After landing one 4-star, Tony Bennett in hot pursuit of four more big-timers

By Jerry Ratcliffe

tony-bennett

Tony Bennett talks with his team. Photo by Andrew Shurtleff/courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

Having already landed one of the nation’s top prospects for the Class of 2022 in four-star combo guard Isaac McKneely, Virginia is in hot pursuit of at least four other big-time recruits.

The latest is 6-foot-8, 4-star wing Bobi Klintman from Sweden’s RIG Mark Academy. He’s joined on the list by 6-2, 4-star point guard Austin Nunez of San Antonio, Tex., 6-9 4-star power forward Isaac Traudt of Grand Island, Neb., and 4-star Justin Taylor of Charlottesville’s St. Anne’s-Belfield.

Klintman, who views himself as a big guard (he’s almost 6-9), has offers from the Cavaliers along with Kansas, Texas, UCLA, Maryland, Nebraska, San Francisco, Rutgers and Santa Clara.

The big Swede said he wants to play AAU in America this summer, which could delay his commitment. All of his recruiting thus far has been virtual. He has the option to sign a professional contract with a Swedish or European League team, but his dream has been to play college basketball in the United States.

Klintman said he is athletic and versatile, along with being a good 3-point shooter.

“I would say I play a little like De’Andre Hunter,” Klintman said, comparing his game to the former Virginia star, now with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.

Klintman told 247Sports that he talked to Bennett last week and compared him to Hunter.

“I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of any college but one of my favorite colleges that I looked up to was Texas and Virginia,” Klintman said. “I watched them on national TV since I was like 14.”

Meanwhile, Nunez received an offer directly from UVA coach Tony Bennett four nights ago. He also holds offers from at least 10 other schools but Nunez’ coach at Wagner said that Virginia, Baylor, Texas and Arkansas are in the hottest pursuit and that Nunez wants to visit each of those four schools.

He also has offers from Texas A&M, Georgetown, Oklahoma State, Memphis, Oregon, Wake Forest, LSU and TCU.

Described as a dangerous shooter from long range, the left-handed Nunez is rated the No. 9 point guard in the country, the No. 56 overall prospect in the nation by 247Sports Composite.

Traudt has been on Virginia’s radar for quite some time. The Cavaliers held a virtual meeting with the Top 50 junior this past Thursday night (he was offered earlier by UVA).

Traudt has 28 offers, including Kansas, Gonzaga, North Carolina and Michigan State. He told Zagsblog that six schools are making him a priority: Virginia, Nebraska, Creighton, Missouri, Oklahoma and Louisville.

Averaging nearly 25 points and 9 rebounds this season, no doubt UVA’s coaches called to congratulate him on scoring 57 points in his most recent game.

While there is mounting pressure for Traudt to stay home and play for either Nebraska or Creighton, the Grand Island (Neb.) star said he has developed a great relationship with UVA’s Bennett and Kyle Getter, the Cavaliers director of recruiting and player development.

“They are both great guys and think that I would flourish in their system,” Traudt told one recruiting service. “They’ve been recruiting me for a long time now and have seen a lot of games, a lot of film and love how I compete on the defensive end as well as the offensive end.”

Traudt added that he loves how Virginia makes defense a priority. Bennett and his staff told Traudt this week that the Cavaliers would use him like they are using Sam Hauser this season.

Last, but certainly not least is home grown Taylor of Charlottesville’s St. Anne’s. Taylor averaged 15.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists for the Saints last year as a sophomore under Coach Damin Altizer.

Taylor is ranked No. 60 overall in the ‘22 class by 247Sports and holds offers from a number of schools, including Virginia, North Carolina, Butler, Georgetown, NC State, Maryland, Indiana, and Providence.

He picked an offer from UNC last week when the Tar Heels were in town to play Virginia.

 

Comments

  1. Ron Bryan says:

    Jerry: Have you seen or heard anything about Maliq Brown. He plays basketball (also football) at Blue Ridge? One of the message board folks posted the following: “Their HC said he’s the best of Amir and Mamadi.” Claims HC also said Maliq development and stats are way ahead of Mamadi and wants to come to UVa.

    It was on a message board. So just wondering? Ron

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