For three straight weekends now, Virginia has hosted 2023 recruits on visits. The latest of what’s going on with UVA’s top targets in that class. And the Hoos are going international this summer, in more ways than one.
UVA handed out a pretty big scholarship offer on Thursday to 2023 Bishop Ireton (VA) guard Jamie Kaiser. He’s been one of the hottest recruits in the country of late, making a name for himself this spring on the Adidas circuit. Offers keep flooding in for him. Indiana became the latest on Saturday.
Kaiser is a two-sport star who was also recruited by Division-1 schools to play football. Recently, he decided that he’ll concentrate on basketball in college. It looks like a good choice. He’s quickly developed a reputation as one of the better shooters in the class. That’s been the tipping point that’s drawn in all the new recruiting activity. Combined with fairly good athleticism at 6’6, it makes for an intriguing package.
He’s scheduled an official visit for the weekend of June 2nd. UVA is the heavy favorite to eventually get his commitment. There’s no expectation of that happening on his visit though. This is all new to him and he wants to hear everyone out. He’s already taken officials to Wisconsin and Harvard in recent weeks. So that’s promising that he’s moving along through his process. .
He’s a high academic, obviously with Harvard involved. They feel like he’s a great fit who’s about the right stuff. In this new environment, that’s become even more important. He’s the top shooting guard target now. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t end up at Hoo.
Other 2023 Recruits
As I laid out last week, UVA is trying to fill four spots in the 2023 class. Spring is a gray middle area in recruiting. . Bennett is being aggressive as always, getting recruits in quickly for visits. But most of them won’t be in decision mode for a while. The goal is to get at least two of them before fall recruiting opens in September, preferably one before the July evaluation periods. There will be a whole new crop then, and those are the players they’ll recruit in the fall.
Lake City (ID) big man Blake Buchanan visited two weekends ago. He was the one out of the group of recent offers that there was some hope of wrapping up quickly. Well, that hasn’t happened. The reason appears to be increased interest from Gonzaga. He lives just a short drive from Spokane. I still think UVA is the favorite by a wide margin. They’ve treated him really well, giving him the priority attention that Gonznaga hasn’t. But it looks like he’ll hold out a while longer.
I’ve heard that UVA folks think things went really well with Word of God (NC) guard Freddie Dilione on his visit last weekend. His comments in interviews afterwards were certainly encouraging too. He’s the clear top guard target at this point. The fear with him isn’t necessarily any of the other schools involved right now. It’s that his recruitment may not have peaked yet. As things stand, UVA is in a great spot.
Worcester (MA) forward TJ Power has said he’s planning to visit in early June. I think that’ll be the weekend of June 10th, following Kaiser. That looks like a wide open recruitment. Indiana is after him hard. Notre Dame and Stanford recently offered as well. He and Kaiser have a lot in common. Power is another high academic, and has also been recruited as a baseball player. UVA has spent more energy on Pewaukee (WI) forward Milan Momcilovic, but Power seems more interested in UVA.
UVA hosted 2023 Greensboro Day (NC) combo guard Jaydon Young on an unofficial visit on Saturday. He’s a familiar name. They were very interested in him from the start. He’s had some injury problems that set him back. But he’s reemerged after a strong spring of AAU. No offer right now. Obviously serious interest. Expect him to have Bennett courtside this summer.
Hoos Going International
The team will travel to Italy this summer for their once every four years overseas tour. The trip was originally planned for two years ago, but covid delayed things. They’re scheduled to leave on August 10th and return on the 20th. Most of that is a recruiting dead period by the way, so well timed.
They’re supposed to play four games. I don’t know who the opponents will be. The first game is in Rome on the 13th. The second in Florence on the 16th. And the last two in Rapallo on the 18th and 19th.
Lots of sightseeing, fun activities, and good food in between. It should be an awesome trip for all involved.
I’ve learned that a pair of Hoos will likely be playing in international competition this summer. Kihei Clark has been invited to join the Chinese national team. And Taine Murray has the chance to play for his home country of New Zealand.
They’d both be participating in the Asia Cup, a FIBA qualifying event held in Indonesia. It runs from July 12th through the 24th. Assuming it’s approved by the NCAA compliance office, which I doubt is a problem, they both plan to accept the invites
Sounds like an Kihei audition to me. Awesome those two will get that experience plus Italy
Hoping taine is a big piece next year. Hopefully the Italy trip + playing against serious competition in New Zealand positions him well.
People are gushing about Kaiser this weekend. Even the doubters are saying he looks like a different dude. Always been a dawg but now he’s a shot maker. He’s going to get even more attention after this weekend. Could have some more brand name competition coming.
He called UVA his dream school in an interview yesterday, and that’s actually the 2nd time.
Edit - what is your comp for Kiser besides the obv (ICU Joey Buckets!)?
It’s the prephoops paywalled article. Also said UVA was who he was cheering for 2019 and he’s a huge Ty Jerome fan
Good to know. That explains the offer announcement picture.
Gonna be a bitch when he commits to UNC (I’m joking)
Kids in North Carolina: UNC is my dream school that I grew up watching.
Offered by UNC → commit to UNC
Kids in Virginia: Growing up and watching Tony build UVA into a National Title winner was incredible
Offered by UVA → commit to Duke
Thanks for the Buchanan info. I wondered if others or a particular school (namely Gonzaga) had been showing interest and that was causing the delay. As I mentioned before, I have no issue with him betting on himself, but he probably needs to be careful. My guess is if something doesn’t happen soon as far as UVa is concerned, Bennett will spin on a dime and move on.
Things are starting to shape up quite nicely for the 2023 class - by mid summer I think most will be very pleased.
Are Kaiser and Power being recruited for the same role? Seems like one is a 2/3 and the other is a 3/4.
I think he meant they are alike in that they are both high academic dual sport kids. But I could be wrong
I’m all in on Jamie Kaiser. Such a pure shooter. Saw that coaches have been referring to him as Klay Thompson on scouting reports since 9th grade.
6’ 5" 200 lbs SG.
Also like that he’s a dual-sport athlete with an offer from Pitt to play QB, but he’s decided to focus on basketball as his future. Clearly tough enough for ACC basketball.
No Kaiser is a guard. Power is a forward.
Think no offer to Jaydon Young yet is to keep the spot for Kaiser?
Any chance Taine will actually get into games? Kid is probably dying to play some basketball after his last two seasons.
Tough to say, is my guess. He played a ton vs Australia (incl Dyson Daniels) in that game where none of the NBL guys could play. The best NZ players go to the NBL. Assuming they’re back? Taine likely is somewhere around the same spot as he was on UVa last year, though likely on a longer bench.
My extremely ill-informed take on this: stay in Cville. I’d rather he play in something like the Kenner League (assuming that’s a go). High level practice hasn’t been the issue for Taine. He’s practiced for great coaches against great players. He needs to play.
Same caveat as always: I’m just a guy on the internet, prone to sometimes (charitably) saying dumb things.
Taine needs to PLAY lots of basketball. Pick up, games or whatever. But needs to play play play. Like Slaughter shit. And in the US. Just working with trainers or on his own or whatever isnt the right approach. And to your point just being on the national team without playing a bunch is not gonna help him individually