This is a busy week. The incoming class arrives on grounds this weekend, with summer classes and workouts set to begin next week. Coaches will head back out for another live evaluation period starting Friday. And recruiting for the 2024 class officially got underway on Wednesday, as coaches were allowed to contact them directly for the first time.
2024 Names to Know
Wednesday marked the first day that college coaches could contact rising juniors in the class of 2024. As always, there were lots of reports tying Virginia to various players. It doesn’t mean very much at this point. For the most part, those are just players they intend to evaluate in the weeks ahead. There are four that UVA is further along with, all players that Bennett took the time to watch during the spring live periods.
Seaforth (NC) forward Jarin Stevenson has received the only scholarship offer so far. Combo guard Jahseem Felton, who visited in February, is moving to Southern California Academy. In-state wing Isaiah Abraham, who also visited in February is now at Paul VI (VA). And Pewaukee (WI) guard Nick Janowski has had the coaching staff courtside several times already.
Evaluating the 2024 class will be a big part of this summer. There’s bound to be some scholarship offers in the weeks ahead resulting from that. But it’s all preliminary. The real recruiting starts in September. The goal between now and then is to decide which players to spend their time on. Especially with no one committed for 2023, UVA doesn’t really know what type of players they’ll be after yet.
Rumors are swirling that Bishop Ireton (VA) guard Jamie Kaiser is heavily leaning Maryland’s way following his visit there last week. Possibly already decided, depending who you listen to. UVA isn’t throwing in the towel though. They apparently believe there’s some hope left. Kaiser will be in action this weekend. And from what I’ve heard, Tony Bennett and Jason Williford intend to be there on Friday.
The other recruit expected to commit soon is Pewaukee (WI) forward Milan Momcilovic. He’s visiting UCLA this week. That’s his last planned visit, with a decision likely coming over the next few weeks. There are three contenders. Virginia, Iowa State, and UCLA. I don’t think anybody has a great read on which way he’s leaning. Iowa State has heavily recruited him from the start, so maybe a slight advantage to them. But the UVA side feels like they’re trending in the right direction following his recent visit.
Notes on Other 2023 Recruits
Word of God (NC) guard Freddie Dilione is visiting Tennessee this week. That’s his third official visit so far. He was at VCU recently, and of course UVA received the first visit about a month ago.
Worcester (MA) forward TJ Power is UVA’s top overall target in the class right now. He just finished up an official visit to Notre Dame. Coach Bennett plans to be in Connecticut to see him play on Saturday. UVA is in really good shape with him.
Lake City (ID) big man Blake Buchanan reportedly picked up a pair of new scholarship offers this week from Iowa and Washington State. UVA had previously been the only high-major program to extend him a scholarship offer. This is a big weekend for him. The schools he’s been waiting to see him will get their chance at the Section 7 Tournament in Arizona.
Totino-Grace (MN) guard Taison Chatman has scheduled a pair of upcoming visits to Xavier and UConn. Virginia offered him following the April live periods. He’s said he’d be interested in visiting UVA and Kansas in the fall.
Coaches will be out this weekend for the first of two scholastic live evaluation periods. Recruits will be playing with their high school teams at certified events spread around the country.
These weekends are different from the AAU live periods. Players are more spread out. More travel to see fewer recruits, not always against great competition. And not everyone has the opportunity to participate. Some players play both weeks, some only one, some not at all. The most interesting part as fans following along is that coaches have to make decisions. There’s only one head coach, and he can’t make it everywhere…
As I mentioned, we expect Tony Bennett to start the weekend by attending DMV Live held at DeMatha. Jamie Kaiser of course is a reason for that. There’s also a clash of 2024 recruits there on Friday night. Isaiah Abraham for Paul VI and Khani Rooths of Bishop Walsh. UVA could be close to offering them both. They’ll check out nearby DC Live too. 2024 Sidwell Friends (DC) forward Caleb Williams is of interest there.
The New England Prep School event begins on Saturday in Connecticut. Bennett will surely be there to see TJ Power. There’s always an abundance of high-level talent in the NEPSAC. Brewster Academy features a pair of 2023 recruits they’ve seen before and could still take a stab at, guard Solomon Ball and forward Carey Booth.
Virginia coaches will be on hand for the North Carolina Private School event in Greensboro later in the weekend. There’s a pair of 2023 recruits to watch there. Greensboro Day guard Jaydon Young visited recently. And Burlington School big man Michael Nwoko is becoming popular after a nice showing at a FIBA event playing for Team Canada. Neither has a Virginia offer yet.
I expect someone from UVA to make the trip to Arizona for the Section 7 Tournament. It’s the mega event for teams on the west coast. Blake Buchanan and Andrej Stojakovic are playing there, both holding Virginia offers. This is the only June week Buchanan is playing, so it could be a little telling whether Bennett shows or sends an assistant.
Other possible stops
You can count on Coach Williford being at the Virginia Live event at the Blue Ridge School to watch his son Austin’s St. Anne’s Belfield team, as well as to scout other in-state talent.
Hudson Catholic (NJ) guard Elijah Gertrude is someone UVA is anxious to get a closer look at. He’ll be at the Jersey live event on Saturday. I suspect we’ll see an assistant there, with Bennett getting to him next weekend in Philadelphia.
Rolling Meadows (IL) guard Cam Christie has had a quiet recruitment. UVA offered him in April. He still seems to be a possibility, not having taken any spring visits as far as I know. His team will play at the Riverside-Brookfield Shootout in Illinois this weekend.
2024 Jarin Stevenson will only play one game this weekend, on Sunday at the NC Live Team Camp.
There are a lot of events around the country. Assistants will pop all over these next two weekends. While our attention will be on Bennett, the most valuable part will be the work done by assistants identifying players to follow up on in July.
Not In Action
Freddie Dillione’s Word of God team won’t be participating this weekend. I’m not sure if they’ll be involved next week. Coaches have presumably already had their last opportunity to see Milan Momcilovic. His team isn’t playing in either June live period. Link Academy with point guard Trey Green isn’t taking part either
Great stuff HGN. Any new thoughts Powers timeline or if we ramp up the pressure even more post ND visit? In hindsight, I guess CTB front and center is the pressure lol. I know they can’t interact w recruits at these events but can CTB pop down next to Mr. or Mrs Power for a chat (although I assume most parents don’t travel to these, but this one is fairly close for them)?
I know he told 247 Fall, but we know how that goes.
Expect Power to go into July but would guess he doesn’t make it to September. If he does he won’t be coming to UVA.
Dont think youre supposed to talk to the parents HGN knows better than me though
Great info HGN!!
HGN Have you heard how the staff feels at this point with Dilione? And with him now at Tennessee, is there any chance this may not make it to the fall? Seems like he’s picked things up with the VCU and Tennessee visits within the last week.
Is DMV Live open to the public?
I believe so (I remember HGN said so when someone else asked). Last year it was as well.
Can’t find anything on the site alluding to it but a clip of Tony and Williford plays in that little intro video
Nothing new. It’s just about staying relevant with him for now. I don’t think UVA has any intention of recruiting him into Fall, just through the summer. That’s why they had him visit now.
I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere but it always has been in the past so I assume so.
Considering popping over there Friday. I tweeted at them asking but no response.
Zero commitments. Still.
I don’t get how guys are our top targets but then we also give up so easily lol hopefully Power commits next week and it’s all moot but if he’s our top guy we should stay on him until early signing day imo
Very glad to hear this.
Think Keels and Reid.
Recruiting is done by the end of the summer…for a D1 player his offer list is what it will be by the end of the summer…never heard of a kid blowing up based upon his Sr year HS season…anyone with offers that is waiting till the fall is waiting to see if something better pops…and if you have a UVA offer and you are waiting till the fall for something better to pop well you must not like uva all that much and so I think it is right for CTB to move and find kids that want to be at UVA… also this group of kids…there is no one where I see Tony in close mode and all will need to live with mike
Curtis to get significant PT which won’t be as first years…
Do we still feel good about Buchanan? I know an offer from Gonzaga or possibly UCLA could mean trouble. Does the staff still feel confident they’ll be able to pull him even if those two enter the race?
I think this is exactly why we do what we do. I just think it misunderstands the way teenagers work. It certainly applies to some kids but there are plenty of others who just don’t want to make a decision until they have to. Doesn’t mean they won’t be serious about the options on the table when they start their senior year and are forced to get in decision mode.
I think so, all depends how popular he gets. Gonzaga might offer but then barely recruit him. But if they do offer, he’s going into July. And that in itself lowers the odds that he’ll end up at UVA. I don’t get the impression he’s seen as all that urgent to UVA…probably more about the role of big men in today’s game than him specifically.
See this is the issue…the whole “how teenagers think” is really irrelevant. I get that “ how teenagers think” can lead to weird/bad decisions… but being a D1 athlete is a very mature pathway these teenagers are going to take very soon. The kids lives will very quickly become a highly structured environment where class and study hall are squeezed around having to work on physical skills. CTB is very upfront about timelines and he doesn’t throw out 50 offers… if you have one… he wants you… if kids and there support are not mature to see that then it might be for the best they wait on something else… in the real world… if you are lucky enough to field multiple job offers… they don’t stay open for months…a yay or nay decisions needs to be made fairly soon after an offer is made…