Three players from portal will visit UVA this week, starting Tuesday

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: NIU Athletics

Two more standouts from the transfer portal are visiting Virginia this week, joining 6-foot-8 Illinois-Chicago forward Toby Okani.

Okani, who visited LSU last week, will be in Charlottesville on Tuesday. He will be joined by St. Mary’s combo guard Aiden Mahaney, the No. 2-ranked combo guard in the portal. On Friday, Xavier Amos, a 6-8 forward from Northern Illinois will make an official visit to UVA. McDonald’s All-American point guard Trent Perry, who decommitted from Southern Cal, officially visited Virginia this past weekend.

Okani (see related story on this site), trimmed his list of potential schools to five last week: UVA, LSU, West Virginia, Pepperdine and St. Bonaventure. He is a grad transfer.

Meanwhile, it appears that a previous visitor to UVA is moving on. Joshua Jefferson, a 6-8 sophomore from St. Mary’s, is predicted to sign with Iowa State.

In the wake of that projection, it’s imperative that Virginia lands either Okani or Amos to help fill the frontcourt void, now that Ryan Dunn announced he will enter the NBA Draft.

Amos, who is also being courted by Texas, Xavier and Illinois, started 25 games for Northern Illinois last season. The 6-8, 215-pound sophomore, originally from Chicago, averaged 14 points, 6 rebounds and 1 blocked shot per game for the Huskies.

He shot 50 percent from the field, 57 percent on 2-point attempts and 38 percent from the 3-point arc. In a game against Northwestern last season, Amos contributed a season-high 26 points, making 11 of 15 shots, 4 of 5 from the arc.

Meanwhile, Mahaney, a two-time, All-WCC first-teamer, would be a huge get for Tony Bennett. Mahaney led the Gaels in scoring with 13.9 points per game, 2.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds.

He made 37.5 percent of his 3-point attempts over the 69 games he played the past two seasons (started 60), and shot 35.5 from the arc last season when he attempted 6.9 triples per game.

The 6-3 Mahaney, who has two years of eligibility remaining, has already visited Creighton, and plans to visit national champion UConn and use a final visit for either USC, Kentucky or Florida.