Virginia Men’s Basketball announces official signing of five incoming transfers

Tony Bennett announced Friday the official signing of five transfer additions to the Virginia men’s basketball program: Florida State Guard Jalen Warley (Philadelphia, PA), Duke forward TJ Power (Shrewsbury, MA), forward at San Diego State Elijah Saunders (Phoenix, AZ), Vanderbilt forward Carter Lang (Charlottesville, VA), and the Kansas State Guard Dai Dai Ames (Chicago, Illinois).

โ€œI would like to thank my staff for their hard work in securing this exciting group of transfers,โ€ said Bennett. โ€œIt will be a fun group to coach. We have added five talented student-athletes who bring size, athleticism, shooting and depth to our program. Most importantly, they are young men of high character who come from great families and value a degree from the University of Virginia.โ€

Jalen Warley | 6’7″ Guard | Florida State | Eligibility: One year

Jalen Warley was Virginia’s first free agent commitment of the offseason, committing to the Cavaliers on May 4 after an official visit. Warley, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound guard, played in 96 games at Florida State over the past three seasons, including 58 starts. This past season, he started 32 of 33 games, averaging a career-high 7.5 points. with 2.8 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. At 6-foot-4, Warley will be a versatile addition to the defense with his ability to guard multiple positions, while his 2.5 assists-to-turnover ratio from last season proves it. his abilities as an offensive playmaker, which will be crucial as Virginia tries to replace Reece Beekman with a committee of guards.

What Tony Bennett said about Jalen Warley: โ€œWe are excited to add Jalen to the Virginia basketball family. Jalen is a talented, athletic guard who can guard multiple positions and brings valuable ACC experience to our program.โ€

What Jalen Warley said about coming to Virginia: โ€œThe way we deal with change determines our character and shapes our destiny. As I enter this new community, I bring with me not only my skills, but also a relentless determination to excel and take our team to new heights.โ€

TJ Power | 6’9″ forward | Duke | Eligibility: three years

Power’s journey to becoming a Cavalier has been a long time coming, as Virginia was once the frontrunner to graduate from high school in 2022. The 6-foot-1 sharpshooter from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts made multiple visits to UVA and spoke highly of his relationship with Tony Bennett, but as his recruiting stock increased to the point where he became a five-star prospect and a top 25 recruit in the country, the Blue Bloods inevitably came up and Power eventually committed to Duke, with Virginia ending up as the unlucky number two in his recruitment.

Power had many major conference candidates in the transfer portal, but ultimately chose UVA and announced his commitment on May 6. TJ Power immediately changes the makeup of Virginia’s roster for next season and fills the team’s biggest need: a sharpshooting set four. He shot 35.7% from beyond the arc on 42 total attempts, but those numbers should improve with more playing time and more shots. The power comes to UVA with three years of eligibility remaining.

What Tony Bennett said about TJ Power: โ€œWe are happy that TJ is finally a Cavalier. We recruited him out of high school and are excited about what he brings to our program. TJ is a great shooter and passer, is competitive and has a good feel for the game.โ€

What TJ Power said about coming to Virginia: โ€œI am so grateful for the opportunity to play at UVA and bring my edge and skills to the culture there. I’m looking forward to getting to Grounds and getting started.โ€

Elijah Saunders | 6’8″ forward | San Diego State | Eligibility: two years

Saunders, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound forward from Phoenix, Ariz., played in 53 games at San Diego State over the past two seasons, including 21 starts. This season, Saunders started 21 of 37 games and averaged 6.2 points and 3.6 rebounds. in just over 20 minutes per game, he shot 32.2% from beyond the arc on 3.3 three-point attempts per game. His best game was a win over Washington as he scored 16 points and went 3/3 from beyond the arc. He also had eight points and a pair of threes in San Diego State’s win over Yale in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Saunders announced his commitment to Virginia on May 6, just hours after TJ Power did the same.

What Tony Bennett said about Elijah Saunders: โ€œElijah is a tough competitor who brings skill, athleticism, physicality and NCAA tournament experience to our team. He is a versatile scorer and a great competitor.โ€

What Elijah Saunders said about coming to Virginia: โ€œVirginia has everything I was looking for in a program. Coach Bennett and the staff are great. I like their plan to develop and prepare me for the rest of my career. I’m so excited to be part of the family and can’t wait to get started!โ€

Carter Long | 6’9″ forward | Vanderbilt | Eligibility: Three years

Carter Lang returns to his hometown of Charlottesville after one season at Vanderbilt, in which he played in 24 games and made seven starts as a true freshman, but played just 11.6 minutes per game and averaged 1.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game scored. Lang, a former four-star recruit according to ESPN (three stars on 247Sports) coming out of St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville, was once rated as the fourth overall prospect in the state of Virginia and was nominated for the 2023 McDonald’s All. – American game. The 6’9″, 235-pound forward averaged 18.3 points, 14.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in his senior season at STAB. Lang, who committed to UVA on May 7, will commit as a walk -on to join Virginia’s roster with three years of eligibility remaining.

What Tony Bennett said about Carter Lang: โ€œCarter is a welcome addition to our team. I’ve known him since he was a youth basketball player here in Charlottesville. He has a strong work ethic and will provide competition and depth in the frontcourt with his size.โ€

What Carter Lang said about coming to Virginia: โ€œHaving grown up in Charlottesville and attended UVA basketball games, I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity. I look forward to developing my game under Coach Bennett and his staff. Let’s get started!”

Dai Dai Ames | 6’1″ Guard | Kansas State | Eligibility: Three years

The capstone of Virginia’s transfer window was Dai Dai Ames, a 6-foot-4 guard from Chicago who played in 31 games, including 16 starts, as a freshman at Kansas State this season. Playing just over 20 minutes per game, Ames averaged 5.2 points and 2.0 assists per game and shot 32.9% from three on 2.3 attempts. Ames started the final 13 games of the season and played his best basketball down the stretch, scoring in double figures in three of the final five games.

A consensus four-star prospect coming out of high school, Ames was a top 20 point guard in the class of 2023 and the No. 2 overall recruit in the state of Illinois. As a senior at Kenwood Academy High School in Chicago, Ames averaged 21.4 points, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game and was named a 2023 Jordan Brand Classic All-American. Ames committed on May 16 to Virginia.

What Tony Bennett said about Dai Dai Ames: โ€œWe are excited to add Dai Dai to our basketball family. Dai Dai is a very competitive and athletic guard. His experience as a first-year player in the Big 12 will serve him well in the ACC.โ€

What Dai Dai Ames said about coming to Virginia: โ€œI am very excited to become a student-athlete at UVA. โ€œI am truly blessed to be able to bring my talent to this wonderful school with so much history. I can’t wait to be a part of such an amazing program and create a bond that will last forever! I think this is the place is where I belong, and I will be ready to show my hard work and my dedication on and off the field.”

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