Talking Recruiting

There’s not a lot out there as far gossip about Virginia’s involvement with transfers right now. They’ve mostly been trying to figure out who’s returning from the current roster. And I think there’s some potential transfers they’re waiting to hit the market too before fully diving in with anyone. That’s been hinted a few times.

Roster Management

The other factor is that Bennett is all about developing a plan and sticking to it. Before losing anyone, they intended to add a bucket getting guard and an Akil/Darion type power forward. Exactly what’s in line with most of the transfers they’ve contacted. Casey’s departure doesn’t impact that at all. Losing other players could.

There’s more than just next year’s roster taken into account. They’re also looking at keeping everything in line for 2022. I keep seeing people mention how many scholarships are available for next year. That’s irrelevant. It’s the 2022 number that matters. Right now they have room for one multi-year transfer while keeping the ideal five scholarships envisioned for the 2022 reload. For every underclassman that leaves, it opens room for one more multi-year guy. Something to keep in mind if we see them reach out to head scratching grad transfers. That’s their best option for additional depth.

Transfer Recruiting

UNC transfer big man Walker Kessler is the one there’s a little buzz about. It sounds like his family took the initiative and reached out to his preselected choices before officially entering the portal. Not much in terms of specifics. Just that there’s some optimism. Everybody says Gonzaga is the favorite, and I don’t doubt that. But I’ll remind people of this with Walker. He was very slippery last time. Everything people, including the coaches recruiting him, believed about his leanings turned out to be wrong at every turn.

The strange thing is I don’t believe that UVA is actually planning to recruit a transfer center. Walker is just a special case. Maybe Tre Mitchell would be too. I haven’t gotten anyone to answer that.

Davidson grad transfer guard Kellan Grady is obviously a big yes if they could somehow pull it off. Indiana guard Armaan Franklin and Boston College forward CJ Felder are both “takes”, but I haven’t heard anything to suggest they’re going after them with urgency yet. I think Cincinnati forward Tari Eason would be too, but probably a dead end.

High School Guys

Nobody at UVA expects to get Trevor Keels, but they don’t know that for sure. Villanova doesn’t seem to expect to get him either. They’re actively searching for guards. Not just Grady but there’s others they’re rumored to be eyeing. That leaves Duke. But he hasn’t told anyone apparently. So we’ll find out on April 4th.

For those that missed it, things have quietly gotten warm with 2022 PG Austin Nunez. He and his family visited UVA in late Feb on their own. Shaka Smart moving to Marquette is a new plot twist. I think UVA is in the driver’s seat regardless, as long as they stay the course… But it opens up the door for potentially a new coach at Texas who already has a relationship with Nunez. Eric Musselman (Arkansas) or Dana Altman (Oregon) could be a problem. They would be more of a threat than Shaka as a lame duck.

It’s since gotten back to me that Nunez’s dad has been reaching out asking questions to people who’ve been around the UVA program. They’re thoroughly researching it, while waiting out the late signing period and coaching carousel madness. Some scouts believe he could prove to be overrated though. So it’ll be interesting to see how he performs on the EYBL this summer, along with all these 2022 kids. They’re completely unproven by the usual standards.

Identifying 2022 center targets will be a theme next month when the shoe circuits get going. Maybe a small strategic shift, fitting with what they’re seeking in a transfer, is they seem open to more of a skilled big man. Kyle Filipowski (MA) i and Ben Middlebrooks (FL), both names we’ve heard before, have seen an uptick in contact. That probably doesn’t bode well for local product Maliq Brown, but we’ll see. These plans often get shredded in the Spring chaos.

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And where are we with Traudt? Any tight-lipped “no comments” from usual suspects. I really hope we get him as he is going to blow up everyone this summer.

In good shape with Traudt for sure, but that could get sticky this summer. He’s definitely not planning on moving on the time table Bennett prefers. Will need to get pushy in the months ahead.

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So is Justin Taylor off the table because we have too many similar players already? Or is it a hurt feelings situation because we didn’t save his slot? If this transfer period goes terribly and we lose the young guards would he become a possibility again?

It’s a little touchy in that if McKkneely wasn’t in the picture, Justin would almost certainly pick UVA. They preferred Isaac and I’m sure that didn’t escape Taylor. It’s recruiting though. Funny thing is these kids understand it and handle it better than fans. lol I don’ think there’s any real hurt feelings over it. But yeah he just doesn’t make any sense given the roster makeup.

Is there a longshot scenario where it hits the fan and UVA could come after him? Maybe.

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Well here’s to hoping we never find out. And also that some day we somehow actually land another Virginia kid.

If Keels really wants to play the point in the League, how does that reconcile with a decision to go to Duke? I don’t see his buddy Roach leaving after this year or Steward. I guess he thinks he can be a starting combo guard ahead of one of them? Just curious.

That’s very curious that we’re not getting Keels and still not seriously pushing for a transfer guard. We just lost one and roster numbers would seem odds are that’s the other rumored transfer is a guard wing as well, maybe not. Either way it must speak to the staffs confidence on the guys they expect back as well as Taine.

Has the plan changed recently? I thought we’d heard we were going to be active and aggressive, wanting to get an impact guard and big in the market as well as spring 21 recruits. It appears we don’t have serious targets in either category. Has that changed or are we playing the long game?

When you say some scouts believe Nunez to be overrated, I assume that means from the public and not the uva side right? And why do they think that?

It looks like other teams are being a lot more aggressive in their pursuit of Felder then us. Several teams have already met with him on Zoom. Texas A&M is getting ready for round 2 on Zoom. According to Jake Weingarten, Felder plans to decide within the next 2 weeks.

Just for fun what would the (realistic) dream class of 2022 look like? Nunez McKneely Bobi Traudt and either best available or a project? Or would there be a position/type of player they want that hasn’t been mentioned yet?

Isn’t that exactly what they’ve been linked to? TB always comes out oft the gate slow in Spring.
When the season ends, he tends to his current roster and the only recruiting activity we hear of for a few weeks involves assistants. He gathers and comes out charging. Reminder, it’s been one week since the UVA season ended. The Final 4 is still a week away. It’s not even really the offseason yet.

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As in people who scout for a living, services that college coaches subscribe to. Not the media variety. There’s a lot of that this year. Wide disagreement on players.

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Stop being rational, I prefer my nervous nelly posture

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UVA won’t be involved with VMI transfer Greg Parham. He’s gotten some high major interest but is concentrating A-10ish type schools. VCU etc.

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Again, I know I’m in the minority but I believe we may get Keels. I also believe that we will be a very serious contender for Kessler and one guard / wing transfer. I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t already know where we stand. However, things will need to play out. No inside info.

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We gettin Keels

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He’s already committed to both Nova and Duke

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That’s why were getting Keels!

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The reason I still have some hope for Keels is that nothing in his recruitment has been predictable so far and he loves keeping people guessing. Does that align with a predicable announcement for Duke that everyone is expecting?