A couple weeks ago, when Montrose Christian small forward decommitted from Maryland's Class of 2012 recruiting class, rumors flew through the internet that the five-star-rated junior would be committing to Virginia, the first recruit of such caliber by head coach Tony Bennett at Virginia. Anderson did not address these rumors immediately, stating that he was focused on exams and would not be making any decisions -- or at least, announcements -- during that time. It has become official today that Anderson will be a Cavalier in 2012.
"Great day to be a Cav," he tweeted earlier this morning, echoing, I'm sure, the sentiment of Wahoos everywhere.
Ranked No. 11 in his position and No. 50 overall by ESPNU, Anderson is not only Bennett's highest profile recruit at Virginia, but Virginia's most highly rated recruit in recent history. Rivals ranks him No. 11 in his position and No. 23 overall, giving him five stars, while Scout puts him at No. 6 in his position with four stars.
The 6'5", 210 lbs. junior averaged 14 points per game last season and hit a game-tying 3-pointer with just 4 seconds left in the first overtime of the 2011 ESPN RISE National High School Invitational en route to taking the title in two OTs. He finished that game with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
More on Anderson and the Class of 2012, as well as a highlights reel, after the jump.
The Cavaliers' Class of 2012 was already shaping up to be a good looking class before the addition of Anderson. Bennett and company have already picked up four-star SF Evan Nolte out of Georgia and four-star C Mike Tobey out of Connecticut. Nolte also had offers from Florida, Georgia and Ohio State, among others, while Tobey also had offers from Maryland, Pittsburgh and Xavier, among others.
ESPN describes Anderson as having "god given off the charts athletic ability," and says that "[his] body is a work of art." Adding him to the Virginia roster will likely address a lot of fans' concerns regarding the slow paced, low-scoring games that seem to be a Tony Bennett signature, as Anderson has the ability to score from all over the court. He has also demonstrated, according to his high school coach, Stu Vetter, an ability to take "a relatively average or below-average pass and [make] it into a spectacular assist."
According to a statement by Vetter in a Montrose Christian press release, "Justin decided to revisit his options after Gary [Williams] retired. He has been heavily recruited since the 8th grade and it has been an exhausting and distracting process for a teenager. Although Mark Turgeon wanted to begin recruiting him, Justin and his family decided to conclude the process. We look forward to developing a relationship with the new coaching staff at the University of Maryland. We are very pleased that Justin will continue his education and basketball career at the University of Virginia. UVA is a tremendous institution and recent Montrose graduates Tunji Soroye and Doug Browman have had great experiences there as student-athletes."
For any team other than Maryland to sign Justin Anderson would be a coup, as, according to Anderson, the Terrapins have been recruiting him since his first year on the AAU circuit, which was sixth grade. For Virginia to pick him up, in addition to highly-touted Evan Nolte, is nothing short of Christmas in May for Cavaliers fans.
Here's Justin Anderson's highlights reel, which I post with great pride on account of him originally announcing that he's heading to Maryland. Let that program fall and suffer, am I right here, Hoos fans?