The addition of Mamadi Diakite, the 30th-rated player 2016 recruit in the nation, has Wahoo fans jazzed about the future of Virginia basketball. Looking at what the roster will look like down the road, it's easy to understand why.
The 2016 class, ranked by 24/7 Sports as the nation's best, now includes four consensus top-100 recruits; in addition to Diakite, four-star recruits Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, and Jay Huff are already on board.
This chart shows the current UVA roster by graduation year. Note that while Mamadi Diakite is likely to enroll in 2015, a redshirt would place him back with the rest of his class and on pace for a 2020 graduation:
|Mamadi Diakite (RS?)||Jack Salt (RS)||Devon Hall (RS)||London Perrantes||Anthony Gill (RS)|
|Ty Jerome||Jarred Reuter||Darius Thompson (RS)||Malcolm Brogdon (RS)|
|Kyle Guy||Austin Nichols** (RS)||Mike Tobey|
|Jay Huff||Isaiah Wilkins||Evan Nolte|
** - eligible in 2016
Note that Virginia will have 12 players under scholarship in 2016. The NCAA limit is 13, so Tony Bennett still has room to bring another player into the 2016 recruiting class - we looked at some possibilities in last week's "Recruiting Roundup."
The 2015-2016 team will likely be ranked in the preseason top 10. While the graduations of Anthony Gill, Malcolm Brogdon, Mike Tobey, and Evan Nolte will present a major setback, the "reloading" period could be a quick one.
The 2016-2017 season will be PG London Perrantes's senior year, and the team will quickly add three or four (Jay Huff may redshirt) highly-touted recruits to pair with Austin Nichols, who brings experience and size to fill in for some of UVA's departed big men.
Then, in 2017-2018, the Hoos will have 5 seniors (barring attrition), and a top recruiting class with a year of experience under their belts.
That sets up potential starting lineups that look like this down the road:
2015-2016: Tobey, Gill, Nolte, Brogdon, Perrantes
2016-2017: Nichols, Wilkins, Shayok, Hall, Perrantes
2017-2018: Nichols, Wilkins, Shayok, Hall, Thompson
What's all this mean? Basically, expect some really competitive Wahoo teams at least out to the year 2020.