Portal target Mahaney chooses UConn over Wahoos

With the Virginia men’s basketball team scrambling to fill its roster for the upcoming 2024-25 season, the Cavaliers learned Monday that St. Mary’s portal target Aidan Mahaney has committed to play for two-time defending champion Connecticut.

UVA also lost out on Northern Illinois transfer forward Xavier Amos, who announced on his Twitter account that he has committed to Wisconsin, choosing the Badgers over Texas, Kansas Virginia, Illinois and others.

However, the Cavaliers have reached out to San Diego State sophomore Elijah Saunders, a 6-foot-8 forward who averaged 6.2 points and started 21 games this past season for the Aztecs. Saunders entered the portal on Monday and has already heard from UVA, Miami, Washington, Texas, Ohio State, Arizona, Arizona State and West Virginia. Originally from Phoenix, Saunders originally considered five schools before settling on San Diego State. Those five were the Aztecs, Notre Dame, Miami, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.

Mahaney, a 6-foot-3 sharpshooter who hails from Lafayette, Calif., chose the Huskies over the Wahoos, Kentucky and Creighton. He was rated as the second-best combo guard available through the transfer portal, and will have two years of eligibility left.

With the Gaels, Mahaney was twice named First-Team All-WCC, leading the team in scoring this past season (13.9 ppg). He shot 36 percent from downtown, and the Cavaliers were hoping to add his shooting touch.

UVA head coach Tony Bennett and his staff will go back to the drawing board in the hopes of landing an experienced guard who is a proven scorer.