BOOM! For their second commit of the 2023 recruiting class, the Virginia Cavaliers’ men’s basketball team just reeled in high-ceiling shooting guard Elijah Gertrude. Out of Jersey City, New Jersey, the 6’3” guard chose the ‘Hoos over schools including Kansas, Rutgers, Seton Hall, and St. John’s.
Gertrude has been a late bloomer as a player with his stock skyrocketing over the summer months. Of course, as tends to be the case with late summer/early fall commits, Tony Bennett got in with Gertrude early on and now adds 247Sports’ 36th ranked player to his 2023 class alongside center Blake Buchanan — ranked 67th overall among 2023s.
If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, recruiting rankings don’t matter. BUT, in these two instances, the rise up the rankings from outside the top-100 for both Gertrude and Buchanan reflects how they’ve come on strong in the summer before their respective senior years.
Back in an article published on August 10th, I wrote the following about Gertrude and his potential commitment to Virginia:
Landing Gertrude would make UVA’s 2023 class solid. While neither Buchanan or Gertrude are currently ranked or rated too high, that’s more a result of recent developments not quite reflecting in the rankings of national experts that are spread too thin. Each will require some polishing of their respective games. But starting the 2023 group with those two would be a real success especially with how stacked UVA’s 2022 class is.
UVA had appeared to be in the lead for Gertrude for a while now. Even though he did decide to go on visits this fall, it seemed only a matter of time before the electric guard decided to pull the trigger on Tony Bennett and the Wahoo program.
As expected, Gertrude visited Charlottesville during the weekend of September 3rd and UVA football’s game against Richmond. The night before, Gertrude spent time at the UVA pep rally on the Downtown Mall with the staff, a number of current players, and his fellow commit Buchanan before they all ate at Sal’s Pizza afterwards. Clearly, the environment sealed the deal for him as he made his decision to commit shortly thereafter.
Stay tuned to Streaking the Lawn for a full scouting report of Gertrude’s game and an analysis of how his commitment impacts recruiting and the roster outlook moving forward.