After notching one of the nation's top recruiting classes one year ago, the Virginia men's basketball coaching staff is prepared to make another solid recruiting effort.
The Cavaliers have two scholarships available and have already received a verbal commitment. Maurice Young, a 6-foot-6 wing forward from Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Md. made his decision last week to play at Virginia. Recruiting expert analyst Bob Gibbons will rank Young at No. 37 in the presummer All Star Sports Top 500 Rising Seniors Report.
"Its extremely important" to have a commitment early, Cavalier assistant coach Tom Herrion said. "Now we're in a situation where we have one scholarship and we can be somewhat selective."
Young's verbal commitment allows the Cavs to focus on specific roster needs with the remaining offer. The coaching staff will focus on recruiting a post player for the remaining slot.
"We're looking for a post player, definitely," Herrion said. "You never rule out someone, if there is a kid who you think can fit into the system you're trying to run."
Virginia does not have any specific players in mind at this time, because July is still early in the recruiting process. Herrion said that the Cavs are looking at any big man in the country that would fit into the system. He also said other factors contribute to recruiting.
"You have to do your homework," he added. "You have to see if academically a kid can fit here. So academics, his character and a lot of things play into it."
Although the list has not been narrowed to an elite selection, Virginia does want to focus on possible early commitments. The Cavs would like to ink the remaining scholarship during the fall signing period.
"We would like to have a fall signee, but never say never," Herrion said. "We want to target right now a group of kids who might make an early decision."
The main reason that the Cavaliers want an early commitment stems from the success of last year's recruiting class. Virginia has four incoming freshmen and a junior college transfer entering the program.
Add to that mix Notre Dame transfer Keith Friel and center Colin Ducharme, who only played one game because of injury. The Cav coaches face the challenge of forming team chemistry with a wealth of players who have not played together.
"We have seven new faces that we have to bring together with our returning players," Herrion said. "We would like to be able to focus on our team."