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Wednesday's Leftovers: Virginia, Harrison Ingram, more

We are back for another round of Wednesday’s Leftovers with a whole batch of questions pertaining to needs at various programs. We check in on Virginia's five-star hunt, Harrison Ingram’s suitors, Richmond’s chances of success next season and much more.

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2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

2022 Rankings: Top 75

Trevor Keels
Trevor Keels (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Recent history doesn’t align well with Virginia landing five-star commitments. The Wahoos have ridden seasoned veterans who have developed under Tony Bennett to great success rather than one-and-done prospects.

Might that change with its 2021 class? UVA is involved with three five-stars, and another, Jalen Warley, could easily land his fifth star in the coming months.

Warley just cut his list to a final 10 and while it is promising that UVA would be included just after offering a week earlier, Virginia is playing catch-up.

Of the others, Trevor Keels is the most likely to commit to Virginia. Villanova is also heavily involved, and of course, never count out Duke or North Carolina. Ohio State hosted him for an official visit and UConn has maintained a presence, but Keels has been prioritized by Virginia.

Five-stars Pat Baldwin and Max Christie both have Virginia high up within their respective school lists. However, Duke, Kentucky and Milwaukee are thought to be the three to beat for Baldwin, while Christie is involved with Duke, Michigan State and Northwestern.

Harrison Ingram is not one that has found it difficult to find a quality suitor list. Last month, he narrowed things to a final 10 and while I do believe that it will eventually come down to Purdue, Stanford and maybe two or three others, we still do have some time to go before a commitment is made.

Focused on a group that also includes Arkansas, Baylor, Louisville, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas A&M, Ingram will likely use all of his official visits during his senior year before deciding. However, if a decision was made today, I would say that Baylor, Louisville, Michigan and UNC would have best chance with him. However, he does have family in the Memphis area and is intrigued by the idea of playing for the Vols if they were to also land another comparable talent like Kennedy Chandler or Paolo Banchero.

However, things are not going to end today which is why I would keep an eye on Michigan. They have picked up the greatest amount of ground compared to any of his finalists in recent weeks and if things remain on track, could be the winner of the Ingram recruitment.

This should be the best team Chris Mooney has had in Richmond since Justin Harper, Kevin Anderson and Dan Geriot left the program in 2011 and led the Spiders to the Sweet 16. They will not lose a single player from last season’s roster, a group that went 24-7 (14-4 in the A-10) and was among the top-50 in offense and defense.

That should be parlayed into a ride that could see the Spiders among the national polls for weeks at a time next season and a group that should compete alongside Dayton and St. Louis for a league title. Richmond should have the chance to play in the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament if Blake Francis, Grant Golden, Jacob Gilyard and Nick Sherod can live up to expectations.

That definitely is something to think about. I am not a big proponent of the stars system. I understand the notoriety that comes with being a five-star but, as you had noted, the further down the list you get with four and three-stars, it is difficult to differentiate.

Take for instance, members of the 2021 Rivals150. The 116th rated prospect is a four-star recruit, as is the number-20 recruit. Another example is Robbie Armbrester, who we have included in the Rivals150 but is listed as a three-star. There are oodles of others that are nowhere near a Rivals150 ranking but are suitable enough that warrant a three-star ranking, too.

Do we go with decimal points like some have, a color scale like a few professional franchises have leaned towards, or scrap the system entirely and think of something new? It is a good question to look at with clearly no wrong answers.

I think you’re spot on. Benny Williams projects to be the ideal small forward in Syracuse’s system and is someone that should wreak havoc on both ends of the floor. While he does need to get much stronger in order to hold up to the rigors of the ACC, his lateral abilities, quickness and length should be put to very good use within their vaunted 2-3 zone.

Offensively, Jim Boeheim consistently leans upon big wing scorers along the perimeter. Whether it was Malachi Richardson, Wesley Johnson or just this past year, Elijah Hughes, Williams seems to fit the mold. Now, he still has a lot of work to complete in order to reach the level of such former Cuse standouts, but he will come prepared thanks to his time on the high school and travel circuits. If he can continue to progress, Syracuse may have found its next star who fits their program as good as anyone in the 2021 class.