Transfer recruiting has gone quiet. At least for the moment, the coaching staff has turned the focus back to the 2022 class and even identifying potential recruits for 2023. There were a lot of warmup AAU events over the weekend. That’ll continue to be the case for the next month or so. While coaches can’t attend, they can still talk to people there and every game is filmed.
The expectation is they’d still like to add one more up front for next year. Preferably an athletic combo or power forward. But nothing is completely off the table. It’s all player by player. The vibe I get is they’re evaluating where things are now with Gardner on board and Murphy probably headed for the NBA, figuring out the plan from here.
Siena transfer Jalen Pickett would probably have been UVA’s guard if Armaan Franklin hadn’t committed. There’s still interest in him anyway. I’ve tried running several other names through the usual network, the answer is always “not sure yet”. Chances are our guy is someone we haven’t heard tied to UVA, if he’s out there.
Efton Reid is supposed to announce soon. I think most of you know this but I get asked all the time. He’s not coming to UVA. They haven’t recruited him in a long while. I’ve heard of five different schools in the running now. Pitt LSU Ohio State Maryland and FSU. So who knows where he’s going.
Wagner (TX) point guard Austin Nunez is nearing a decision. UVA and Arkansas are the main players. While I think sooner is definitely possible, someone that knows them told me today he expects it to go down around June. Which is perfect. For those that haven’t followed recruiting in normal times like we’re about to return to, coaches want decisions from their early targets before the July live periods so they know what they need to find. Nunez and his parents quietly visited Charlottesville back in late February.
It’s already been reported, Grand Island (NE) forward Isaac Traudt is planning to come on an official visit to UVA in June. Isaac McKneely hopes to be there too. That’s been the plan for a long time. I mentioned it when McKneely committed. Just waiting on the dead period to be lifted. He’s the one guy they have no doubts about and 100% want, the clear top target. Keep in mind that counts as a junior year visit. When the calendar flips in August, he could come back for another official visit as a senior.
The top priority seems to be identifying big men. One that’s turned heads is Braden Huff, skilled lefty out of Illinois. Still in contact with Kyle Filipowski from NY but that seems like one that’s too far along with others in my opinion. We’re looking more for the stock climbers, less cemented recruitments. Noah Clowney out of SC had a big weekend, they’ll look into him. Patrick Wessler, a 7 footer from NC, a definite blowup candidate is getting attention.
What you’ll notice is those are all centers, which fits with the plan/hope of adding another needed power forward this Spring. If not, it could be on the '22 agenda in addition to a center and Traudt. Maliq Brown out of Blue Ridge could factor into that.
What’s becoming clear is they could be dreaming even bigger than we thought for 2022. All depending on what happens with further additions this Spring, we could be looking at a potential 6-man class if everything falls right. In fact, I think that is the hope. It’s just that exactly which type of player would be added to the agenda will be determined by what they may get this Spring. A potential 6th recruit would either be another guard or an athletic power forward.
Combo guard Tyson Commander is one they want to see more of after a big run in the Baltimore Catholic League playoffs. While scouting Braden Huff, they took notice and contacted his teammate 6’5 sharpshooter Jaden Schutt. If you’re looking for a sign of hope for them to stick with local product Justin Taylor, well there you go. He and Schutt are pretty similar.