Virginia got off to a nice start for the 2019 recruiting class, landing an early commitment from 4-star Washington DC guard Casey Morsell, and April has continued to be a busy month as the Cavaliers staff tries to add to that haul.
Virginia’s head coach Tony Bennett, along with newly promoted assistant Orlando Vandross, spent time in the Carolinas the past week visiting two key targets: High school big man D.J. Burns and UNC Asheville transfer guard MaCio Teague. Either would pair nicely with Morsell as the Cavs try to build the class.
Burns, a 6-foot-9 248-pound post player from Rock Hill, S.C., just outside Charlotte, is a 4-star Top-75 prospect who could potentially help the Cavs on both ends right away and would add a big, powerful body to the roster after Jack Salt graduates.
Tennessee has been considered the leader for Burns, but UVA is certainly making a push with the well-received in-home visit.
And it’s no coincidence Vandross was officially promoted from recruiting coordinator to a full assistant and came along for the trip through the Carolinas. He spent five years as an assistant at UNC Charlotte, and is quite well known and liked in the region’s recruiting circles.
While many thought one-time UVA commitment Sacha Killeya-Jones might be the Cavs top transfer target after the 6-foot-10 forward announced his intention to leave Kentucky, it turns out there wasn’t a lot of mutual interest this time around.
That could be partially because Bennett and his staff have hopes of landing Burns and perhaps at least one of three high-quality in-state big men: Class of 2019 center Armando Bacot and Class of 2020’s Isaiah Todd and Mark Williams.
Instead, the Cavs are going hard after Teague, who averaged nearly 17 points for UNC Asheville as a sophomore. Louisville, Xavier and Baylor are among other teams working hard to land the Cincinnati native. Along with Virginia, the Cards and Musketeers have stopped to see Teague in Ashville and his mother has said on Twitter Baylor coaches have been in contact daily.
Teague would have to sit out 2018-19, but have two seasons eligibility remaining. The Cavs have to be prepared for the possibility one or both of Kyle Guy or Ty Jerome could be ready to go pro after next season, and Teague would be an ideal addition in that case.
Virginia is still in the mix for swingmen Josh Green from IMG Academy in Florida and Charlotte-area product Jaelyn Withers. Landing either one, along with Burns and Teague would quickly make 2019 one of Bennett’s best classes.
But there is a long way to go and nothing is a done deal. Still, there is quite a bit of optimism surrounding what could be a key class for the Cavaliers.