The off-season for Virginia Basketball has been an exciting one following the program’s first ever National Championship. Wahoo fans knew they would lose Jack Salt to graduation, but the departures of De’Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy, and Ty Jerome to the NBA Draft and Marco Anthony to transfer has left some question marks around the roster. Forward Mamadi Diakite is still a question mark to return to Grounds, and will be participating in the G-League Elite Camp.
Coming in, Virginia has first years Casey Morsell, Kadin Shedrick, and Justin McKoy, and Tony Bennett added his first junior college transfer this week in Tomas Woldetensae. As things currently stand, Virginia has two open scholarships for the upcoming 2019-20 season.
Here’s how it breaks down:
Virginia Basketball Roster Situation
|Jay Huff||Jay Huff||OPEN||OPEN||OPEN|
|Tomas Woldetensae||Tomas Woldentensae||OPEN||OPEN||OPEN|
|Frankie Badocchi||Frankie Badocchi||Frankie Badocchi||OPEN||OPEN|
|Kody Stattmann||Kody Stattmann||Kody Stattmann||OPEN||OPEN|
|Kihei Clark||Kihei Clark||Kihei Clark||OPEN||OPEN|
|Francisco Caffaro||Francisco Caffaro||Francisco Caffaro||Francisco Caffaro||OPEN|
|Casey Morsell||Casey Morsell||Casey Morsell||Casey Morsell||OPEN|
|Kadin Shedrick||Kadin Shedrick||Kadin Shedrick||Kadin Shedrick||OPEN|
|Justin McKoy||Justin McKoy||Justin McKoy||Justin McKoy||OPEN|
|OPEN||Carson McCorkle||Carson McCorkle||Carson McCorkle||Carson McCorkle|
Highly touted recruit Johnny Juzang is announcing his commitment today (Friday) at 4pm PST (7pm on the East Coast), and while Kentucky is the heavy favorite, there’s a chance Virginia could land the four-star small forward. Coach Bennett is also hosting Marquette transfers Sam and Joey Hauser this weekend on Grounds, and the Juzang decision could have a heavy impact. If Diakite returns and Juzang commits, the Hoos wouldn’t have the scholarships available for both brothers.
Both Hauser brothers would have to sit for a season before eligible, meaning Sam (a junior) would sit one to play one, and Joey (a redshirt freshman) would sit one to play two. Joey, 6’9, is a true forward, while Sam, 6’8, can function as a wing or forward. Both shot 40% or better from three last season with the Golden Eagles, with Joey connecting on 44 of 104 attempts (42.3%).
There’s a few way to look at the openings. If Virginia gets Juzang — again, looking like a long shot — that potentially bridges the gap of a “down year” with the departures of the “Big Three”. Then, you could focus on priority targets in the 2020 class like Henry Coleman and Reece Beekman.
If you miss on Juzang and decide to take the Hausers, you could still have a dip in performance (although with Tony Bennett that dip probably won’t be that low), but have a ready-made title contender in 2020. You would, however, potentially miss on a big 2020 target unless a scholarship opens up with a transfer or early graduation.
Or maybe things will just get totally nuts and Virginia will grab a lacrosse-turned-basketball grad transfer.
When you look at the future needs, Woldetensae fills an immediate need at the point guard position as Kihei Clark was the last man standing after the off-season departures. Morsell could also pick up some ball-handling, but adding Woldetensae’s experience in the backcourt addressed a serious deficit. Ideally, your scholarships are split among four guards (point, shooting, or combo), four post players, and five “wings”.
Looking at Virginia’s current roster, here’s how that breaks down with the openings:
Open Scholarships - By Position
Keep in mind, some of the positions are fluid and someone that’s considered a point guard could be a wing and vice versa.
There are still a lot of moving pieces, some of which will become clearer by the end of the day.