As Justin Ferber reported yesterday, Devon Hall's commitment to Virginia's 2013 recruiting class was a major coup for Tony Bennett. Rising fourth-year Jontel Evans is the only returning true point-guard for next season, and the prospect of depending only on first-year Teven Jones and utilization of combo guards to run the point beyond next year was a daunting one. Now, the Hoos have found Jontel's successor, as the point guard spot is Hall's for the taking from 2013-2016.
Since sentences like the previous one immediately spur Wahoo fans to think about the future, I was hoping to start some discussion and get everyones thoughts on how we'll look the next couple years (and maybe even what our starting 5 may look like).
To get a better idea of the weapons Tony Bennett has going forward, here is a look at UVA's current and future rosters, by graduating class.
|Fourth-Year||Third-Year||Second-Year||First-Year||Class of 2013||Class of 2014|
|Jontel Evans||Joe Harris||Malcolm Brogdon||Justin Anderson||Devon Hall||B.J. Stith|
|Akil Mitchell||Paul Jesperson||Evan Nolte|
|Darion Atkins||Mike Tobey|
*=Gill completed his freshman season but will be ineligible for the 2012-2013, as he must redshirt a year after transferring. Thus, he'll be dropping back to the "first-year" class.
**=Justin Miller is a recruited walk-on and will not use a scholarship.
NCAA teams are allowed 13 scholarships; thus Bennett could add up to one more player to the 2013 class and then will have an additional opening in 2014. I am ignoring attrition, which UVA fans realize is an increasingly prevalent factor in college basketball. It is a reasonable assumption that the 15 athletes listed above will not all walk the Lawn as Virginia graduates; however, since it is impossible to predict who may depart (or arrive) and too sad to think about, let's ignore it for now?
And here's a slice of the 2012-2013 roster. Bennett often uses his wings interchangeably, so I grouped them in the way that makes more sense to me.
1: Jontel Evans, Teven Jones, Justin Miller
2/3: Malcolm Brogdon, Justin Anderson, Taylor Barnette
3/4: Joe Harris, Paul Jesperson, Evan Nolte
4/5: Akil Mitchell, Darion Atkins, Mike Tobey
The bolded names should have inside tracks to starting jobs next season, pending Malcolm Brogdon's health.
An interesting preseason battle to follow could be how the minutes are divided up for our bigs. With depth still an issue, Mitchell, Atkins, and Tobey should all see substantial minutes (and Nolte is a natural 4 as well). But no more than two of those will start, and it will be interesting to see how ready Mike Tobey is to make the jump to the college game. While I see Bennett starting two big men, he also has the option of going smaller, as Justin Anderson should challenge for substantial minutes right away.
The look above also demonstrates why fans are so excited about the Devon Hall commitment. While next year's team has promise, the 2013 squad is already taking on a special look to it. With just one graduate, Harris and Mitchell as seniors, and a year's experience for a large, talented recruiting class, Hall could be the team's missing piece. He won't be the contributor that Jontel Evans has been right away, but he has the potential to fill in admirably.
What does everyone think about the Hall commitment and next year's roster?