The table is starting to be set for 2023. Following the spring live periods, UVA has now handed out seven new scholarship offers. In the latest Intel Report, I run through where things stand with each of them. And transfer recruiting may not be over either.
With the spring live periods over and scholarship offers flowing, UVA’s blueprint for their 2023 recruiting class has become clear. They’re trying to fill four slots. Essentially a point guard, a shooting guard, a power forward, and a center.
*All rankings are from the 247Sports composite. I feel a little foolish posting the current rankings because most of them are due for big bumps, but I know some fans want that perspective.
Banking on Blake
Kadin Shedrick will be a senior when the 2023 class arrives. They’re looking for the next big man to groom.
Blake Buchanan 6’10 Center Unranked
High School: Lake City (ID) AAU: Hooptown Elite (UAA)
Lead Recruiter: Kyle Getter
The Facts: Buchanan was on the early contact list last summer. Coach Getter has kept tabs, and Bennett slipped out west to see him once. He was offered last week after Bennett saw him play twice at the Under Armour event in Kansas City. He wasted no time, coming on an official visit this past weekend.
The Race. Virginia is the heavy favorite for Buchanan. They’re planning the rest of their 2023 agenda around having him. There was some hope that he would commit on his visit, and he might still do that in the near future. They’re months away from any serious competition.
UVA thought they had their next point guard in London Johnson. That didn’t pan out. So two new targets have fresh offers after Bennett watched them during the second live period.
Freddie Dilione 6’5 Point Guard Ranked 151st
High School: Word of God (NC) AAU: Loaded NC (Adidas)
Lead Recruiter: Jason Williford
The Facts: Dilione was originally in the 2022 class. He decided on a prep year in large part to transition into a point guard. That’s paid big dividends as he’s now one of the hottest recruits in the country. He caught UVA’s eye over the winter. They’ve gotten to know him over some zoom calls. After Bennett saw him play during the 2nd live weekend, he now has an offer.
The Race: He’ll be in Charlottesville this weekend for an official visit, his first I believe. There seems to be optimism about him from the UVA side, but no expectations of this wrapping up. . They’ve done a nice job of building a relationship with him. Playing style could be a hurdle though, and the competition is stiff. He’s said he wants to visit Alabama and Tennessee.
Taison Chatman 6’4 Combo Guard Ranked 44th
High School: Totino-Grace (MN) AAU: D1 Minnesota (Adidas)
Lead Recruiter: Orlando Vandross
The Facts: You’ll see Chatman listed as a shooting guard. He’s playing the point for his AAU team and doing it very well. That’s what earned his offer. Coach Vandross was out to see him in the fall, so he’s been monitored for a while. Bennett watched him play over the 2nd live weekend, and then delivered his offer in person to Minnesota.
The Race: Minnesota and Iowa have been heavily involved from the start. Kansas just offered as well, and he likes them a lot… NIL opportunities matter to him too. And that’s okay, as long as it’s not the only thing that matters. He’ll be hard to get. They’ll have a chance if they stay the course.
Bennett is hoping for a second guard in the class. Again, they’ve handed out a pair of recent offers.
Cam Christie 6’5 Shooting Guard Ranked 150th
High School: Rolling Meadows (IL) AAU: Illinois Wolves (UAA)
Lead Recruiter: Kyle Getter
The Facts: Christie was on the early reach-out list last summer. He’s the brother of Michigan State guard Max Christie, who UVA recruited in the 2021 class. Bennett saw him during both live weekends, offering after the first.
The Race: He’s taken early official visits to Iowa State and Minnesota. In-state schools Illinois and Northwestern are serious contenders. Michigan State isn’t though. They offered early but haven’t stayed involved. I think he favors staying in the midwest all things equal, but it’s a winnable recruitment involving a family the coaching staff has a prior relationship with.
Andrej Stojakovic 6’7 Small Forward Ranked 73rd
High School: Jesuit (CA) AAU: Compton Magic (Adidas)
Lead Recruiter: Kyle Getter
The Facts: Andrej is the son of former NBA star Peja Stojakovic. He was on that early reach-out list last summer too. At that time, he was very much under the radar. Now he’s on the verge of being labeled a five-star recruit. Bennett watched him play over the 2nd weekend. It was an easy offer to make.
The Race: Kentucky has offered. That’s always huge. Keep in mind though, he plays with Johnny Juzang’s old AAU program. They’re very aware of the Kentucky pitfalls. Even so, this is a tough hill to climb. He really likes Stanford, right in his backyard. UCLA figures to have a say too. Very longshot for UVA.
Hopeful of having Blake Buchanan to anchor the middle, UVA is after a floor spacer in the frontcourt to go with him. They’re targeting two of the best of the class.
Milan Momcilovic 6’8 Power Forward Ranked 41st
High School: Pewaukee (WI) AAU: Team Herro (Nike)
Lead Recruiter: Kyle Getter
The Facts: Momcilovic has been on the radar since last summer. His high school coach played for Dick Bennett at Wisconsin. Kyle Getter visited with him over the winter. He was the most watched player by the UVA staff during the April live periods. Bennett made the trip to Wisconsin last week to offer him a scholarship in person.
The Race: Given the relationship and how hard UVA is recruiting him, the Hoos will certainly be a factor. They’ll have their hands full though. Marquette and Iowa State have done a nice job putting in early work. And his stock is soaring. UCLA just offered, and other brand names are lurking.
TJ Power 6’8 Power Forward Ranked 80th
High School: Worcester (MA) AAU: BABC (Nike)
Lead Recruiter: Orlando Vandross
The Facts: Power was another name on the early contact list last summer. Coach Vandross has kept in touch, and TJ frequently mentioned UVA in his recruitment. He’s been one of the spring’s biggest stock risers. Bennett saw him play a couple times over the live weekends. He was offered a scholarship on Wednesday.
The Race: He took an early official visit to Iowa, and has seen nearby schools UConn and Providence. Notre Dame and Indiana are among his recent offers. It seems to be a wide open recruitment. They expect him to visit later this summer. Despite Momcilovic receiving more attention, there’s no preference.
The top player on the watch list is Tafara Gapare, the athletic forward from New Zealand who attends South Kent (CT). UVA coaches frequently saw him during the live periods, and an assistant paid him a visit last week. All the offers so far have gone to players that they had to offer now to have a chance. His recruitment hasn’t really started yet.
An assistant was also in to see Bishop Ireton (VA) guard Jamie Kaiser last week. For those wanting an in-state recruit, he’s your best hope. He’s had a great spring. Wisconsin just offered, and he took a visit up there this week.
With the exception of Blake Buchanan, it would be surprising for any of the recent recipients of a UVA offer to commit before August. Individually, they all seem hard to get right now. But it’s important to keep in mind that things will change. Recruitments evolve as coaches are forced to make decisions about which players to prioritize.
That’s why Bennett personally evaluates each recruit and then delivers the offer in person, either literally or over zoom. It sets the tone right away that UVA is serious about them.
Still Sifting Through the Portal
The Hoos still have one open scholarship for the 2022-23 season. All indications are that they’re not done looking.
There was a report this week that they’ve reached out to Georgetown transfer guard Don Carey. He averaged 13 points this past season, while shooting 39% on three-point attempts. A graduate transfer, he only has one year of eligibility left. As with most quality transfers, there’s a long list of interested parties.
I’ve learned that UVA has actually been looking into several available transfers this week. The names I’ve heard are all guards, all graduate transfers, all good shooters. Not the most popular guys in the portal, but they could provide quality depth. With the deadline for portal entry having passed on May 1st, there’s no new names coming. I think they’ve been going through what’s left to see if any of them could be a fit. Obviously they have a type in mind.
Considering that was happening this week, it’s safe to assume there’s nothing imminent or probably even all that likely with any of the transfers linked to UVA before. In the end, I think the odds are against them adding anyone else. But they’re obviously still shopping, and that could go on for a few more weeks
I love the HGN dinner table analogy, need a course by course breakdown. Believe LJ stayed all the way to dessert and left when the check showed up
And it was a big tab he left us with
I would crush some cheesecake right now
Fwiw, the 247 only rankings:
Buchanan - 87**
Dilione - 142
Chatman - 30
Christie - 106
Lil Peja - 103
Milan - 43
TJP - 121
Gapare - NA
Kaiser - NA
This is wrong. The correct answer is ???
Dilione is gonna soar up the ranks I think. Based on 2 minutes of video. He also looks like he grew right there on film. Could just be the hair change
Fwiw, the only newsy part of the Jeff White podcast with the Tonys was that Tony B confirmed that because of UVa’s academic rules/regs, the transfers in our sweet spot are younger guys and grad transfers. One might quibble with the wisdom of adding a non-difference maker like Carey to this roster (one, for example, whose name rhymes with Laney), but he’s at least one and done.
Buchanan is 87?
Unless I’m misunderstanding this link, which is always possible:
(spoiler alert - it was possible)
Yeah that’s his rating not his ranking.
Yea, thats more like it. I really liked his film. Hgn had to ruin it with them nasty stats
Speaking of transfers, what ever happened to the App St kid? Never officially entered the portal?
Maybe he can grad transfer. Would be able to transfer right away without sitting anyways that way.
Yeah never entered. Presumably will come back to App State if he doesn’t turn pro.
By the way, the whole turn pro vs transfer thing for these super seniors is an absolute mess for coaches to deal with. Guys go back and forth on it. There are some who’ve announced publicly they’re signing with an agent etc and are still listening to colleges. You don’t know who to take seriously.
Other than Buchanan, are the offers that went out kind of “throw them out and hope they stick” type offers?
Thanks so much Hooz for keeping us posted… My initial thoughts after reading the report is it will be a difficult race to get any of these recruits. In general you have to think that CTB will only recruit the guys where NIL is not important and a non-issue. In reality how many of those top 75 guys will settle to play for UVA or Tony Bennett just for the love of basketball and the chance to develop. Most guys will take the NIL deals and how could you not blame them. It will be interesting to see just how relevant UVA basketball will be in the era of NIL and Tony Bennett as head coach. I think Bennett is one of the best however I do not see him being competitive in the recruiting world of today’s NIL culture.