Welcome to another edition of Recruiting Roundup! Today, we will take a look at the latest on the basketball class of 2016.. lots to talk about.
BIG Visit looming:
We'll tipoff this loaded edition with an update on Providence transfer Paschal Chukwu (see video above). The 7-2 center has recently visited both Kansas and Nebraska, and according to CBS' Jon Rothstein, Chukwu will check out the Cavaliers next. Chukwu will reportedly visit UVa on Friday, and then Michigan State next Monday. Rothstein also reports that the big man is interested in both Syracuse and UConn, but no visits are set in stone.
Chukwu will sit out this coming season, and will have three years of eligibility left. Between Anthony Gill and Darius Thompson, it appears that Bennett has grown fond of these kinds of transfers.
The Wahoos are certainly in the mix, and will look to separate themselves in the race with a great visit this weekend. Obviously, we'll know a lot more in the coming weeks, but if UVa is the landing spot, things will get interesting in a big way. If Chukwu does sign with the Hoos, he will be in the same class as both Jack Salt and Jarred Reuter (assuming the latter does not redshirt).
Chukwu's commitment could also put pressure on 2016 forward Mamadi Diakite to finally end things. Diakite has been a heavy UVa lean for months, and a commitment from Chukwu could help push Diakite into a decision.
After grabbing Jack Salt for the class of 2014, head coach Tony Bennett is once again looking across the globe for a big man. According to Eric Bossi of Rivals.com, Virginia is one of several programs to reach out to six-foot-nine forward Matthew Freeman of New Zealand. While LMU is the only school to officially offer and there are quite a few programs interested, Freeman has a connection to the Wahoo program. The stretch-four attends West Lake Boy's School, the same school as Salt.
Freeman's game closely resembles that of 2016 commit Jay Huff, but since when was having two 6-9 shooters a problem? We'll continue to monitor this one closely.
King to Louisville:
Not all the news is good in this week's roundup. Over the weekend, five-star wing VJ King committed to ACC rival Louisville. While the pick was not a surprise to anybody, it was slightly surprising to see King come off the board this early. King had an excellent visit to Charlottesville last month, but the Cardinals were the favorite in this one for a long time.
With King off the board, what's next? Virginia has two guards and a stretch-four on board in 2016. Though the Hoos have a couple of talented big men possibilities, Bennett would love to sign an athletic wing in this cycle. King is gone, but Virginia does a shot at Markelle Fultz.
The Hoos have some ground to make up here, but will get the benefit of having the four-star wing on grounds this weekend. Fultz will spend several days at John Paul Jones Arena participating in the annual NBPA Top 100 Camp. UVa commits Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy will also be a part of the camp, so expect the enthusiastic duo to be in Fultz' ear as much as possible.
Former UVa commit Sacha Killeya-Jones has become a hot commodity ever since reopening his options. In the past two weeks, SKJ has picked up offers from Florida, Kentucky, and most recently, North Carolina. SKJ is a native of Chapel Hill, and the Tar Heels have long been interested, despite not offering until recently.
Speaking of UNC, the Heels have also extend an offer to Saint Anne's Belfield forward Javin Montgomery-DeLaurier. JMD holds over 20 college offers, including Carolina, Notre Dame, Florida, and Texas, but the Hoos have yet to get involved.
Both SKJ and JMD will be on grounds this weekend for the NBPA Top 100 camp.
That will do it for this week's edition of Recruiting Roundup. See ya!