Intel Report 3/31

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This week brought news of Virginia players entering the transfer portal. Meanwhile, the staff have been busy contacting lots of potential incoming transfers along with a familiar 2022 recruit that’s back on the market. Oh and we can’t forget, London Johnson’s announcement is tomorrow.

The Calendar

Today is the start of a week-long dead period on the NCAA recruiting calendar. During dead periods, there’s no in-person contact allowed between coaches and recruits. That means recruits won’t be visiting and coaches aren’t going out on the road.

Next Friday, the day after the dead period lifts, is the start of the first live evaluation period. That’s when attention will turn to high school kids in the 2023 and 2024 classes, at least for the weekend. Coaches will be out attending AAU events. Immediately following that is another four-day long dead period through April 14th.

The setup gives everybody the next two weeks to get their houses in order and then start laying the groundwork for their late cycle recruiting efforts. Ideally, all of the stay or go decisions will be cleared up well before then. And coaches will have zeroed in on a few transfer recruits and started making arrangements for them to visit.

Things move fast this time of year. But it’s also easy to lose track of how early it is still. Virginia’s season has only been over for nine days. The Final Four is yet to be played. It’s okay that we don’t have answers yet to all the burning questions.

Stay or Go Calls

Sophomore guard Carson McCorkle became Virginia’s first scholarship player to enter the transfer portal on Monday. I alluded to that possibility in last week’s Intel Report. He was one of those two players that have been here a few years who would be challenged. I believe he was leaning toward transferring anyway it turned out.

There were other schools trying to recruit Carson last year, encouraging him to transfer. He probably stayed longer than others in his shoes would have. I don’t know what his options will be this time around. But everybody wishes him nothing but the best.

The other player who’s been here a few years that I groupled with Carson last week is expected to stay.

Former walk-on Malachi Poindexter also put his name into the portal. That’s more of a testing the waters situation. Returning to UVA is a real possibility for him. He’s already taken a visit to Radford. They’re recruiting him very hard. Other programs ranging from the Big South to the Atlantic-10 conferences are involved as well.

We’re still waiting on two big decisions. We’re not out of the woods with the talented young player I mentioned first last week. And then there’s Kihei Clark . Both of those verdicts will factor heavily into the recruiting strategy for incoming transfers. There’s no official word yet on Jayden Gardner either, but it’s highly likely he’ll return.

Early Transfer Recruiting

Transfer recruiting is in a very early stage, mostly just identifying targets. And a lot will depend on the remaining stay or go decisions from current players. There are a couple however that stand out from the group that I know the coaching staff have had more than just an introductory chat with.

Guards

Kentucky sophomore wing Dontaie Allen fits into that category. UVA has contacts around him, and was quick to start a conversation. A shooter with good size at 6’6, he still has the potential to be a college standout despite never establishing himself at Kentucky. Nearby schools like Cincinnati and Western Kentucky are expected to be factors. And Wisconsin has a connection of their own.

West Virginia senior Sean McNeil just hit the portal on Tuesday. He’ll be one to watch. UVA was very interested in him out of junior college a few years ago when they eventually landed Tomas Woldetensae after McNeil chose WVU. As you’d expect, there’a long list of interested parties

Little is known about involvement with Princeton grad transfer Jaelin Llewellyn . However, the UVA staff were aware that he would be in the portal ahead of time. I’m doubtful anything comes of it, but that’s enough to keep my attention. His recruitment probably won’t last long. He’s already visited Alabama.

Forwards

I’d definitely put him in the longshot category, but UVA has been involved with Utah Valley big man Fardaws Aimaq . Kentucky and Texas Tech are seriously in the mix for the former WAC player of the year. He’s in high demand.

Virginia recruited 2022 Montverde (FL) forward Malik Reneau during the first go-round. The Hoos are interested again now that he’s decommitted from Florida. Coach Williford went down to meet with him this week. Losing another transfer would be a prerequisite of UVA having a realistic chance. Miami is considered the favorite. While I wouldn’t be too optimistic, there’s hope of at least getting him up for a visit.

One thing for sure, there’s more activity than we’re aware of. Assistant coaches have been out and there’s even a rumor that someone visited over the weekend. Bennett is always stealthy in transfer recruiting.

The Announcement

After a long wait, London Johnson will announce his college choice on Friday. Virginia, Clemson, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Southern Cal are the finalists for the prized Norcross (GA) point guard.

As we’ve been saying for months, his announcement was always expected before next weekend’s live period. His decision was made back in Fall. He did initially plan to announce it several months ago before deciding to wait until some details were worked out. There’s always some worry that things could change when an announcement is held up, but there’s been no sign of any wavering with this one or even of other schools trying. He’s expected to stay in the 2023 class.

It should be a good day for Virginia fans

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Thanks HGN. Do you think it’s possible that Tony is preparing Kihei for a reduced role or should we expect a penciled in 35+ minutes a game if he decides to come back?

And are you still thinking it’s 50/50 on chances he returns? Curious where your head is at there but understand if you can’t answer

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So is this the right read?

  • waiting on Igor and Kihei
  • kinda waiting on Gardner, but would be a surprise if he didn’t come back
  • no portal for Kadin (or maybe Papi)
  • incoming? Stay tuned
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I’m just in wait and see mode with Kihei like the rest of you at this point. On one hand, if he’s coming back I’m surprised we don’t know yet. On the other, there’s not much in the way of transfer recruiting that points him not coming back. On the third hand, I’m not sure there would be if he weren’t haha

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Late 22, like Reanu in our case, correct?

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Not out of the woods. Am I reading too much into it thinking that it means we are at least closer to the forest perimeter than the interior? I take it as a good sign that the player who was 75% chance of leaving still hasn’t left?

Interesting. I have no idea what they will do, but not filling the gap on Trey could be telling. Or, it might not be. Unlike you, I only have two hands so I’ll stop there. :wink:

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Hi Joe. Yes

A little lower maybe but recent signs not looking good.

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Man, Allen or Ali in that Trey role along side Reece and Armaan. Yes, please and thank you

Wonder if Igor is transferring or going home

Carson Kihei Igor Kody —> Ali, Dontaie, Reneau. Dope.

Reece, Armaan, Ali, Jayden, Kadin

Bench: McKneely, Taine, Allen, Reneau, Traudt.

Papi there for when we need face maulings and 5 fouls.

Dunn and Bond redshirt like was implied/may have been the plan for the start. (in this hypothetical, Ali becomes a one and done like Murphy).

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Any guesses on the potential mystery visitor ?

One of our social media stalkers can look at the socials of the dozen or so guys we’ve reached out to and look for any breadcrumbs. Ready, go

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Maybe Dontaie Allen?

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That would be nice.

Arch Manning. Big ole head fake by HGN throwing it in a basketball write up.

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Caught wind of the new Cavaliers Futures NIL program and new he had to get in before all the spots were taken.

Nothing on social media regarding Dontaie but he would make sense geographically (so would McNeil).

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Many thanks @HoozGotNext !! Love these updates and also appreciate receiving them via email as well as on LRA.

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This is one we’ve been waiting for. So have many others though I’m sure.

Pack is a Big 12 first teamer out of Lawrence Central (IN), ala Kyle Guy

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