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The Transfer Market: Virginia's remaining targets

Tony Bennett and his staff are still actively looking for additions to the roster.
Tony Bennett and his staff are still actively looking for additions to the roster.

Following the College Basketball transfer market this off-season is kind of like a weird version of The Bachelor. Schools and players are going on dates, there are a bunch of dramatic decisions, and hurt feelings all around. Virginia lost out on one of their top transfer targets this morning, when T.J. McConnell chose Arizona over the Hoos. This does not mark the end of Virginia's search for transfer additions however. Tony Bennett and his staff are still pursuing several transferring players, in search for the coveted final rose, so to speak.

Here are a few transfer candidates that have been mentioned with Virginia recently, and if UVA does add a transfer, it will probably be one of these guys.

Dylan Ennis: Point Guard, Rice

Years of eligibility remaining: 3

After striking out with T.J. McConnell, Virginia going after Rice transfer Dylan Ennis seems likely. Ennis named Villanova, Cincinnati, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Boston College as his finalists recently, and he will visit Villanova this weekend. Ennis, originally from Canada, had a solid freshman season at Rice, averaging 8.4 points per game and over 4 assists per game. For those of you wondering, yes, Dylan Ennis is the brother of 2013 blue-chip point guard prospect Tyler Ennis, who plays in New Jersey.

The younger Ennis has a litany of offers, including one from Virginia. Although some believe the Ennis brothers could be a package deal, it wouldn't really make a lot of sense, other than the idea that Tyler would want to play with his older brother. If they both chose UVA, or some other school for that matter, they would be battling for playing time with each other, and that probably wouldn't be very attractive to either of them. Tony Bennett and his staff could elect to pass on Dylan Ennis, in an effort to secure a 2013 point guard, possibly Anthony Barber or Dylan's younger brother. It's a strange situation, but that's how it goes in recruiting sometimes.

Our Take: Until Ennis sets a visit with Virginia, I wouldn't hold my breath. McConnell was Virginia's best chance to add a transfer point guard this offseason, and Ennis is more of a long shot. If Ennis sets a visit to UVA, then anything is possible. I think it would be more likely that Ennis ends up at either Villanova or Cincinnati, and it's possible that Virginia has a better shot with the younger Ennis brother, Tyler.

Anthony Gill: Power Forward, South Carolina

Years of eligibility remaining: 3

Gill is UVA's best shot at adding a transfer. News broke today that Gill plans to visit UVA over the weekend after seeking his release from the South Carolina program. The 6'8'' Gill started 26 games in 2011-2012 as a freshman, averaging 7.6 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game, solid numbers for a first year player on a bad Gamecocks team. According to Gill, he has been contacted by Virginia, Virginia Tech, UNC, Clemson and Ohio State; a list that should speak volumes about his perceived value. Virginia rising junior Akil Mitchell was a high school teammate of Gill's in Charlotte, and that could be a major factor in Gill's decision. With UVA getting Gill's first visit, Coach Bennett and staff will do everything in their power to make sure it is his last before deciding.

Our Take: The fact that Gill is visiting Virginia has to be a good sign. The connection to Akil Mitchell should be a good sign too. A visit to UNC could make Virginia fans very nervous, as an offer from them can be difficult for many recruits to pass up, especially ones that hail from North Carolina. The prospect of being recruiting over could be enough to scare Gill away however. Anthony Gill and Virginia could be a great fit, and the Cavaliers have a great opportunity to seal the deal with Gill when it is all said and done.

Alex Oriakhi: Center, UConn

Years of eligibility remaining: 1

Oriakhi would be a different type of "One and Done" player than we typically see in College Basketball. This transfer would be a lot like two we've seen recently in college football. Russell Wilson and Danny O'Brien both transferred from ACC schools to Wisconsin to play Quarterback, almost like renting a player. Alex Oriakhi will do the same for whichever program he chooses to transfer to. Virginia is interested in adding Oriakhi, but its unclear whether the interest is mutual. As of tonight, Oriakhi is quoted as saying he's looking at Kentucky, UNC, Mizzou and Xavier, in no particular order. Kentucky seems somewhat of an unlikely choice, with the Wildcats likely to receive a major big man commit from one of two blue-chip 2012 prospects, Anthony Parker and Nerlens Noel, this week.

Our Take: The former UConn big man seems interested in joining a contending team that will give him an opportunity to start for one year. As with Ennis, until he sets a visit for Charlottesville, I wouldn't get worked up about him coming to UVA. Oriakhi seems like a major long shot as of now, and I believe he will end up at UNC when the dust settles.

Chris Jones: Point Guard, JUCO

Years of eligibility remaining: 3

This guy is basically the best JUCO player in the nation. The former Tennessee signee is ballin' out at Northwest Florida State College, averaging 18 points per game in his freshman season. The obvious problem with pursuing Jones is that talented JUCO players usually ended up there for a reason. Virginia did have some success with JUCO transfer Devin Smith back in the Pete Gillen era, but these types of moves are few and far between at Virginia. I'm not really sure what Jones' academic situation is, but it does appear that Virginia has opened up some dialogue with him. Jones says he plans to return to his Junior College for his sophomore year, so I wouldn't expect a lot of news about Jones' recruitment any time soon. When he does choose to transfer, expect his list of suitors to be a long one.

Our Take: This guy is tailor made for a program like Kentucky. He could step in for a couple years, play big time minutes at a high level, and give himself a shot at the NBA. Virginia almost never takes JUCO players, and I don't see it happening here. Don't get too excited about this one folks. Jones is a great talent, but I cannot see him landing in Charlottesville.