Scattershooting: portal comings & goings, plus Hootie’s Golden Nuggets

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Kevin Patton Jr. (Photo: University of San Diego Athletics)

Scattershooting around UVA athletics, while wondering what’s going on with Dai Dai Ames …

The Kansas State point guard, with three years of eligibility remaining, visited Charlottesville, but nothing is out publicly about where he may land or who else he is visiting.

In the meantime, the Cavaliers have reached out in the portal to San Diego guard Kevin Patton, Jr., a 6-8 freshman swingman who averaged 9.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. There’s a ton of schools after Patton, including Duke, FSU, Stanford, Cal, Arkansas, TCU, USC and others.

Meanwhile, Anthony Dell’Orso, the Campbell guard who visited Virginia, has committed to Arizona. He’s the 6-6 sophomore shooter from Australia, who averaged 20 points per game.

Whatever happened behind the scenes with Los Angeles McDonald’s All-American Trent Perry, may stay behind the scenes. For some reason, Wahoo fans got excited about Perry, but he ended up signing with UCLA. He did visit UVA, but were the Cavaliers close?

There were reports that Perry would have to walk on with the Bruins because they were out of scholarships. Not true. Well, to a degree. UCLA was out of scholarships, but one of its scholarship players will have to switch to walk-on status, now possible due to NIL deals.

Perry will have to compete with Louisville transfer Skyy Clark, sophomore Dylan Andrews and freshman Sebastian Mack for playing time at point guard. Certainly NIL played a role in his decision to play at UCLA, loaded at his spot, over coming to Virginia where point guard is wide open.

Virginia is also trying to get a visit from 6-7 forward Dwayne Aristode, ranked the No. 12 overall player in the nation by On3 for the class of 2025. The Wahoos are up against some tough competition for Aristode. UConn, Duke and UCLA are also in pursuit.

UVA Football Recruiting gets high marks

Tony Elliott’s staff has 13 commitments thus far for the recruiting class of 2025, and depending on which national recruiting service you most trust, the Cavaliers have made some strides.

Rivals currently ranks Virginia’s class No. 15 nationally (with two 4-stars and 11 3-stars), while 247Sports also ranks the Wahoos No. 15 in the country.

Meanwhile, On3 isn’t as generous, ranking UVA No. 43 nationally.

Still, that’s a huge jump from previous years if Virginia’s staff can keep up that kind of success.

Hootie’s Golden Nuggets

  • Congratulations to former Virginia star guard J.R. Reynolds, who was just promoted to assistant coach at Queens University in Charlotte. Head coach there is Grant Leonard. Queens has been a Division-I program for two years and is in the Atlantic Sun.
  • As part of another lawsuit settlement, the NCAA is considering lifting scholarship limits. For instance, in baseball there would no longer be a limit of 11.7 scholarships per team.
  • When was the last time Virginia football had a first-round NFL Draft pick? See end of this notes column for the answer. Bet you don’t get it right.
  • Oh, by the way, how strange is it to see the ACC logo painted on Stanford’s home court, Maples Pavilion?
  • Former Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins, who led the Cavaliers to the ACC Championship game and the Orange Bowl, is a member of the UFL’s Michigan Panthers, filling the void by E.J. Perry, who was lost for the season. The Panthers needed a playmaker and got one in Perk, who played for the NFL’s L.A. Rams, starting one game in 2022 and passing for 100 games (13 for 23, 1 TD, 2 INT in that contest).
  • Clemson is the only Power 4 team that did not sign a single transfer out of the portal in the 2024 cycle. It’s not Dabo Swinney’s thing.
  • Remember Virginia men’s tennis coach Brian Boland, who put the Wahoos program on the map? His son, 5-star recruit Brendan Boland (the No. 1 ranked player in Arkansas), has decommitted from Wake Forest and committed instead to Arkansas.

Answer to trivia above:

UVA’s last first-round draft pick was in 2009, in big lineman Eugene Monroe.