Just a few quick recruiting notes. As we’re gearing up for another round of live period starting next week, more tidbits are trickling in about top targets for UVA’s 2023 class and others that are emerging.
Worcester (MA) forward TJ Power visited UVA early last week. I mentioned afterwards that the sense was the Hoos had pulled away from the crowd a bit. That’s been reinforced by multiple sources since. He’s their top overall target, at one of the positions they feel is most urgent. Right now, everything suggests that UVA is indeed the clear favorite.
Power’s only other scheduled visit is to Notre Dame this weekend. There’s no talk of him committing soon, but we’ll see what the next few weeks bring. The UVA staff will surely be out in full force for him during the upcoming scholastic live periods, June 17-19 and 24-26.
Maybe the most interesting part of the Power chatter is a suggestion that UVA would be open to both him and Pewaukee (WI) forward Milan Momcilovic. I don’t think there’s any chance of that actually happening, but just the fact that it’s being discussed speaks to how good UVA must feel about their standing with Power. .
I’ve heard UVA feels like things went really well with Momcilovic on his visit over the weekend. I don’t have much of a read on where things stand with him though. Iowa State is believed to be out in front. They’ve recruited hard from the start. He’ll visit UCLA next week. Offers are still coming in with Louisville the latest. He’s said he’d like to commit before July.
The recruitment of Bishop Ireton (VA) wing Jamie Kaiser has been a whirlwind. He visited UVA last week too, of course. In interviews afterward, he said he’s planning to commit by the end of the month. There’s been wild swings in the level of optimism about him. Initially when they offered, confidence was very high. Then following his visit and talk of commitment, there was real worry he might have already decided to go elsewhere, presumably Wisconsin.
In recent days, Coach Bennett and Williford have had conversations with the Kaiser family. That seems to have reassured them that the Hoos are very much in the race. I believe right now it is between UVA and Wisconsin, and could go either way. He did take an official visit to Maryland this week. It’s unclear if that’ll be his last. There’s talk of other schools still lurking who could enter the race.
Bennett plans for his first stop next weekend to be for Kaiser at the DMV Live event held at DeMatha. So the full-court press is still on.
Our own Doug Smith has been gathering intel on fast rising Hudson Catholic (NJ) guard Elijah Gertrude. He’s planning to take an official visit in late June. That gives the coaching staff an opportunity to further evaluate him during the upcoming live periods. Should they decide to offer a scholarship, his visit plans will be finalized.
The timing of all that weaves into what’s going on with Jamie Kaiser, who’s said he’ll commit during the final week of June. That very well could impact whether UVA pursues Gertrude.
Emerging Point guard
I mentioned Link Academy (MO) point guard Trey Green last week. Interest in him is definitely picking up. He’s been one of the more efficient guards in the Nike EYBL this spring. And then continued to turn heads at Pangos All-American camp this week.
He’s already named a top 7 of Cincinnati, Nebraska, Xavier, Clemson, VA Tech, VCU, and LSU. But his recruitment is still open and UVA seems to have his attention. I don’t think a scholarship offer is coming until Bennett has a chance to study him up close in July, but they have talked to him about potentially visiting before then.
No matter whether this ends up a serious recruitment for UVA, I do believe it signals what’s coming. They intend to look for a true point guard this summer. In the end, it’s very possible that all these guards being talked about now are in the running for just one spot next to a floor general like Green to come later.