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Virginia Cavaliers Basketball: Two recruiting targets emerge

Armed with two open scholarships, Virginia coach Tony Bennett could be busy during the spring recruiting season.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Two potential recruits appeared on the Virginia basketball program's radar last week, according to various media reports. Devonte Graham, a combo guard from Brewster Academy, and Marial Shayok, a wing from Canada, have both been linked to the Cavaliers. Virginia has room for two more scholarship players for the 2014-2015 season.

Graham's story is a bit of a saga. After initially signing to play at Appalachian State, the Raleigh native asked for a release from his letter of intent. A standoff ensued as then App State coach Jason Capel, suspecting NC State had tampered with Graham's recruitment, refused the release. Graham then enrolled at Brewster Academy for a post grad season. Appalachian State finally granted Graham's release this week after Capel was relieved of his head coaching duties.

Virginia is one of the many schools interested in Graham and the competition appears to be stiff. Cavalier coaches visited Graham on Friday, according to Doug Doughty (who's sporting a new goatee, by the way). Kansas, Providence, NC State, Florida and Cincinnati also appear to be in the mix. Graham would be considered a late recruiting steal for Tony Bennett, and could add immediate playable depth in the Virginia backcourt.

Shayok is a 6'7" wing player and could add depth there behind Justin Anderson and Evan Nolte. He originally signed with Marquette in the fall after visiting a number of schools, including Virginia. Marquette has undergone a coaching change in the off-season with Buzz Williams headed to Virginia Tech and Steve Wojciechowski assuming the helm. Shayok has since been released from his letter of intent by Marquette, and Virginia has offered according to Adam Zagoria. Jerry Meyer, director of basketball scouting for 247 Sports, has predicted Shayok will become a Cavalier.

(As a side note, Virginia fans will remember Wojciechowski as a noted floor-slapper. "Wojo" was also the Duke assistant who gave the halftime TV interview during the 2014 ACC title game after Coach K's marker-throwing tantrum. Virginia went on to win that game and the ACC title...but I digress.)

Virgina fans should be quite pleased with these recent developments as both Graham and Shayok would make the roster better. As we noted last week, the recent departure of Teven Jones has given Virginia coach Tony Bennett more flexibility to add talent and depth. If the Hoos were to land either of Graham or Shayok, Bennett would have done just that. If the Hoos were able to land both, it would be a coup. Stay tuned to Streaking The Lawn for more as these stories develop.