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Virginia basketball’s 2022 class second-best of Tony Bennett era per latest rankings

The latest release from 247Sports places Virginia ahead of every ACC school except Duke.

Syndication: Journal Sentinel Curt Hogg / Now News Group / USA TODAY NETWORK

Tony Bennett’s set of 2022 recruits continues to rank as one of the most talented incoming classes of his tenure at Virginia. According to 247Sports’ latest update to their composite rankings, the four incoming Virginia Cavaliers rank as the 12th-most talented group in the NCAA, ahead of every ACC school except Duke.

Virginia has only brought in a class with a higher composite ranking than this 2022 group once in the Tony Bennett era: 2016, when the school brought in four future national champions: Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, De’Andre Hunter, and Jay Huff (all of whom suited up for an NBA team this season). If this year’s group can approximate that level of talent, the program will be in a great spot moving forward.

While the ‘Hoos don’t have any blue-chip five-star recruits, their incoming class is filled with potential contributors. Power forward Isaac Traudt, ranked 56th in the 247 2022 composite rankings, is an excellent jump shooter who won Nebraska’s Gatorade Player of the Year award. The addition of transfer forward Ben Vander Plas will make his path to playing time at the 4 arduous, but he could add crucial spacing to Virginia’s offense.

Isaac McKneely (57th), a combo guard from West Virginia, also won his state’s Gatorade Player of the Year trophy for the second time and played in a scheme modeled after Tony Bennett’s system. He’s a three-level scorer who will be as prepared for the pack line defense and blocker-mover offense as any incoming freshman could possibly be.

Leon Bond (60th), a wing from Wisconsin, emerged as a recruit due to his flashy fast-break athleticism but established himself on Virginia’s radar because of his passing ability and defensive versatility. He spent the end of his high school career working to improve his jump shot, and while he lacks the range of Traudt and McKneely, Bond developed a solid midrange game and now seems well-suited for an off-ball role in blocker-mover.

Ryan Dunn (122nd), a wing from New York, saw his recruiting rank drop due to sporadic playing time in his final season but has arguably the highest physical upside of any player in the class. In the limited game footage that exists of Dunn, his fluidity and athleticism pops and it’s easy to see him scoring at the next level. He also turned down offers from Virginia Tech and Maryland to commit to UVA, which is always a plus.

Virginia’s recruiting since their national championship has been hit-or-miss, to put it nicely. While there have been wins like Reece Beekman, a series of transfers out of the program have left a feeling of disappointment regarding the team’s incoming talent. This year’s recruiting class, though, looks like the safest bet since 2016.