We’re about to enter a quiet window for recruiting activity. A ten-day dead period starts on Saturday. And of course, the Virginia team will be leaving for their Italy tour next Wednesday. While August is quiet in terms of in-person activity, it’s a hot time for commitment decisions.
Shooting Guard Looks Good
Virginia hosted Hudson Catholic (NJ) guard Elijah Gertrude on an official visit late last week. Coming out of that, things look very promising with him. I’ve heard his family loved everything about it. Right now, I would say UVA is the heavy favorite to eventually get his commitment.
He’s talked about taking visits to Syracuse and Kansas in September. It’ll be interesting to see if those visits materialize or if he goes ahead and commits before then. From what we’ve heard this week, Kansas seems to be the one potential threat. I think they’ll have a hard time overcoming UVA at this point.
The one other guy to watch for in that spot is the newly offered Davin Cosby Jr out of Richmond. He just locked in his official visit date for the weekend of August 26th. You never know, but his recruitment will probably last well into the Fall. He visited Wake Forest over the weekend, and plans to visit Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, And Southern Cal.
Jesuit (CA) wing Andrej Stojakovic did include UVA in his Top 6 last week. That’s Peja’s son. I’ve heard there’s a chance he really might visit this Fall. But actually getting him is in the slim-to-none range.
Holding Pattern at Forward
Worcester (MA) forward TJ Power is the only player with an offer. He’s gone into quiet mode after his recent visits to North Carolina and Duke. There are different reports on what comes next. Truthfully, he may not know yet. I expect he’ll come to a decision over this next month before Fall recruiting opens.
If I were handicapping the race, Duke and Virginia would be the top two with Duke having the edge. Followed by Notre Dame, Iowa, and North Carolina in that order. With that said, nobody seems to really know where they stack up. Only that those are the teams in the running. We’re all just sort of reading into things.
UVA has been in contact recently with Garfield (WA) forward Jaylin Stewart. He would probably be hard to get, but it’s possible they jump into that race. UConn is seriously involved with him. He’s visiting there in September. Hometown school Washington is after him too.
Point Guard Puzzle
Link Academy (MO) point guard Trey Green will be announcing his commitment on Saturday. He’s headed elsewhere, presumably Xavier. While UVA’s pursuit was short lived, that’s a big blow. They put a lot of eggs in his basket coming out of the July live periods. The coaching staff expected to get a visit at minimum. Didn’t happen.
That leaves South Kent (CT) point guard Elmarko Jackson as the only realistic target left. He’ll release a trimmed down list sometime over the next couple of weeks. I think UVA will be on the list. They’ll be fighting just to get a visit though. It’s a heavyweight contest. Michigan is the one school we know is definitely a contender. He’s already setting up a visit there.
With Kansas landing a point guard this week and Xavier presumably about to, it might appear the competition is dwindling for Totino-Grace (MN) guard Taison Chatman. Both of them were in his top five. Don’t get your hopes up though. From what I’ve heard, that list may not necessarily be final. And NIL is a major factor with him. It’s just very unlikely that he’ll choose UVA
The next few weeks will be interesting to see if UVA decides to offer any of the other point guards they’ve looked at. I do know there’s an under the radar player they’ve recently been in contact with. He’s planning to visit in the near future. I can’t give the name. And I don’t expect he’ll be offered a scholarship soon. But it speaks to how unfavorable the current predicament is that they’re preparing to consider those kinds of options.
The coaching staff has been working all their connections this week for leads on point guard candidates. It’s by far their top concern.
2024 Flood Gate Opens
After a long wait, suddenly Bennett is handing out scholarship offers to the 2024 class. Seaforth (NC) forward Jarin Stevenson was offered very early on, and remained the only recipient until this week.
Salisbury (NC) shooting guard Jayden “Juke” Harris was offered after his unofficial visit on Monday. A big guard at 6’6, he had a huge July of AAU. I noticed Bennett was at one of his games at the Adidas Championships a few weeks back. He obviously liked what he saw. Tennessee, VA Tech, and Illinois are among his other early offers.
Carmel Christian (NC) shooting guard Jaeden Mustaf was offered on his unofficial visit on Tuesday. He’s an AAU teammate of Jamie Kaiser’s. So the UVA staff has seen plenty of him. Indiana, Maryland, and NC State are some of his other offers so far.
I also expect Sidwell Friends (DC) forward Caleb Williams to be offered on his Thursday unofficial visit. It’ll be his second visit to UVA this summer. Bennett gave him a long look at Peach Jam. He’s a very talented guy who’s already good and only scratching the surface of what’s to come. Signs point to him being a serious target for the Hoos.
I wouldn’t make too much of those players being offered ahead of others. They were offered now because they visited. All of them are doing mini tours this week with multiple stops. We’ll find out next month when coaches visit schools which 2024 recruits will be priority targets.