In past years, Tony Bennett has shown himself to be an aggressive player in the late recruiting period. Taylor Barnette, since transferred to Belmont, de-committed from UCF to attend Virginia in early May of 2012. That same week, Bennett acquired transfer Anthony Gill. And this year, two more names have been linked to UVA: Seth Allen and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.
Following Teven Jones's decision to transfer to Appalachian State, the coaching staff once again got to work, and nabbed another commit, Marial Shayok. Shayok was previously committed to Marquette; however, when Buzz Williams left the school for Virginia Tech, the Hoos made off with his prized recruit, a 6'6" athletic guard who was named the New Jersey Prep Player of the Year.
Shayok joins what is now a four-man incoming class for Virginia composed of BJ Stith, Jack Salt, and Isaiah Wilkins, as well as Devon Hall, who took a redshirt this past season. UVA graduated three seniors (Joe Harris, Akil Mitchell and Thomas Rogers, who earned a scholarship in his final season) and lost Jones as well...but still has an open roster spot.
Here's the full breakdown of Virginia's roster as of today. Teams are allowed to allot up to 13 scholarships.
|First-Year (5)||Second-Year (1)||Third-Year (5)||Fourth-Year (1)|
|Devon Hall (R)||London Perrantes||Malcolm Brogdon (R)||Darion Atkins|
|BJ Stith||Anthony Gill (R)|
|Isaiah Wilkins||Justin Anderson|
|Jack Salt||Mike Tobey|
|Marial Shayok||Evan Nolte|
*(R) = Redshirt
Bennett has once again put together a super-class that is now five players deep. This is nothing new for him; we all remember the "Six Shooters" class (only two of whom made it to their senior season), and the 2012 class featured 5 freshmen, which also shrunk because of attrition, but grew when Brogdon and Gill redshirted back.
However, the staff may not be done yet. Two names still loom on Virginia's radar.
Rising junior Seth Allen was the latest player to announce his intention to transfer from Maryland, joining Nick Faust, Shaquille Cleare, Roddy Peters, and A.J. Metz in escaping College Park. With UMD moving to the Big Ten, Virginia was not restricted as a destination by Maryland.
Allen, who hails from Fredericksberg, Virginia and gave UVA serious consideration out of high school, has been quiet about his reasons for leaving Maryland (beyond saying, "I did it for me and my family"), and has declined to discuss schools he is considering. While his past and the team's recent success make Virginia a natural landing spot, Allen's talent means that there's plenty of competition. NC State has been reportedly pushing for the 6'0" guard, and rumors are swirling about Louisville and Syracuse as well.
The only thing that is certain is whoever nabs Allen is getting a good one. He averaged 14 points per game at Maryland last season, shooting 41% with over half his shots from behind the arc, where he made 38% of his attempts. Against Virginia, he was basically unstoppable at times; he put up 35 points in the two matchups on combined 14-31 shooting.
He told WNST earlier this week that he'd probably announce his decision "within the next week or two."
Im my own man, nobody influences my decisions... God above all then family first ✔️— Seth Allen (@bbll4eva_Allen) May 3, 2014
Allen has two years of eligibility remaining; after sitting out a year under transfer rules, he would theoretically join London Perrantes's class.
The other major Virginia recruiting target is somehow shrouded in even more mystery. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is a 6'5" guard from Ukraine who is considered one of Europe's best prospects - the guy's even got his own (albeit poorly written) Wikipedia page. Though he's only 16 years old, Mykhailiuk has finished high school (apparently he is a child prodigy too?), and is already on the radar of NBA teams. Mykhailiuk may decide to play professionally in Europe until he's eligible for the NBA, but is reportedly considering attending college in the US as well.
Last month, Mykhailiuk played at the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit, the youngest athlete to do so, which quickly propelled him on to everyone's radar. The Ukrainian guard has received plenty of interest from other schools, particularly Kansas. The Daily Progress reported that he'll made a decision on his future on May 21st. Until then, we'll all likely be in the dark about the outcome of this non-traditional recruiting situation.
Here's some video from "KUTheShiver" (ignore that username) showing what he's capable of:
Remember, Virginia only has room for one of Allen, Mykhailiuk, or any other mysterious other recruit. And, while both are viable options with a solid potential to attend Virginia, neither is a likely bet at this time (though Seth Allen is probably the more likely of the two). If both decide to go elsewhere, Bennett will still be quite pleased with his four-man recruiting class. However, if he is able to score another late recruiting coup, we could celebrate an addition to what's already an embarrassment of riches on Virginia's roster.