We’re only in mid-April and already Virginia’s 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule is beginning to take shape.
On Tuesday, The Daily Progress confirmed that UVa will be playing in Brooklyn over Thanksgiving weekend in the Barclays Center Classic.
The event, which will take place on Nov. 28 and 29, will also feature Vanderbilt, Rutgers and La Salle. Matchups have yet to be announced. Tickets are on sale now.
The games will mark a return to the Big Apple for the Cavaliers, who saw their season end at Madison Square Garden in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 last month.
Other non-conference games on Virginia’s schedule will include a trip to the Siegel Center to play VCU (the return of a home-and-home series) and a date in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, opponent and location to be determined.
A source said there have been cursory discussions with Northern Iowa about a rematch of this past season’s game that was won by UVa in Charlottesville.
With Teven Jones’ recent decision to transfer, Virginia coach Tony Bennett has two extra scholarships at his disposal (the Cavs were previously one under the limit).
Current high school seniors Devonte Graham and Marial Shayok are two players to keep an eye on.
Graham, a 6-foot-2 guard from Brewster Academy, originally committed to Appalachian State before backing out after his stock went up and he suddenly had high-major options.
Shayok, a 6-foot-6 wing who attends Blair Academy, committed to Marquette before reopening his recruitment when coach Buzz Williams left for Virginia Tech.
Virginia also has interest in Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from the Ukraine who is contemplating a college career.
UVa’s incoming freshman class already includes guard B.J. Stith, forward Isaiah Wilkins and center Jack Salt.
Bennett could opt to use one of the scholarships on a transfer. Big man Sean Obi, formerly of Rice, is reportedly a player on his list.
Johnson on the move
Former Virginia big man James Johnson is looking for a new home -- again.
Johnson hardly played for San Diego State after transferring from Virginia in December of 2011.
Johnson, who is planning on competing as a graduate student this coming season, has received interest from Georgia Tech, Northwestern, San Francisco, UC Riverside and Portland State.
However, Johnson’s father, Ted, said his son is focusing on Christian schools. He called Liberty and Grand Canyon University (coached by former NBA star Dan Majerle) “serious” contenders. Johnson’s sisters both attended Liberty.
Sammy Z and friends
Former Virginia point guard Sammy Zeglinski has put together a team, comprised mainly of UVa alums, which will be competing in a tournament that has a top prize of $500,000.
Zeglinski’s squad, the Philadelphia Patriots, includes former Cavaliers Sean Singletary, Jason Cain, Ryan Pettinella and Mamadi Diane.
All five are currently playing professionally. Zeglinski is in Austria; Pettinella is in Italy; Cain is in Spain; Singletary and Diane are in the U.S.
The 32-team event, called The Basketball Tournament, takes place in Philadelphia and begins on June 6.
Twenty-four of the teams are selected based on “the size of their fan group.” Tournament organizers select the remaining eight.
To endorse Zeglinski’s team, visit www.thetournament.com.