Intel Report 5/28/22

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This past week has been a recruiting dead period. The Virginia coaching took advantage of the break to finally get in a little well-deserved vacation time. They’ll be back to the grind next week though, hosting another pair of visitors. Things are about to get real busy as we get into the heart of summer recruiting over the next couple months.

2023 Board Takes Shape

The dust has settled from the spring evaluation periods. Virginia handed out eight new scholarship offers. While all those players are welcome to commit, some will be recruited harder than others. We’re learning now which recruits they’re most serious about.

Most Wanted Duo

Bishop Ireton (VA) shooting guard Jamie Kaiser will be in Charlottesville for his visit late next week. He is a clear top priority for the Hoos. As the offers keep piling up for him, this might not be as easy as we hoped at first. I don’t think there’s much chance now to get him on board ahead of July, as there were some whispers initially. But as things go on, UVA will be very hard to beat. Wisconsin has done a nice job getting out ahead of the pack. They’re the prime competition.

Worcester (MA) forward TJ Power will start his official visit on Monday. He has shot up the board. In fact, he seems to be the #1 overall guy on the wish list. They did a zoom meeting with him early this week. It’s a full court press that’s going to continue. Same deal, there’s no expectation of him committing soon. Notre Dame and Indiana are the other top contenders right now.

Get used to hearing both of their names. As we get into the June and July live periods, expect Bennett to be courtside for them regularly. That’s what separates them. UVA is in full pursuit, and that won’t change soon. They’re not just top targets at their position, they’re firmly there.

Top Guys For Their Spot

Lake City (ID) center Blake Buchanan is the only true big man UVA is recruiting. He visited several weeks ago. UVA is way ahead of the crowd here, the only high major program to offer so far. The hang up involves Gonzaga, essentially his hometown school only about 30 miles away… He’s giving them a chance to see more of him during the June live period to decide whether they want him.

It’s an awkward situation right now. On one hand, he’s the guy there’s a very real chance of UVA getting soon. But it’s clear that Gonzaga could potentially complicate things if they want. At minimum, by dragging his recruitment out. The difference between him and the two players above isn’t that he’s less wanted. It’s that UVA has already spent more effort on him. The ball is closer to being in his court, there’s not as much left for them to do.

The top point guard target is Freddie Dilione out of Word of God (NC). He’s also already visited. There’s two issues with him. UVA may actually be in the best position now, but his star is still climbing. Others will crank things up and more are bound to join the race. The other thing is, he might not be the ideal point guard for UVA. While he’s a great scorer, he’s extremely turnover prone. They’ll stay on him for sure, but I also expect the search for other point guards to be one of the summer’s themes.

Again, those two are the top targets at their position. They’re being heavily recruited. It’s just that as the summer goes on, that could easily change.

Others

There will be more visitors in the coming weeks. That’ll likely include Pewaukee (WI) forward Milan Momcilovic. The door is open for him, but the coaching staff is more focused on TJ Power in that spot. And Jesuit (CA) wing Andrej Stojakovic has mentioned a possible upcoming visit as well. He’d be a very longshot for UVA.

Greensboro Day (NC) guard Jaydon Young visited recently. He’ll get his opportunity to earn an offer during the June live periods when players are with their high school teams. For him, the key will be showing he can handle point guard duties. He doesn’t get that chance for his AAU team, but does for Greensboro Day.

South Kent (CT) forward Tafara Gapare received a lot of attention during the April live periods. They’ll see more of him this summer. He’ll be at the same June events as TJ Power, so that’s guaranteed. But at this point, I’ll be surprised if he ends up at UVA. He’d prefer to reclassify to 2022 and play right away. That’s not going to happen at UVA. He has pro options as well he’s considering. It just doesn’t seem to be a good fit.

Summer Calendar

A week-long dead period just ended on Friday. From now until July 6th, recruits can take visits at any time. But in a few weeks, things are going to get busy. That’s why they’re having recruits visit now.

June 15 Reach-Out Day

First day coaches are allowed to contact potential 2024 recruits directly. I call it reach-out day because you’ll see reports everywhere of UVA reaching out to 2024 so-and-so. A big part of this summer’s evaluations will be figuring out which players in that class to start-off recruiting this fall. The 15th is the beginning of that process.

June 17-19 and June 24-26 Scholastic Live Periods

Coaches will be on the road attending events in which recruits complete with their high school teams. All four of UVA’s top 2023 targets will be in action. I expect that’s where Bennett will spend most of his time, being seen by them. The first weekend is also when the freshmen arrive on grounds, so the coaches might skip a day for that.

June 29-30 Top 100 Camp

The NBPA Top 100 Camp has been moved to Orlando. College coaches can attend for two days. Coach Bennett’s summer camp is that week. So I doubt he attends, but someone from UVA will be there.

July 6-10 and July 20-24 AAU Live Periods

July is the main event of the summer. 10 full days of AAU. The visits and all that stop. There’s only live periods. A lot will change in a short period of time. New recruits emerge, some of the old ones drift away.

August 10-20 Italy Trip

The team’s overseas tour to Italy. They’ll play four exhibition games against pros. August 6-15 is a dead period, so they’re not missing much recruiting. August is kind of a quiet month anyway. Recruits can visit before or after that dead period, but most wait for football weekends.

September 9 Fall Recruiting Opens

Coaches are allowed to visit recruits at their schools and homes again. It’s closing time for the 2023 class, and opening day for the 2024 class.

Strategy

The reason I ran through the summer calendar is to help explain UVA’s recruiting strategy. The setup forces coaches to make a decision, whether to push for visits now or wait until the fall. Either choice is a gamble. UVA is obviously being aggressive getting visits in May and June. They’re basically betting they can get those recruits to commit before the next round starts around football season.

When the fall period opens in September, chances are all the recruits we’re talking about now will have either committed or UVA’s part in their story will be over. A new batch of offers go out over the summer, mostly in July. Those are the players the coaching staff will be focused on in the fal

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great breakdown… thanks!

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Something that still bothers me lol. I get we want a bucket getter, but our floor general can be a bucket getter if we have floor spacing to open the lanes for drives and kick outs. If we get TJ Power and Jamie Kaiser, I hope we go after a floor general type who can touch the paint with their quickness if we don’t get Dilione. I still do like Dilione a lot cause he can be really special but to me, like you, he’s a combo guard that is moreso sg than pg at the moment.

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It’s also interesting how our biggest roster needs are ball handlers and rim protectors, yet TJ Power and Jamie Kaiser are our top two targets. But it also makes sense: both culture fit and appreciation of what UVA offers, which as you say is important in this day and age of portal/NIL, and both add much needed shooting at positions where we need shooting.

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Probably being too pessimistic but I’ll surprised if we land 2 or more of the current offer guys. I think Buchanan and Power are the two most likely in that order. The narrative around Kaiser seems to be changing in the wrong direction and I think Dillione will opt for a more fast paced system

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This seems like a pretty accurate prediction…let’s see what happens with these visits with Kaiser and Power… if neither commits… I will guess that the whole board will change during July

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Not pessimistic, that’s the reality. When have we ever had a class where all our future hoos were players we had identified and offered before July? lol

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UVA will be very hard to beat’ I am not sure what else you really want? I’d go the other direction and be surprised if we don’t get 2/4…it just might be August instead of July. I’ll go further further and say one of them commits in June.

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Agreed. This has the feel of a classic Bennet recruiting win.

Would any of the top guard targets so far in 23 class, including misses, be considered pure PG like Clark or Beekman? Is this a change in roster construction? Only one pure C recruited so far also a change in direction?

I think I would be happy grabbing one guard and one big. I think if you assume 1-2 transfers out of the 2022 class as well as Kihei and Gardner finishing that leaves you with Reece, Armaan, Taine, Shed, 2 of the 2022s and then hopefully a big and a guard for 2023. That leaves some space for portalling but should be pretty good. This seems like a quite good 2023 lineup if all went like I said above:

Reece/backup guard
Armaan/backup guard from 2022 class
Taine/backup guard/SF from 2022 class
Isaac/backup big from 2023 class
Shedrick/backup big from 2023 class.

My one big question is if there is a world in which Kaiser is strong enough to slot at the 4 in a 5 out lineup: Reece + Isaac + Armaan/Taine/Dunn/Bond + Kaiser + Traudt would be a super switchable defensive lineup.

Great info as always

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HGN, thanks for all the great info. I really like the way you present it in context of the recruiting calendars.

One question (for anyone) - will there be players in the July AAU live periods who did not play in the recent live periods? Or do all these guys play in everything?

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Shame we spent so much time on London J. PG is the only position I’m a little concerned about over the next 3-4 years.

If there was anyone else they wanted they would have gone after them/taken em with our 2nd guard opening since we play multiple ball handlers. We’ll be fine there are a LOT of options

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From Rabajohn of the IU site who’s at the Indy event

2023 6-foot-8 forward TJ Power tells Peegs.com he is planning to visit Indiana in June.

He said he’s getting really good vibes from the IU staff, has even been talking to IU 2023 point guard commit Gabe Cupps.

He said on the visit he wants mainly to spend time with the coaches and current players to get a real feel for what it would be like to play at Indiana.

Power said it’s about basketball and education for him, that he’s not concerned about NIL and things of that nature.

He’s an elite student, with Ivy League offers.

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Caleb Foster and London Johnson for sure.

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Might be some who missed spring for whatever reason but it’s predominantly the same players.

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