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UVa men’s basketball notebook: NCAA not sure about all-inclusive Big Dance, Wahoos target 2021 recruits

UVa men’s basketball notebook: NCAA not sure about all-inclusive Big Dance, Wahoos target 2021 recruits


Virginia head coach Tony Bennett shouts instructions during a game against Louisville at John Paul Jones Arena.

ACC men’s basketball coaches proposed an unusual plan Wednesday, suggesting the 2021 NCAA Tournament include every eligible Division I program.

Multiple coaches, including Virginia’s Tony Bennett, released statement in support of the idea.

Bennett said the idea could create a feel-good sports story.

While the ACC coaches brought their idea to the public Wednesday, UVa found success on the recruiting trail. In recent days, Bennett and company have inched closer to adding a few class of 2021 commitments.

ACC coaches were unified in their suggestion to compete in an all-inclusive 2021 men’s basketball tournament.

NCAA officials aren’t sold on the idea.

“Every college basketball team’s goal is to play in the NCAA Tournament because everyone loves March Madness,” Dan Gavitt, the ‘NCAA’s Senior Vice President of Basketball, told NCAA reporter Andy Katz in a statement. “Certainly we missed it this year and can’t wait for 2021. While all who care about the game are entitled to their opinion, and we’ll always listen respectfully, at this time we are not working on any contingency plan that involves expanding the tournament field.”

Not only is the NCAA not looking into an all-inclusive NCAA Tournament, the organization isn’t looking into expanding the field at all.

Decisions can certainly change, but the statement doesn’t reflect positively on the chances of an all-inclusive tournament happening in the spring.

Logistically, setting up the event would be a massive challenge.

Even with the obstacles, ACC coaches like the idea. They’ll have to convince the NCAA, which doesn’t seem set on the idea, to change course for the all-inclusive event to occur.

2021 recruiting

Trey Kaufman, a four-star power forward from Indiana, announced his top 5 earlier this week. Virginia made the cut.

The athletic prospect listed UVa alongside Indiana, Indiana State, North Carolina and Purdue. At 6-foot-8, Kaufman possesses elite versatility. He shoots well from the outside, but he’s also a gifted passer and handles the ball adequately. He finishes effectively in the lane using post moves and cuts.

In addition to Kaufman’s list, the Cavaliers also made the cut for five-star shooting guard Trevor Keels. The Fairfax native listed the Cavs in his top three teams.

Duke and Villanova were the other two programs on Keels’ list.

According to 24/7 Sports and Rivals rankings, Keels would be the first five-star prospect to commit to UVa during the Tony Bennett era should he choose the Wahoos. The athletic shooting guard stands tall and possesses the size of a college-ready guard.

Keels shoots the ball well from deep, and he’s an impressive finisher in the lane. He’s considered by multiple recruiting sites to be a top-15 prospect nationally.

Taine Murray, a New Zealand native, narrowed his list to three teams in August. UVa, Stanford and Maryland all made his final cut.

The shooting guard is an elite shooter and, like Keels, attacks the rim effectively.

Murray shared on Instagram that he plans to announce his commitment Sunday at 2:30 a.m. ET. That’s 6:30 p.m. on Sunday evening in New Zealand.

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