Spring Recruiting

Ok mainly a London Johnson thread. :slight_smile:

HGN - any new updates or thoughts on LJ? Still feel good about him? I see some comments here and there about reclass becoming a potential issue – do you see that as a factor?

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Yeah no sign that anything has changed with Johnson. About a 98% chance he’ll go to UVA.

Honestly I don’t know the likelihood of him reclassifying. I’m sure deciding that is why he hasn’t announced. Can tell ya him playing next season isn’t really part off the calculus for UVA. If it works out that way so be it.

Just my opinion but reclassing doesn’t make much sense for him. With the new transfer rules UVA is going to be more aggressive in asking players who can reclassify to do so. Cant redshirt guys one way, find another.

Johnson told them he was coming right after his visit in October. Came as a complete shock. They asked him to take time to be sure. So he listened to others for a short time. A couple schools took their swing at getting him to stay open. But it’s been done since about mid November I think. Doesn’t mean anything until he announces of course. But there’s no sign of concern or plans to evaluate others from UVA.

He’s been cleared by admissions to enroll early since mid Dec. He started talking about an upcoming announcement right after. Since then there’s definitely been waffling on whether he’ll actually reclassify. That’s all going on as far as I know.

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Thanks for that HGN. Have you heard anything new regarding the Kihei situation? A month or so back most seemed like he was as good as gone and now it’s become cloudy with new reports of TB asking him to return. what gives?

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If he reclassifies but doesn’t play much, the game threads will be epic whenever Poindexter checks into the game next year. Will make the Stattman/3M debate look like a mild but rarely discussed, disagreement with strategy :rofl:

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Thanks, that’s a relief.

So the hold up on announcing seems to be him trying to decide whether to reclass - did I read you correctly?

That’s classic Tony to tell a 5 star recruit who is ready to commit to take his time. LOL.

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I don’t believe they’re planning for him to stay and it’s unlikely that he does but the door isn’t closed. This whole saga shows how impossible it is to plan rosters while players have the extra year option. So much of it boils down to what the player expects next season for themselves and the team, and that can change week to week.

It’s what held him up from announcing when he said he would around New Years. As long as it’s done before the live periods in mid April, it’s a non issue. I expect if he announces anytime soon it means he’s staying in 2023. If he’s leaning toward coming early, he’ll probably wait to confirm Kihei is gone.

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Any knowledge on what we may be seeking in the transfer market (if any)?

Depends who stays/goes. Right now they don’t have room. Gardner stays, one redshirts, that puts them at 11. Bennett’s max. So someone has to transfer out for them to take one. Even then, I wouldn’t expect much. It would probably take a unique situation for them to bring in an impact transfer. Something like with Hauser where it’s just a perfect match, and nothing else matters. Or maybe a Nigel Johnson type for depth at guard… And they have to be careful with that.

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Don’t rule out Zeb Jackson! I don’t give up that easy!

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If Johnson stays in 2022 is he considering a move to one of the big prep factories? Seems like Monteverde or Oak Hill could be a nice halfway step between college ball and public school ball.

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I’ve heard he’s looking at prep schools. He’ll be 18 this summer, so '22 is his correct class age wise. Of course most of these kids aren’t in the correct class. haha l

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We’re just over a month away now from the reemergence of recruiting into the forefront. On April 8th, the weekend after the Final Four, coaches will be on the road for the first of two spring evaluation periods. The class of 2023 takes center stage.

It’s been an unusual recruiting cycle early on for Virginia. The players they chose to focus on have already made their decisions for the most part. We’re still waiting for one of those to go public, of course. It left us with very little activity to talk about. Assistant coaches have ventured out some. Tony Bennett, as far as I know, hasn’t since September.

Without anyone else they’re ready to fully recruit, everything has been geared toward preparing for this upcoming opportunity to evaluate. Keeping in contact with players that caught their eye last summer, and collecting names of new ones to see this time around.

We’re going to get into the names to watch this spring. But first, where things are with the two remaining targets.

For Real This Time

“Looking forward to making my college commitment soon”, London Johnson said in the video below he posted on Tuesday. The Norcross (GA) point guard has Virginia in his final six along with Clemson, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Southern Cal.

As has been the case for months, I fully expect him to announce for the Wahoos (knock on wood). It’s been a poorly kept secret that he made his pledge in the fall. There’s no sign of that changing. Some time over the next month, and I doubt it’ll take that long, we should hear him say it. The question is which year he’ll enroll. It sounds like he’s leaning toward staying in the 2023 class for now, but that could be revisited later this summer. .

Johnson and his Norcross team play in the state tournament semifinals on Friday. If they advance, they’ll play again next weekend for the title.

The only other player Virginia had been actively recruiting for 2023, Ridge View (SC) forward Gregory Jackson , has been a lost cause for a while. He’s essentially down to Duke, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Forwards

The only definite spot they’re looking to fill is one in the frontcourt, where they’ve been targeting Jackson. Ideally they’re looking for an athlete up front to pair with Isaac Traudt in future lineups. Taking two isn’t out of the question either.

*All rankings are from the 247Sports composite

Furthest Along

Dylan James 6’8 PF Winter Haven (FL) Unranked

Not a dominant player, but he does valuable things. He’s a rim protector who also stretches the floor offensively as a three-point threat. Coach Williford has had his eye on him since July, and went down to see him in September. Bennett hasn’t seen him yet. Could be hard to get out of the sunshine state. Florida and Miami are deeply involved.

Alassane Amadou 6’9 PF Springside Chestnut Hill ¶ Ranked 68th

An elite athlete with a developing offensive skillset. Bennett has seen quite a bit of him already last July. Coach Vandross has been keeping tabs. He’s very much in play and figures to be a popular attraction for coaches in April.

Xavier Booker 6’11 C Cathedral (IN) Ranked 97th

Bennett paid him a visit in September. Ultra talented big man who isn’t nearly as productive as you’d like. He’s drawn the dreaded soft label. Most of the Big Ten have offered, but I don’t think they’re beating down his door yet. Everybody is waiting to see signs of him turning the corner this spring.

Kaleb Glenn 6’7 PF Male (KY) Ranked 54th

He’s officially committed to Louisville. Of course, they’re in the middle of a coaching change so there’s a good chance that won’t hold. Bennett stopped by to see him in September. I expect if he comes open, they’ll take a swing. As a hometown guy, it’ll still be hard to get him away from Louisville.

Other Holdovers

Michael Nwoko 6’10 C Burlington (NC) Ranked 133rd

Blue collar big man plays with a great motor. Assistants tracked him last summer, and visited him in the fall. Modest offer list so far highlighted by Wake and Providence.

Akil Watson 6’8 PF Roselle (NJ) Ranked 39th

Coach Vandross saw quite a bit of him last summer and has continued to keep tabs. Already a very popular recruit with a long list of suitors. UConn and Illinois are in deep, with UNC sniffing around.

Papa Kante 6’10 C South Kent (CT) Ranked 93rd

Long active big man already has an impressive offer list. Kansas and Michigan included. He doesn’t seem to be that far along with any of them though, and UVA is very aware of him.

New Names

Sam Walters 6’8 PF Villages (FL) Ranked 106th

Highly skilled multi-positional player has had a huge high school season. He’s a nice athlete at his size too, very agile. Florida and LSU are among the early contenders.

JP Estrella 6’10 C South Portland (ME) Unranked

He’s been one of the hottest recruits in the country, racking up offers since the fall. Big kid who protects the rim and has a nice stroke from deep. He’s very thin, could be a redshirt candidate, but his ceiling is high.

Sultan Adewale 6’8 PF Neumann Goretti ¶ Unranked

British import has turned heads in Philly this winter. Great athlete that plays hard, a work in progress offensively. Rutgers, Memphis, GA Tech among his offers so far.

Milan Momcilovic 6’8 PF Pewaukee (WI) Unranked

They seemed to stumble onto him last summer while watching others and have stayed in touch. Coach Getter stopped by over exam break while in the neighborhood for Leon Bond. More of a skilled stretch-four type, great shooter.

Guards

Another guard is part of the 2023 plan, but maybe not written in stone. It could depend on who they lose and/or add as transfers this spring. They had been recruiting Reed Sheppard, now a Kentucky commit, in this spot. No one else has been offered.

Furthest Along

Parker Friedrichsen 6’3 SG Bixby (OK) Ranked 104th

Coach Getter has made two trips to Oklahoma for him. Bennett hasn’t yet seen him play. He’s a thin guy that will need to improve his body, but he can really score. Recruitment could be tough to crack if they dive in. He’s already taken a lot of visits. Both Oklahoma schools, Creighton, Nebraska, and Iowa are all seriously involved.

Other Holdovers

Isaiah West 6’3 SG Goodpasture (TN) Ranked 57th

He recently included UVA in his top 10. They’ve been involved with him, and the window certainly isn’t closed. But I think he probably has a good idea of where he’s going already, with Vanderbilt the likely choice.

Braelon Green 6’3 SG Dream City (AZ) Ranked 42nd

Coach Vandross was out to see him in the fall. He mentioned hearing a lot from UVA in a recent interview. It would be a longshot. Michigan State is seen as the heavy favorite. Kansas is in the picture too.

Silas DeMary 6’4 SG Liberty Heights (NC) Unranked

Hard nosed combo guard with good size. UVA has been in touch for a while, an assistant was by in the fall. He’s a definite spring blowup candidate.

New Names

Finley Bizjack 6’3 SG Byron Nelson (TX) Ranked 137th

Coach Getter dropped by to check him out over the winter. Crafty combo guard has early offers from Stanford and TCU. He’ll get a look.

Freddie Dilione 6’5 SG Word of God (NC) Unranked

UVA showed some interest in him as a 2022 recruit. He’s since reclassified and really blossomed this season, now one of the hottest recruits out there.

RJ Jones 6’3 SG John Paul II (TX) Ranked 78th

High level shot maker who can play on or off the ball. UVA has been in contact with him for a while. It’s always hard to get popular recruits out of Texas. Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and USC among those involved.

There should be some good news soon, and an exciting spring of recruiting ahead. We’ll keep you in the loop each step of the way on Locker Room Access.

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Every time I see a HGN comment in a VIP thread on recruiting I get pumped, even if I know there’s probably no big news.

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lol Jay huff.

Also Freddie Dilione was at the top of my wishlist but his recent interview with On3 says Kentucky has started reaching out :confused: whatever. Come on down Silas Demary Jr.

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Finley Bizjack has got to be the top rated name in the class.

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Including clips for the names HGN mentioned (no idea if they are in the original article link/can’t open it)

Furthest Along

Dylan James

Al Amadou

Xavier Booker

Kaleb Glenn

Other Holdovers

Michael Nwoko

Akil Watson

Papa Kante

Forwards

New Names

Sam Walters

JP Estrella

Sultan Adewale

Milan Momcilovic

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I was hoping for interest in Coen Carr. Helluva athlete at the 3/4 spot.

Guards

Furthest Along

Parker Friedrichsen

Other Holdovers

Isaiah West

Can’t find a good clip on Braelon Green but he’s going to Michigan State anyways

Silas Demary Jr

New Names

Finley Bizjack

Freddie Dilione

RJ Jones

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When I was bugging HGN about him, he said

  1. It’s hard to fit him into the roster when we already have Bond and Dunn with the possibility of one of them redshirting to 2023.

  2. With the possibility of taking two forwards, one of those spots could go to a small forward/small ball 4.

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