Virginia makes 5-team cut for UIC wing Okani

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: UIC Athletics

Things are heating up in the transfer portal for Virginia, as the Cavaliers are seeking help at the point guard and forward spots.

Toby Okani, the 6-foot-8 forward from Illinois-Chicago, has trimmed his list to five schools: UVA, LSU, Pepperdine, West Virginia and St. Bonaventure. Okani, who has one year of eligibility remaining, has pushed back his official visit to Virginia until next Tuesday. He had originally scheduled that visit for this Thursday, but is instead visiting LSU.

Okani, who was All-Missouri Valley Conference All-Defensive Team, has already visited West Virginia and St. Bonaventure. He averaged 11.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game last season for UIC.

Okani told 247Sports that Virginia’s winning ways have been impressive, along with Tony Bennett’s ability to develop NBA wings.

“I’m looking for the best spot,” Okani told 247. “I want to go somewhere I can grow as a player and expand my role but also simplify my game.”

The big forward said he will make his decision sooner rather than later because coaches are anxious to settle their rosters.

“Once I know, I’ll commit,” he said.

Meanwhile, sources out West said that Virginia is expecting to get a visit from McDonald’s All-American point guard Trent Perry, who decommitted from Southern Cal. UVA has also reached out to MEAC Rookie of the Year, Deywilk Tavarez, a 6-2 point guard from Delaware State. Tavarez averaged 14 points, 3.6 assists and 2.0 steals per game, scored in double figures 21 times, including seven games of 20 or more points and eight games of 30 or more points.

UVA has also been in contact with former Georgia guard Justin Hill, who starred for two seasons at Longwood before playing the last two seasons in Athens.

Hill (6-foot, 180 pounds) started 13 games over the past two seasons for the Bulldogs and averaged 9.5 points and 3.2 assists this past season. He posted 21 points in Georgia’s NIT win over Wake Forest a few weeks ago.

With one year of eligibility remaining, Hill is a solid passer and playmaker who started 40 games at Longwood, including his sophomore season when the Lancers made the NCAA Tournament field.