This is not a joke. The 6'8", 190-lbs. small forward out of Alpharetta, Georgia announced today via Facebook that he has committed to the University of Virginia's Class of 2012. Evan Nolte, a four-star recruit as rated by both ESPN and Rivals, is in ESPN's Super 60, as 53rd overall and 14th in his position. Rivals ranks him 59th overall and 15th in his position.
ESPN describes Nolte as "a legitimate 6'7 wing who has range out to 25-plus feet." His three-ball is what Tony Bennett is likely going after here, as ESPN says that "he has the ability to go on a run to knock down five or six deep ones in a row no matter how he is guarded."
When Duke Hoop Blog interviewed Nolte in September, Nolte said that he had been speaking most with Georgia, Virginia, and Ohio State, receiving offers from all three. I consider this to be a bit of a coup considering both Georgia and Ohio State were NCAA teams this year (Ohio State, of course, being the overall No. 1), while Virginia struggled in the bottom half of the ACC for most of the season.
Nolte described as his greatest strengths his "shot and [his] basketball IQ, definitely," and ESPN tends to agree. On the other hand, fans should know that Nolte grew up a Duke fan. He was recruited by Duke's Steve Wojciechowski, though he did not ultimately receive an offer.
"I would say outside," Nolte told Duke Hoop Blog when asked where he prefers to play. "I like playing on the wing better. It depends on how much bigger I get [...] though. I'm 6'8" now but I think I'm going to get a little bigger. I hope to cause some matchup problems."
Looks like Bennett is setting Virginia's offense up for the long term here. With Joe Harris potentially growing up to be the hottest shooter on this Cavalier squad, it looks like Nolte will come in at just the right time to make sure Virginia will always be a threat from outside the perimeter.
Here are a couple videos to give you a sense of what this guy can do:
Nolte's buzzer beater from beyond half court in last year's Tournament of Champions: