Joining the Virginia Cavaliers’ already stacked 2022 class, 6’7” small forward Ryan Dunn committed to UVA early Saturday afternoon at the Eleve11Hoops New York Top 100 event. An ascending prospect in the 2022 class, Dunn gives the Wahoos yet another dynamic offensive threat with high potential.
As a player, Dunn’s most promising strength is his shooting ability. He has a pure stroke and a quick release as he can hit off of catch-and-shoots or dribble pull ups. His handle is solid for his size and while it’ll likely have to be cleaned up some for college ball, he’s capable of getting himself open off of the dribble.
He’s got a great wingspan that should prove helpful as he develops his handle and slashing ability. Dunn has the potential to be a three-level scorer at UVA as he’s got some real smoothness to his game. His ability to hit shots off of pull-ups is especially encouraging for his chances to be a scorer for the Wahoos in the backcourt.
The key early in his career will be to put on bulk to be able to hang in major conference play. At 190 pounds right now, Dunn should cherish the opportunity to work with Virginia’s strength and conditioning legend, Mike Curtis, in order to put on some extra size.
Defensively Dunn has the tools to be a great defender. His size and length are impressive. Of course, there’s going to be a steep learning curve for the New York native in learning the pack-line defense and getting accustomed to the rigorous play style that Tony Bennett expects from his players.
Dunn is going to be a typical big guard in the Virginia system. Tony Bennett has compared his likely role to that of players like Malcolm Brogdon, Justin Anderson, and even Trey Murphy and De’Andre Hunter.
Considering that Dunn is doing a post-graduate year right now, look out for a potential early enrollment from him this winter in order to spend time redshirting in the Virginia program before being joined by his fellow 2022s the following fall.
Alongside Isaac McKneely, Leon Bond, and Isaac Traudt, Dunn will more than likely close out the 2022 class for Tony Bennett and co. There’s been an emphasis on limiting roster size of late with the NCAA granting transfers immediate eligibility in order to prevent too many transfers out of the program (see the 2021 offseason) and allow space for high level transfers to join the program (see 2020 and 2021).
There’s also the potential for Virginia’s three seniors this season — Kihei Clark, Jayden Gardner, and Kody Stattmann — to use their extra year of eligibility due to Covid and return for a fifth season. Even one of those three sticking around would clog up roster configuration.
All that goes to say that the ‘Hoos are going to be moving on to the 2023 class this fall. And, frankly, who can blame them. This is a ridiculously good 2022 group with the potential to rival the successes of Bennett’s 2016 class.
Additionally, by finishing up the high school senior class in mid-September, UVA is getting a step ahead on 2023 recruiting as the coaching staff can fully commit its resources to the high school junior class rather than lingering around for any drawn out 2022 recruitments.
In the big picture, this has been a phenomenal stretch of recruiting from Tony Bennett and his staff. There’s undoubtedly some luck involved as coaches can go all out and simply miss because a player’s heart is somewhere else.
But after disappointing 2017, 2018, and 2019 classes, a 2020 class that lost Jabri Abdur-Rahim to transfer and is still unproven, and a 2021 class that — while no doubt talented with the opportunity to do big things in Charlottesville — doesn’t include Bennett’s initial top targets, this 2022 group is top to bottom as good as it gets.