Recruiting difficulties

Not that I’m unhappy about 2021 recruiting but I can’t overlook the elephant in the room. Hard to understand how a 3-time NCOY at one of the nation’s top 5 schools coming off a National Championship is unable to secure commitments from ANY of the top players in America. NONE. ZERO. Having to recruit in New Zealand and Poland should be plan E or F.

I’m sure the pack line is complicated but is it really a reason to pick a lower-tier school with a less established coach?

Academic requirements shouldn’t be considered as kids often pick Dook over UVA. It certainly hasn’t stopped Vandy from bringing in 5 stars.

Is the practice of dropping :moneybag: or securing employment for family members so prevalent that UVA is dismissed given the fact that Tony dont play that game?

Could it be kids dont want to hassle with Tony’s 5 pillars? You’d think parents would love that aspect and push for UVA.

Does Charlottesville have the reputation of having ties to white supremacist? I certainly hope not given that the complete opposite is true.

Sorry to vent. Look forward to seeing your inputs.
Go Hoos :large_orange_diamond::crossed_swords::large_blue_diamond:

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Think you listed a bunch of factors that work in our favor (other than bags) and left out the one that actually hurts us: the offense. Isaac McKneely is the rare kid who gets excited about blocker/mover.

That being said I think Tony wants to leave B/M in the rear view. Or at least evolve it to look more modern like how the Blazers run it. He just hasn’t had the personnel to do so the last two seasons.


I told @HoozGotNext I was going to take a 30 day break from posting once Igor committed…

We struggled to recruit 2021 because we took 3 guards in the class before and outside a bonafied 5 star like Keels whoever we got was sitting regardless in the near future. However even with the departures we were able to recruit in the transfer market. Consider Jayden and Armaan 2021 recruits and if they bounce after this year like Murphy they are a One and done essentially.

@Hooandtrue out until June.

PS: Help me manifest Jordan Hall and Quincy Guerrier into existence for schollies 11-12 (in the roles we would have envisioned for Trey Murphy and Jabri Abdur next season). Of course after all the other stuff you would pray or manifest or mindfully embrace.


Can’t discount the shift towards high impact transfers to supplement recruiting. While our high school level recruiting has been disappointing at times, we are hitting on high impact transfers at a very good rate. Gardner, Franklin, Murphy, Hauser, Key takes a backseat to no one over the last 4 years.


Outside breaking into 5 star territory, don’t really see any issue with CTBs ability to get croots. Lot of the fallout you see is due to CTBs strategy. With a real solid 20 class, CTB decided to go all in with Keels at the expense of other top talent. Even then, still got a top 100 guard

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Have to limit it to only guards to get that rosy view though. Hard to call the front court a success when we had so much PT to sell and struck out on every target. Can give a pass because Covid limited evaluation opportunities and they were able to savage it in the spring. But they should be able to do better on the high school trail with a clear path to PT when we just won a title.

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But really went after a small group of prospects in the front court. Still it is a matter or strategy.

With respect to forward position, going into 21 class, you had Murphy, mckoy and JAR penciled in. Shedrick and Papi at the five. Only room for one player to get minutes. They went after Kauffman and furst. Those were misses. Think Tony sees the transfer portal is the way to get talent instead of relying on hs prospects he’s not 100% in on.


That’s fair but let’s be real other guys at Tony’s level close on Furst or Kaufman. I don’t want to come across as too critical but to me a few things are clear:

  1. there’s a group of 5-8 elite coaches and Tony is in that group.
  2. Tony is the worst recruiter out of that group
  3. We haven’t seen the post national title bump in recruiting most programs do
  4. Tony doesn’t cheat. Some of those other elite coaches do,
  5. We are overcoming our recruiting to win tons of games. Imagine if the recruiting ever catches up to the rest of the program?

I think the reasons are obvious that recruiting is struggling this year. While there have always been roadblocks, Bennett and company have typically overcome them. Virginia is never going to appeal to the prospect that imagines himself as a “One & Done”. That recruit wants a platform upon which to display his offensive skills, immediately. Furthermore, he also wants an offense which allows him the freedom to create. That isn’t Virginia. (And, there are many other prospects, who aren’t OADs, who also want to play in a more uptempo scheme.) However, in the past, Virginia has typically waited until Coach Bennett has seen a prospect play live before offering a scholarship. That didn’t happen last summer. That limited the pool of potential recruits to players the staff saw in the summer of 2019. There were no late emerging newcomers which have typically received offers from Virginia. So, fewer offers were made this past year. Bennett was further hamstrung by the fact that there were no official visits permitted. While there is no guarantee that Trey Kaufman would have committed to Virginia (or, Caleb Furst, for that matter, among others), without the official visit UVa was at a serious disadvantage. Kaufman was more than familiar with Purdue. With no in-person evaluations of live play, and with no official visits available, Virginia was never going to sign a typical class. Those are two fundamental elements of Bennett’s recruiting strategy regardless of what other schools may do. Then, until the transfers of Morsell, McKoy, and Abdur-Rahim, there were the issues of “clear path to immediate playing time” as well as a limited number of openings. Considering all the circumstances of the past fourteen months, I think the staff has done an outstanding job of restocking the cupboard. Virginia ought to be competitive in 2022, and beyond. For the moment, that is all that matters.


Transfer portal isn’t going to just replace high school recruiting. Getting guys for one year like Hauser, Gardner and Murphy (likely) isn’t how most contenders are built. Not to mention we’re a system team that requires guys to take a little longer to get what we’re doing. They’re a good supplement and will be a bigger part of the picture going forward, but I do think high schoolers will still be where the core of our teams are built unless we start targeting sophomore transfers a lot more.

We had some of this discussion a little earlier this year. But I think the recent problem hasn’t been Tony not landing top high school targets (JAR and Morsell were top targets of his and highly ranked) it’s that the evals ended up not being good and they didn’t pan out. We did go through a dry spell in 2017 and 2018, but since then we’ve landed guys. The hit rate has just been lower and we’re seeing the consequences in transfers and having to stitch together a team for this year. But we seem to be going all in on class of 2022, and that could have some real potential to be great if we get it right.

If I’m concerned by anything in recruiting right now, it’s that I can’t get a feel for what type of team Tony wants to put together going forward. If he’s modeling off of this past year, I, quite frankly, am not terribly excited about watching a below average athletic team just shoot threes and lose when they don’t fall. If he’s modeling off our previous teams, I would have expected to see some more offers to some more physical dynamic players, although maybe those are coming. Anyway, he’s a phenomenal coach, so I’m sure he’s got a good plan.


If there everyone but morsell had stayed this year and Murphy had sat last year, we’d be talking about how loaded this years team was going to be. There would be no real concerns with recruiting as you’d see the 19 and 20 classes come to fruition along with an elite transfer in Murphy come on board. New transfer rule plus Murphy’s surprise ability to play this year really threw UVa for a loop


Lots of transfers with 3-4 years left of eligibility though. Sorry last comment now Im gone (hopefully)


Oh yeah, they’re out there, but we haven’t seemed to go after them, probably so as not to mess with the 2022 plan. Franklin I guess technically has three years, but I’m assuming he’s gone in two (or one - at this rate and with Murphy’s example, you never know)

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I am very glad that our program is at the point where we have to invent recruiting issues and argue about whether or not it is a bad thing to land top transfers like Trey Murphy and Sam Hauser


And I think that would be misguided conversation. We are in a better spot than we were before the transfers left. Still not close to a title contender next year. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with enjoying the overall program while acknowledging Tony isn’t as good of a recruiter as his peers. No need to pretend he is when he’s so good at so many other areas.

Also we don’t even have this thread it Igor and Murray are from Durham and Philadelphia instead of Poland and New Zealand


This might be blasphemy and I probably need to think about it more, but I dont know that I’d ever want us to take a sit one, play one transfer again. Results in two years of recruits seeing PT blocked but only one year of play on the court, and half that time the player is still learning the system. Referring to Hauser here, not Murphy, who when taken was sit one, play two - he’s just done so well he can probably get drafted. With new rules sit one, play one will be a lot less common, but just a personal preference.

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Damn it im pushing my 30 day hiatus back a day.

As someone who was originally on the 2022 5 man class before it was cool, I am off that train in the age of the transfer portal now that Ive seen it first hand. I think 2/3 of a roster should be recruits you recruited through high school but 1/3 (4 to 5) should be transfers. Otherwise you are going to be left with what you have while other teams address their roster needs and can compete at a high level year in year out with both experience and guys developed in their program together.

You see a talented proven D1 freshmen transferring you have to take it over a prospect that might never pan out. Of course someone could not pan out at a new school or new year too.

Im also saying this cause Traudt and McKneely are studs but the rest of the spots the prospects we are linked with need to show a lot more.


We have to understand there are some kids that don’t want to go to a hard academic school if basketball is their focus. Aside from that the offense is the other thing. Most kids play a fast paced free offense in AAU. Playing a half court slow paced offense is alien to them. It cuts down on their touches and forces them to be efficient. We can point to guys that have went on to the NBA after playing here but kids will always be unsure about our style. They know they come here and will have to change who they are. Instead most would rather go to other schools and play their game.

Now we can argue maybe some of them need to change but that’s not how they see it. And that’s not how their AAU coaches see it. Personally I would rather see us play faster offense and still play the same defense. But I understand this is who CTB is and I know he won’t change so I accept it. Or try to.