thought it was interesting that JWilly said a couple offers could go out in the next couple weeks. I figure Nunez will be one, any idea who they may be far enough along with otherwise to offer at this point?

Safe to assume Nunez and Traudt. There could be more though. My guess would be another PG to follow. They’ve zoomed with Noah Shelby (TX), Scoot Henderson (GA) has mentioned them. TB’s gotten an up close look at Jayden Epps (VA). If it’s another forward, maybe Shelby’s teammate Lee Dort or Tyler Nickel. .

1 Like

Hearing UVA has had some recent contact with Texas transfer big man Will Baker. Wouldn’t make much of it for now. Just feeling him out. They did the same with Yale grad transfer Paul Atkinson, and I don’t think anything came of it.

3 Likes

We’re planning on a live q&a at 7pm est today. Leave us some questions for mark, doug or anyone and we’ll do what we can to address them

3 Likes

The beer drinkers want to know what everyone’s favorite type of beer is.

2 Likes

More smoke coming from this direction today.

Probably not this part though.

10 Likes

Would this preclude McKneely?

Can’t help. We’re already Logjammin at the low-mid-6-foot shooter position as it is. Something’s got to give.