The next few weeks could be a pivotal time for UVA in this 2023 recruiting cycle. There are several key recruits who seem to be nearing decisions. The Hoos were included as finalists for two this week. Meanwhile, the coaches will be back out on the road this weekend.
The key date coming up is July 6th, the start of AAU live periods. Think of that as an approaching storm. Everybody is trying to get done what they can before it hits. That’s where we are right now. Coaches are pushing for their top targets to come to decisions, so they can spend July concentrating on others. Several of UVA’s key recruits are heading in that direction.
Coach Bennett was courtside for all three of Worcester (MA) forward TJ Power’s games last weekend. As I’ve been saying for a while, he’s the top overall target on the board. UVA has established itself as the team to beat. Notre Dame, Iowa, and Indiana are the other main teams involved. But it’s really just a matter of whether he’ll commit to UVA or hold off until later. That’s a very favorable place to be. I actually don’t expect things with Power to change a lot in July either. We just don’t want to go much further than that.
Pewaukee (WI) forward Milan Momcilovic posted his final six this week, with a decision likely coming over the next few weeks. Iowa State, Virginia, and UCLA are the contenders. Probably in that order. There’s only room for one between Power and Momcilovic.
The recruitment of Bishop Ireton (VA) wing Jamie Kaiser took another twist last week when he backed away from his previous statements about committing before July. Essentially opening his recruitment to all comers. UCLA and Stanford have since offered. It’s basically a reset. Frankly, I’ve heard UVA doesn’t believe they’ll get him. But I don’t think any of the schools involved really know where things stand anymore.
I was writing this last night when news broke that Lake City (ID) big man Blake Buchanan announced a top two of Virginia and Gonzaga. The Zags did officially offer him a scholarship this week. I don’t think there’s any decision made, but pressure from the UVA side is what’s led to him and Gonzaga speeding the process up. He knows the window could close next month. Rumblings from our side are very positive about the news. UVA seems to have the edge.
Others with Offers
Virginia extended a new scholarship offer last night to South Kent (CT) point guard Elmarko Jackson. He was the top performer at last week’s New England Prep Showcase, where Bennett was stationed for TJ Power. Syracuse, Maryland, and Notre Dame are some of the schools that have been involved with him. But new offers have poured in daily this week. Tennessee the other most notable. It’s just starting off. We’ll see where it goes, but Bennett seems to like him a lot.
Word of God (NC) guard Freddie Dilione is a prime target for UVA. His team isn’t playing during these June live periods, which takes him off the radar a bit. He’s taken recent visits to VCU and Tennessee. The Hoos are still in pursuit, expect them to pick back up in July’s live periods.
UVA’s Kyle Getter was in Minnesota last weekend to see Totino-Grace guard Taison Chatman. He’s scheduled a big visit coming up to Kansas. They’re definitely the favorite in the race.
Rolling Meadows (IL) guard Cam Christie hasn’t been very active in his recruitment so far. Don’t write him off though. UVA is expected to see him this weekend.
UCLA has picked up predictions lately for Jesuit (CA) wing Andrej Stojakovic. Whatever slim hope the Hoos have with Peja’s son appear to be slipping away.
Hudson Catholic (NJ) guard Elijah Gertrude is scheduled to visit on Monday. Coach Vandross was in Jersey to see him last weekend. He was pretty phenomenal there too. They’ll see him again this weekend in Philly. It seems inevitable he’ll be offered a scholarship.
UVA is planning to see Greensboro Day (NC) guard Jaydon Young this week. He visited in early June, but hasn’t been as good in AAU competition after that. I’m doubtful they’ll end up recruiting him.
Virginia hosted Sidwell Friends (DC) combo forward Caleb Williams for an unofficial visit this week. Coach Williford likes him a lot, and has already been active with him for a while. Bennett hasn’t had the opportunity to see him yet. All signs point to him being someone UVA will seriously recruit in the 2024 class.
Seaforth (NC) forward Jarin Stevenson visited again last week, his third time on grounds. He’s still the only member of the 2024 class with a UVA offer. There’s only two schools that matter in his recruitment, UVA and UNC. It won’t be surprising if he decides very early. Carolina has to be considered a heavy favorite.
Going Live Again
Coaches will be back out on Friday afternoon for the second and final scholastic live period. There aren’t as many players in action this week that Virginia is already recruiting. Bennett will certainly pop up in places to see key recruits or to make final reviews on players that are under serious consideration for scholarship offers. But there should be a lot more scouting this week, particularly by assistants.
Jamie Kaiser is in the same place again this weekend, DMV Live at DeMatha. Coach Williford is sure to be there at some point. His son Austin’s STAB team is playing there.
UVA is listed among the schools registered for the Georgia Live event. Fast-rising Etowah (GA) point guard Brandon Rechsteiner is the main draw there. It’ll be interesting if Bennett makes that trip.
Coach Getter is planning to be in Chicago to see Rolling Meadows (IL) guard Cam Christie.
There are also major events in Texas, Ohio and Indiana. All of which are great opportunities to scout out talent.
Do you think we hound Power and get some FaceTime with Elmarko to start the weekend?
I don’t know…I had thought Power played twice today. But it turns out the NEPSAC shuffled the team numbers this week, and didn’t post the new cheat sheet until last night. Because they just had to find a way to make it even more confusing.
Long story short, Power plays twice Saturday, once Sunday. Jackson plays twice today, once Saturday. So it’s not as convenient to stalk both this week.
So would you say Power is getting the Ty Jerome treatment right now from Bennett? I can’t remember how it was described with Ty’s recruitment - something like bulldogging him.
On the off chance we land Kaiser, does that interfere at all with Milan or Power?
No, Kaiser is a guard, those two are 4s
Haha He got that treatment last week for sure. We’ll see if it continues. Yep, he called it bulldogging.
Thanks HGN. The content I am more than happy to pay for!
Excellent as always
It’s why we pay you the big bucks! Great work.
Now if only @WFS_HOO could let us know how many commitments we have today…
Does Tony spend both Friday and Saturday bulldogging TJ Power and ElMarko Jackson?
Edit: I voted yes. Dont think there is anything too interesting Saturday unless Tony goes back to DMV. My non-educated guess in Tony is in Philly Sunday.
Tony will be Philly Sunday for first in person look at Elijah. Tempted to go myself
Tempt yourself into actually going. The kids need a trip to Philly anyways.
Ha. The kids would make or break that offer. Fresh is proly best served to have his lil brother over for a swim with my little ones.
So are we worried about Power if he doesn’t commit or set a commit date by July 6th?
After this weekend’s live events, do the July live events start July 8th?
yes we are
Not really. His situation is pretty solidified. But it’s a slippery slope into fall once they get into July. They won’t recruit these guys when fall recruiting opens. They’ll get the now or never talk from Bennett.
Wed the 6th through the 10th and the 20th-24th… Two 5-day weekends with a break between.
Gotcha, thanks. I would think any visits now of kids offered from last night through the live periods would more than likely go in late August/Fall. I think July is off limits and the Italy trip reduces visit options in August.
I guess if Gertrude is offered, he may be the only target to still visit next week since it’s been rumored. I’ll be interested to see if they can get Jackson in too next week. The staff has done a great job though getting their early targets in.