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COMMITMENT: Virginia basketball picks up Oklahoma transfer big Jacob Groves

UVA adds it’s third transfer of the 2023 offseason with the stretch four from Oklahoma.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 18 Oklahoma at Texas Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Now nabbing their third transfer commitment of the 2023 offseason, the Virginia Cavaliers have added Oklahoma Sooners transfer Jacob Groves. A graduate transfer with one final year of eligibility, Groves provides a shooting presence for the UVA front-court which needed another piece to play alongside returner Ryan Dunn, Merrimack transfer Jordan Minor, and incoming freshman Blake Buchanan.

At 6’9” and 215 pounds, Groves is a typical stretch four. He averaged 6.8 points per game with Oklahoma last season, shooting 38.1% from three on just over three attempts per game. He will add lineup versatility in the front-court and could pair interestingly alongside Minor and Dunn in particular with a fun mix of athletic, defensive menaces and the floor-spacer in Groves.

Groves could potentially play the three in big lineups for UVA, but his role seemingly fits one similar to that of Ben Vander Plas this past season, but with less time as a small ball center. He should feature well in the sides offense as a blocker who can fade to the corner and as a spot-up shooter when Virginia elects to use its high ball screen sets. Incorporating him as the screener in ball screens is something he doesn’t have loads of experience with, but that could keep defenses honest with their ball screen coverage.

Importantly, he’s capable of exploiting hasty closeouts and spotting up for jumpers or floaters inside the paint. Additionally, he can expose a mismatch in the paint when he gets one with some solid length and size and good touch around the basket.

That said, Groves will be asked to do more off-ball screening in Charlottesville than he has at either Oklahoma or Eastern Washington (where he started his career). Ideally, he’ll embrace that role and be able to flourish off the open looks that Tony Bennett’s offense can produce for jump-shooting big men.

Defensively, Groves is capable considering his measurables. He’s fairly slim and will be asked to play more demanding and relentless defense than he has before. As an experienced player who doesn’t foul much, he should be able to be passable in the Pack-line defense in order to make his presence felt on the offensive side of the ball. Additionally, because Bennett and his staff have been more willing to fit the defensive scheme to their personnel in recent seasons, Groves won’t be asked to do the things that, say, Ryan Dunn will do on defense.

Overall, Groves is a very nice pickup for UVA. He adds shooting for a roster that needed it while providing a counter to the likely front-court starters. He fits a mold of player that Bennett has liked to have at his disposal and should be a solid complementary guy for the Wahoos next season.

As for how Groves’ commitment impacts Virginia’s roster construction, because he only has one year of eligibility, he shouldn’t drastically impact any other recruits that the Cavaliers have their eyes on. He is probably the final transfer commitment of the offseason. But that doesn’t mean that Bennet and company are done adding to the roster for next season with a number of high school recruits — most notably Blue Cain and Jarin Stevenson — still on their radar to add for the fall.