Cavalier Corner

June 2012

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uva recruiting BASKETBALL FILLS EVERY NEED WITH FIVE FIRST-YEARS AND A TRANSFER BY JACEY ZEMBAL The University of Virginia men's basket- ball program added three top-100 players to its frontcourt to go along with two guards and a talented transfer. ranked Virginia's class No. 17 in the country, and that was prior to the signing of shooting guard Taylor Barnette May 4. ranks the five-player class No. 22 in the country. Virginia added a player at every position if South Caro- lina transfer Anthony Gill is included at the power forward slot. Head coach Tony Bennett has landed 10 players in the Rivals150 since taking over in 2009, and sophomore guard commit B.J. Stith of Lawrenceville (Va.) Brunswick is well on his way to adding to that total. The son of UVa legend Bryant Stith is currently No. 42 in the Rivals top 50 for the class of 2014. "Tony Bennett and his staff have proven to have a good eye for talent," Brick Oettinger of PrepStars Recruiter's Handbook said. "This is a good class for Virginia." The five first-years combined with Gill and Stith represent a bright future in Charlottesville. "Tony Bennett has done a good job, and he has recruited intelligently for the system he wants to play, and that is the key," said Tom Konchalski, the longtime editor of High School Basketball Illustrated. "You don't win games collecting talent. You have to find pieces to your puzzle. That is what I think he has done." Rockville (Md.) Montrose Christian small forward Justin Anderson is the highest ranked player in the group. rates the 6-6, 220-pounder No. 35 in the country. Anderson aver- aged 17.8 points per game for national powerhouse Montrose Christian, and had 17 points in the Capital Classic, which matches a team of Washington, D.C., area all-stars against a group of U.S. standouts. "I like Anderson because he has improved his shot," Oettinger said. "He has also improved his decision making. For a while, he was a little bit of a wild man out there. He is a terrific run-jump athlete, but his shot was inconsistent from the perimeter, and he forced the action too much. I think during this past year, his game matured." Anderson originally committed to Mary- land, but following the retirement of head coach Gary Williams, he elected for his home state Virginia, and will immediately be one of the top athletes in the ACC. Anderson is from the Fredericksburg, Va., but has at- tended Montrose Christian for four years. "Everyone has known him since his freshman year, and he's had a lot of pressure because of that," Konchalski said. "What he has to do is bring his skill level up to the level of his athleticism. "He'll be a very good player for them. He's an athletic four man who can shoot the three off the catch. He can probably defend the three better than the four. He's so strong and so quick." Center Mike Tobey of Ramsey, N.J., was ranked No. 76 in the country, while small forward Evan Nolte of Alpharetta, Ga., was right behind at No. 91. The 6-10, 210-pound Tobey was the UVA'S RECRUITING RANKINGS As of May 7 22 17 17 22 first in the class to commit, picking UVa on Jan. 3, 2011 over Maryland, Pittsburgh, Xavier, Northwestern and Miami. He at- tended football power Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep for his sophomore year, and then played a year at Lakeville (Conn.) Hotchkiss School before attending Blairstown (N.J.) Blair Academy a senior. Tobey exploded for 33 points in his last game for 18-7 Blair Academy, an 81-57 loss to Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict Feb. 22. "I think he's going to be National Rank a really good player," Kon- chalski said. "He improved exponentially this season. I thought he had leveled somewhat from his sopho- more year until the begin- ning of his senior year. This year, he really took off." UVA'S CLASS OF 2012 Name (National Rank) Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School) Justin Anderson (35) Taylor Barnette Teven Jones* Evan Nolte (91) Mike Tobey (76) * Enrolled at UVa in January 2012 26 ◆ CAVALIER CORNER SG 6-2 180 Nicholasville, Ky. (Lexington Christian Academy) PG 6-1 180 Kannapolis, N.C. (Fishburne Military [Va.]) SF 6-8 220 Alpharetta, Ga. (Milton) C 6-10 210 Ramsey, N.J. (Blair Academy) SF 6-6 220 Rockville, Md. (Montrose Christian) Justin Anderson is rated by as a four-star prospect, the No. 9 small forward in the land and the No. 35 overall player nationally. PHOTO BY ANDREW SHURTLEFF Tobey could have been ranked even higher if he didn't hurt his wrist in the spring of 2011, causing him to miss some traveling team tournaments with the New York Gauchos and several individual camps. Oettinger was able to see him in a few games before he hurt his wrist. "At that point, I didn't think he was a great player yet, but he was a guy with some decent skills. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt based on how he finished his senior season," Oettinger said. "[The Cavaliers] need that size, and it will help to have him." Tobey has all the tools to develop into a top of the line ACC center one day. He'll need to add strength, but already has good timing blocking shots. "He has very good hands, he has good touch and he runs well," Konchalski said. "He is extremely long and can block shots. He has to get stronger, and he has to build up his stamina. He can then run the court consistently and play for longer stretches. "I think he'll be a very good player for coach Tony Bennett." Nolte, like Anderson, also played for one of the elite prep programs in the country. Nolte helped lead Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton High win two state AAAAA titles in the last three years and post a cumulative 113-15 record in four years. "I like Nolte and think he is underrated," Oettinger said. "Boy, was he good at the

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