Cavalier Corner

June 2014

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BY BRAD FRANKLIN A FTER SIGNING THREE PLAYERS last fall, UVa basketball added two more this spring to complete what amounts to a solid 2014 recruiting class that should buoy the program for years to come. Four-star wing B.J. Stith, four- star power forward Isaiah Wilkins and New Zealand center Jack Salt each signed with the Cavaliers in November. And after Virginia won the ACC title and advanced to the Sweet 16, head coach Tony Ben- nett and his staff added two more quality players: three-star small for- ward Marial Shayok and Tennessee transfer guard Darius Thompson. national basketball analyst Eric Bossi sees Stith, the No. 65 overall player in the country coming out of Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy, as the best get for the Wahoos in this class. "B.J. is a good-sized wing who will be able to play both physically and with skill after he hits a col- lege weight room," Bossi said. "His rainbow jumper has been a bit streaky throughout his high school career, and he needs to tighten up his ball handling some. But when Stith is on and sees the ball go through the net a few times, he has the ability to go on big runs offensively. "He's gaining an understanding of how to let his strength do the work for him when he attacks the rim off the dribble," Bossi added. "He's one of those kids that has a huge upside if he can just get a bit of consistency." UVa assistant coach Jason Williford said that the 6-5, 180-pound Stith, son of former Wahoo great Bryant Stith, will be asked to come in and contribute from the perimeter and make jumpers. "That's what we want him to do," Williford said. "Give us a lift shooting the ball and make up for the loss of Joe [Harris]. From a de- fensive standpoint, we're going to really use his length and size." Wilkins, after leading Norcross (Ga.) Greater Atlanta Christian to back-to-back state titles and be- ing named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Georgia, moved up to No. 101 overall nationally. Williford said UVa sees the 6-8, 205-pound Wilkins fitting in nicely the way forwards Akil Mitchell and Darion Atkins have the past few years. "We need him to play that kind of defense," Williford explained. "We want him to be a lot like Akil and Darion in terms of being able to lock down on defense and cover the middle of the back line. The biggest thing about Isaiah is that he's so active and he can play with a motor. We need that." "Isaiah Wilkins is a kid that really came on throughout his high school career," Bossi said. "He has good skill, is a good athlete and has pretty good nose for the ball. He can face up out to 15 feet, does a pretty good job of taking the ball to the rim off the dribble and changes ends plenty quickly. "The biggest thing for him will be adding uva recruiting MEN'S HOOPS PROGRAM ADDRESSES NEEDS WITH 2014 CLASS rates Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Acad- emy guard and UVa signee B.J. Stith as a four-star pros- pect and the No. 65 overall player in the class of 2014. PHOTO BY BRAD FRANKLIN i29.UVa Recruiting.indd 1 6/3/14 2:43 PM

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