With Jordan Minor being the Virginia Cavaliers men’s basketball team’s first commit of the 2023 offseason, the Wahoo coaching staff has been quick to try to add high school players to next season’s roster with notable open spots for young players to shine. Over the past two weekends, Bennett and company have hosted visits for five star 2024 forward Jarin Stevenson and talented 2023 combo guard Blue Cain.
A player who would be Tony Bennett’s biggest recruiting get ever, Stevenson is a 6’10 forward with the skills of a guard. He’s seriously elite offensively as he can bring the ball up, push in transition, attack the basket, and shoot from legit range. His most accurate long term comparison is probably Kevin Durant.
While listed as a 2024 recruit, Stevenson has been considering a re-class to 2023 in order to start his college basketball career this coming fall. As of right now, Virginia and North Carolina appear to be the leading favorites. Obviously, as Stevenson lives fewer than 30 minutes from Chapel Hill, the most logical choice would be to go play for UNC. Yet, considering that the Tar Heels’ roster is relatively full compared to UVA’s at the moment, the Wahoo staff does have an angle to push for a re-class for Stevenson to play heavy minutes in Charlottesville next season.
Stevenson spent last weekend in Charlottesville and has posted a number of videos from his time on social media. First up, there’s this sweet, extensive video produced by the UVA program for Stevenson showcasing him in a Virginia uniform with pictures and clips with his family, Bennett, and lead recruiter and Associate Head Coach Jason Williford.
Had an amazing visit at @UVAMensHoops pic.twitter.com/HQJl8VmEgx— Jarin Stevenson (@JarinStevenson) April 13, 2023
Secondly, Stevenson posted what is another video with additional pictures and videos of his time in Charlottesville including a hibachi dinner at the Sakura off 29 North with his family, Bennett, Williford, Ryan Dunn, and Leon Bond. Stevenson also had a meal at The Villa with Bennett.
Recap @UVAMensHoops pic.twitter.com/4NAPFFM9ao— Jarin Stevenson (@JarinStevenson) April 15, 2023
The timeline for Stevenson to make a decision is, at this time, unclear. Should he want to re-class, that would likely have to happen in the next few months. Of course, it’d be naive to expect a talent like Stevenson, who is from North Carolina, to come to Virginia. But there does appear to be synergy between him and the Wahoo staff. Take that for what it’s worth.
A slightly more underrated player, 2023 guard Blue Cain spent this past weekend in Charlottesville. At 6’4, Cain is a lights out shooter who can create for himself with a deadly pull-up jumper, but could also be an elite complementary piece in the UVA offense.
Considering that Virginia has been missing some shooting proficiency from guards in recent seasons and that the ‘Hoos need to add at least one backcourt piece for the 2023-2024 season, Cain is a logical long term piece to bring in as he could realistically contribute next year while also building towards the future alongside a talented young core.
There’s been less social media presence from Cain following his visit, but he did post a number of images from inside JPJ to his Instagram story.
At this time, Georgia is probably UVA’s biggest competition for the IMG Academy senior. That being said, Cain in a Virginia uniform seems like a practically perfect fit for either side.
Virginia has been a bit quieter in the transfer portal since landing Minor on Thursday. That being said, St. Thomas Aquinas guard Andrew Rohde is a name to watch as another potentially elite shooter that UVA has been heavily linked to. At 6’6, Rohe fits the mold of Joe Harris as he dominated in his freshman season in the Summit League — he averaged 17.1 points and 3.6 assists per game — and is understandably looking for a step up.
In the front-court, there’s been less notable movement from the Virginia staff. Obviously, bringing in Stevenson would be massive. But UVA will want to definitely look to bring in another big man for next season and counting on a commit from him would likely be naive, or at least premature right now. Forward Robert Jennings deciding to return to Texas Tech was probably an unexpected development. So, it’s likely that we see Virginia listed among schools contacting transfer big men in the second wave of portal entries.
As always, stay tuned to Streaking the Lawn as we keep you up to date with the happenings around the UVA basketball team this offseason.