Shedrick to Duke? The devil you say …

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo by Jon Golden

There was little doubt in the minds of Cavalier fans late in the season that Kadin Shedrick would hit the transfer portal once the campaign came to a close.

Shedrick, Virginia’s 6-foot-11, mobile big man, started 14 of his team’s first 15 games, before Tony Bennett decided to go with a smaller lineup in mid-January. From that point onward, Shedrick’s playing time diminished to where he didn’t even appear in some games.

Fans pointed out that Shedrick looked disconnected as he was replaced in the lineup by a smaller Ben Vander Plas, a transfer who became wildly inconsistent statistically. Nothing changed until Vander Plas broke his hand the day before the ACC Tournament began in Greensboro, N.C. 

Bennett reinserted Shedrick in the starting lineup as the team hit a short-lived postseason that saw UVA reach the ACC Tournament championship game, where it eventually lost to Duke. Then, Shedrick put together perhaps his best game of the season for Cavaliers in a first round NCAA Tournament loss to Furman. In that early out, the big man scored 15 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and blocked four shots against the Paladins.

Days later, Shedrick made the leap into the transfer portal and is getting smothered in attention. The list of pursuers is long and led by none other than Duke, one of UVA’s most heated rivals.

With the Blue Devils losing Dereck Lively III to the NBA Draft, Coach Jon Scheyer definitely needs a center, which Shedrick could provide. At 6-11, 230, Shedrick can fill the role as a rim protector on defense and a potential inside threat on offense. 

Averaging 9.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots per game, while shooting 64 percent from the field, Shedrick knows his way around the paint.

While Duke is now in hot pursuit, the Blue Devils aren’t the only ones. Penn State and Illinois are heavily into Shedrick, as are many others, including: Texas, Michigan, Indiana, Kansas, Colorado, Cincinnati, Iowa, Oklahoma, Florida State, Missouri, Vanderbilt, Florida, Houston, Rutgers, Kansas State, Xavier and Georgetown.

Losing Shedrick was somewhat of a blow to Virginia’s program, but possibly losing him to Duke could prove even more costly, particularly if the two are battling it out for another ACC Championship next season.

Meanwhile, another former Cavalier big man, Justin McKoy, has announced that he will transfer from North Carolina to Hawaii. McKoy, also a native of N.C., originally signed with Virginia, but transferred to UNC after last season.