The Virginia Cavaliers men’s basketball program just landed its second commit of the 2022 class in 6’5 wing Leon Bond. Out of Milwaukee, Bond’s recruitment went from zero to 100 incredibly quickly this summer and Tony Bennett moved quickly to steal Bond from midwest suitors including Marquette.
Now joining Isaac McKneely as a part of what could be a stacked 2022 class, Bond will bring both size and length on the wing.
Looking at his offensive game, Bond does most of his damage on the inside. Growing up playing as a big, he has some smooth moves inside and loves to pull out turnaround and fade away jumpers. That said, considering his size that may not translate fantastically to college ball.
Fortunately, Bond is also a capable slasher and knows how to utilize his ridiculous wingspan. He’s a very good finisher in the paint and around the basket and his quickness off the bounce makes him a nightmare to try and stay in front of on the perimeter.
Where he still has work to do is on his jump shot. Particularly from distance, he’s not a high volume guy and will need to adjust accordingly to reach his full potential as a player.
Now, it’s not that Bond doesn’t have the ability to hit outside shots. He has a smooth shooting stroke and good form, he just hasn’t had to really focus on his outside game since he’s been able to dominate with physicality throughout his young career.
Long story short, if he develops his shot, he’ll be an offensive weapon on par with guys like De’Andre Hunter. If he doesn’t, he still has solid value but won’t be the type of stud player the staff will be hoping he can become.
Defensively, Bond will be a menace. He has great defensive instincts that — coupled with what is likely a seven foot wingspan — make him a bothersome defender both on and off the ball. He should realistically be able to guard 1-4 while at Virginia as — even if he lacks some height — he makes up for it with his length and bounciness.
All in all, Bond is a tremendous athlete with a smooth if not yet complete offensive game who will be a great defender in the orange and blue.
In terms of how Bond’s commitment affects recruiting moving forward, the ‘Hoos will likely only take two more players in the 2022 class.
Bond fills the role of an athletic wing or big guard for the class. Still left to be filled are the skilled forward spot in a similar mold to Sam Hauser and an athletic big/forward in a Mamadi Diakite type mold.
As of now, Isaac Traudt is the prime target for the skilled forward spot while there are a handful of guys who the Wahoo staff have been recruiting and scouting for the Diakite role. Of note, Ernest Uduh is likely the prime candidate for that spot at this point in time.
Granted, UVA’s significant increased interest in other big guards and wings including Ryan Dunn and Bryce Sensabaugh does bring up the question of whether or not the staff would take another player in a similar role to Bond along with the two forward spots.
Nonetheless, this is a fantastic pickup for the Wahoos. It’s a luxury to have two commitments by the end of July and puts the 2022 class one step closer to being the dream type of class that only Bennett’s 2016 class could rival.