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The Transfer Portal: UVa Needs To Take As Much As It Gives

More than four months have passed since Virginia opened the 2020-21 men's basketball season in "Bubbleville" at the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The Cavaliers used 17 players that November day in an 89-54 rout of Towson.

Although it wasn't in the post-game notes, that might be the all-time, one-game UVa high for participation.

The group included 13 scholarship players, which is the Division I basketball limit, and four walk-ons.

Most were underclassmen and it appeared that Virginia was set with the addition of a recruiting class that was ranked No. 19 in the country by rivals.com.

That was then and this is now. In a matter of days, top 2019 signee Casey Morsell and top 2020 signee Jamir Abdur-Rahim entered the transfer portal, as did a second 2019 signee, Justin McKoy.

Of the eight players who logged more than 200 minutes or more, leading scorer Sam Hauser has applied for the NBA Draft and 7-footer Jay Huff is headed in that direction.

Who's left?

Honorable mention All-ACC performer Kihei Clark should be back for a fourth year in 2021-2022, but who else is there?

Unheralded Trey Murphy III put up impressive numbers after transferring from Rice, hitting 52 3-pointers at a 43.3-percent clip and averaging 11.3 points and 3.4 rebounds, tops in both categories among potential returnees.

However, there has been talk of Murphy making himself available for the NBA Draft.

UVa's lone 2021 signee is Taine Murray, a 6-4 guard from New Zealand who could join with Isaac McKneely, a 6-4 high-school junior from Poca, W.Va., who might give the Cavaliers a shooting combo in the Kyle Guy-Ty Jerome mold. McNeely made an oral commitment to UVa earlier this year as a junior.

You hear all sort of rumors at this time of year, but it's hard not to see guard Reese Beekman continuing to build on a freshman year in which he started 20 of 25 games, averaged more than 29 minutes and, of course, hit a last-second 3-pointer to beat Syracuse in the ACC Tournament.

Considering his mother's post-game response and the appreciation she has expressed for the UVa program, it seems that she has been pleased with Beekman's' first year.

There should ample 3-point threats, especially if Murphy returns, but the post could be an issue. It wasn't too clear as to the status of Kadin Shedrick, listed at 6-11 and 216 pounds this year as a redshirt freshman.

Shedrick played in 11 games for a total of 88 minutes as a redshirt freshman. Another post player, 7-foot redshirt sophomore Francisco Caffaro, played in 17 games and averaged 1.2 points and 1.2 rebounds.

While McKoy was shorter than Shedrick or Caffaro, it appeared that he was more of an offensive threat. With McKoy gone, it has become increasingly important for Virginia to find some help in the paint.

For all the players that the Cavaliers will - or could - lose to the transfer portal, it has become imperative that they take as much as they give.

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Comments 2

Dave Fulton on Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:11
Disgusted

The current college basketball culture across the board disgusts me. Sad that such a large percentage of players are not student athletes who plan to stay 4 years and get their degree. I just plain don't like it.

The current college basketball culture across the board disgusts me. Sad that such a large percentage of players are not student athletes who plan to stay 4 years and get their degree. I just plain don't like it.
Dave Scarangella on Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:33
It's Different, That's For Sure.

I have a feeling it's become such a wild, wild west sort of atmosphere, this will be the last year you see such unfettered movement between programs...

I have a feeling it's become such a wild, wild west sort of atmosphere, this will be the last year you see such unfettered movement between programs...
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