According to 247 Sports, Virginia men’s basketball’s incoming freshmen class is the best head coach Tony Bennett has fielded since 2016. That year, of course, included four legendary stars: Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, De’Andre Hunter, and Jay Huff (all national champions now, if you haven’t heard).
A big part of the strength in this recruiting surge can be credited to first year Casey Morsell, a shooting guard out of St. John’s College High School in Washington D.C. who was Bennett’s first 2019 prospect to sign with the Cavaliers.
Per ESPN, Morsell was his class’s 59th highest rated player and earned a 88 ranking overall. Notably, he was named the top player in the district and the nation’s 10th best shooting guard. Besides UVA, the 6’3 wing received offers from numerous programs across the country, namely Maryland, Florida, Georgetown, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Wake Forest, and Virginia Tech.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Morsell has all of the makings to be an ideal cog in the Tony Bennett system.
“He can (score) from pretty much everywhere on the court...He’s got a great mid-range game. Smart and heady” Morsell’s high school coach Pat Behan told the Daily Press following his commitment to UVA in 2018. “He’s bought in on the defensive side of things. He’s got the length to be in passing lanes.”
As described, it seems Morsell will be up to the challenge of being an all-around player - something that Virginia men’s basketball requires. All you have to do is look at his high school stats from 2018-19: 17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. “[He] really is committed, and I think that’s a huge part of it,” added Behan.
Still, the D.C native’s development will take time, as it does for most who have to adjust to UVA’s tempo and vaunted Pack-Line defense. And while he should expect to receive the most minutes of any freshmen, Morsell could sit behind junior college transfer Tomas Woldetensae and sophomore Kody Stattmann to start the season.
Either way, many of the tools the freshman brings to Charlottesville should translate well, even at the start of his career: nice shooting mechanics, good frame, on-ball defense. All of those reasons should make Wahoo fans excited to see Morsell get his first action at John Paul Jones Arena in just a few short weeks.
Year: First Year
2018-19 PPG: N/A
2018-19 RPG: N/A