Austin Ball - 2023 Offer

SFspidur

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6'7" SG/SF out of Miller School in Charlottesville, originally from southern WV. Also picked up offers from Mason and Akron (Edit: and Towson) today, and JMU offer a few days ago. Was offered by VT and WVU last summer after announcing he was transferring and reclassifying from 2022 to 2023.


 
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SFspidur

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Ball has taken an unofficial visit to UR and has an official scheduled for Sept 16–18. Also has a visit scheduled to GMU and then maybe JMU.

Coach David Boyden is the assistant there recruiting me. I’ve talked to head coach Mooney plenty of times especially after I took an unofficial visit there. I feel like I have a really good relationship with both of them.

 
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spiderman

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one of the most exciting athletes of the big shooters we're looking at. quick release and very bouncy. nice handle.
 

SFspidur

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Seems obvious that Quinn will be returning in 2023 for his extra year, so that means we have three slots to fill. Burton and Crabtree could potentially come back, but I'd put Burton's chances of leaving at 95% and Crabtree at maybe 75%.

So chances are we indeed have three slots for newcomers, but maybe we only fill two with high schoolers and save one for the spring to see if Crabtree comes back and then if not, pursue the transfer market. And of course, we may have more openings if any other guys transfer out.

Sounds like we're all in on Reed to fill a big slot, and it appears we're looking for a wing with the other one. Ball and Durkin both have official visits scheduled with us for next month, so maybe they're the leaders at the moment?

Tanner has us in his top 7, but other than Bona his offers are lower, so he might be a rung down on the priority list. Not sure what to make of Jarred Hall...offer list is looking solid, but no idea where we stand. Simmons is our only other 2023 offer, but things have been silent with him since we offered 10 months ago.
 

SFspidur

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More Q&A with Ball talking about UR and GMU really prioritizing him, calling him every day.

Richmond: “That relationship has been going really well. They were in and out but after they did offer after the live event in June they really recruited me hard. Coach Mooney and coach David really stuck their neck out to make sure that I know they want me.”


George Mason and Richmond have taken the time out to recruit me very heavily. There's plenty of other schools, schools like Coastal Carolina and I received offers from West Virginia and Virginia Tech. There's a couple of other schools that have stuck their nose in: South Carolina and Oklahoma State. But mostly George Mason and Richmond have been recruiting me really hard and taking the time out to call me every day, ask me how I'm doing, ask me if I'm doing okay. I really appreciate that, I can tell they want me to be a part of their family.

 
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SFspidur

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Reminder that Ball is starting his GMU visit today. I like what I've seen of him, but we just don't have any more room right now. We may still get to see him several times a year though.

 

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Hopefully not the case, would love to land Ball or Durkin. Ball seems to have edge in athleticism over Tanner and Durkin. As much as I am with everyone and excited about this class, think we need more athleticism for the defensive end. But yes, it seems GMU and English are really working this. I'm sure it has changed over the years, but when I think GMU I think commuter school. Also, the couple Spider games I went to years ago had some of the deadest atmosphere you can find. Other consideration is if English has another good year - he already is getting a lot of hype and interest as a hot new coach. See ya. I really don't think he is long for GMU. Other than that it is a great fit for Ball :)
 

spider23

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Mason board fairly confident, though sounds like they may have been focused on some other guys first. Now I am getting really curious as to whether we are out of 'ships or not? I know Mason guy, and SF say we are. BUT, I think it is very plausible that 4700 is on track here - and Mooney and Crab discussed him coming back this year with agreement that it is his final final senior/postgrad year. In which case we would seemingly be all in on Ball still. I am hoping we did not take Tanner without at least seeing what Ball or Durkin were going to do. Like Tanner, but just like the tape on Ball and Durkin a little more - and we seemed to be in good shape with all 3.
 

spiderman

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we'll know if we're still active in a couple days if Durkin visits.
btw ... the more recent Tanner tape from AAU this summer is more impressive than the one on verbal commits. he's a really good deep range shooter. very smooth with a quick release. and we know he shot 43% from 3 last year. I think Ball was 37%.
Tanner still doesn't look as aggressively bouncy as Ball, but he did dunk an alley oop pretty effortlessly. most of the highlights are just shooting, though.
 
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SFspidur

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I don't know if we're out of 'ships. It's clear we expect Burton is gone, since we've already used his 'ship. I suspect Crabtree will also be done, but I have no idea if he's settled on that 100% already and has had that discussion with Mooney so they can open up his spot for next year.

I strongly suspect we'll have at least one transfer out (no idea who...just based on numbers and trends), so we should end up with at least one spot regardless of what Crab does, but I don't see Mooney going over at this point and banking on a transfer...not his style.
 
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I don't know if we're out of 'ships. It's clear we expect Burton is gone, since we've already used his 'ship. I suspect Crabtree will also be done, but I have no idea if he's settled on that 100% already and has had that discussion with Mooney so they can open up his spot for next year.

I strongly suspect we'll have at least one transfer out (no idea who...just based on numbers and trends), so we should end up with at least one spot regardless of what Crab does, but I don't see Mooney going over at this point and banking on a transfer...not his style.
Good point on the transfer expectations. I think it’s a good strategy to assume there will be a transfer or two going forward with the idea that you use the portal to replace these players.
 

spiderman

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Good point on the transfer expectations. I think it’s a good strategy to assume there will be a transfer or two going forward with the idea that you use the portal to replace these players.
I just dont think you can fill a spot hoping someone will leave, and then force someone out if nobody does. that makes for an uncomfortable season on a team that prides themselves on "family".

I agree there's a good chance Crabtree will be done, if simply because he'll probably already have a masters after this year. at that point there's not much reason to stay in school. I'd hope Mooney would have that conversation to know for the sake of the program. maybe he has (though he's said he didn't in the past with the super senior class).

I'd hate to pass on Durkin and Ball and then end up trying to replace Crabtree after the season with someone not as good as Durkin or Ball.

from highlights, I kind of think Durkin is repetitive with Tanner. you could play them together but they seem to have a similar game. Ball seems different.
 
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I just dont think you can fill a spot hoping someone will leave, and then force someone out if nobody does. that makes for an uncomfortable season on a team that prides themselves on "family".

I agree there's a good chance Crabtree will be done, if simply because he'll probably already have a masters after this year. at that point there's not much reason to stay in school. I'd hope Mooney would have that conversation to know for the sake of the program. maybe he has (though he's said he didn't in the past with the super senior class).

I'd hate to pass on Durkin and Ball and then end up trying to replace Crabtree after the season with someone not as good as Durkin or Ball.

from highlights, I kind of think Durkin is repetitive with Tanner. you could play them together but they seem to have a similar game. Ball seems different.
My point is you probably don’t need to leave a spot or two open for transfers as you can safely assume that we will have our own transfers going forward with the rules. I think we only take another 2023 HS commit if Crabtree is leaving — can go this route as we likely can still play the transfer portal going forward.
 

SFspidur

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You don't intentionally leave a spot open for transfers from the get-go, because yes, chances are one or more will open up for you after the season.

Mooney's recent JOC interview does suggest his philosophy has changed a bit though, where he is more willing to leave a spot open for a transfer IF his Plan A high school recruits don't pan out.

In the past, he'd go after a Plan B high school player if needed, and those frequently didn't work out. But with the portal playing a bigger role (and maybe some new assurances from admin that he'll be able to get these guys in), he's shifting that way.
 

VT4700

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I don't know if we're out of 'ships. It's clear we expect Burton is gone, since we've already used his 'ship. I suspect Crabtree will also be done, but I have no idea if he's settled on that 100% already and has had that discussion with Mooney so they can open up his spot for next year.

I strongly suspect we'll have at least one transfer out (no idea who...just based on numbers and trends), so we should end up with at least one spot regardless of what Crab does, but I don't see Mooney going over at this point and banking on a transfer...not his style.
Right, you can't go over and assume a transfer. You just can't. The writing could be on the wall with playing time for some of these guys, but that doesn't mean you can assume they will leave. I agree with you that we will probably have at least one guy transfer, but you can't give out an extra scholarship based on that. With Crabtree, it is different. As a coach, you can know if you have had that conversation (and I could be wrong, but I think they have), but obviously, you will not have had that conversation with the younger guys who are still here.
 
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SFspidur

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The question is 100% whether Crabtree and Mooney have had that conversation. The past two years, Mooney has said he hasn't had the conversation with the potential super seniors until after the season. (I'm not sure I totally believe that, but it's at least what he says.)

So for Crabtree (and Burton for that matter) and Mooney to have already had the discussion would be a change. Maybe it gets easier to have that conversation earlier since this class has now had a couple of years to think about their plans. Maybe Crabtree has just always known he'll be moving on after this year due to his injuries, his role on the team, and his age given he already sat out a transfer year.
 
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VT4700

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The question is 100% whether Crabtree and Mooney have had that conversation. The past two years, Mooney has said he hasn't had the conversation with the potential super seniors until after the season. (I'm not sure I totally believe that, but it's at least what he says.)

So for Crabtree (and Burton for that matter) and Mooney to have already had the discussion would be a change. Maybe it gets easier to have that conversation earlier since this class has now had a couple of years to think about their plans. Maybe Crabtree has just always known he'll be moving on after this year due to his injuries, his role on the team, and his age given he already sat out a transfer year.
There was no need to have the extra conversation in the past with the super seniors because we were allowed the extra scholarships. With Grace and Goose this year, we had to be at 13, but we had so many spots open it did not matter. Because of who we lost, the plan was going to be the transfer route this year, and if Grace or Goose left, we would have either gotten another transfer, or left the spot open. Now, it 100% makes sense to have the conversation. If you have a good relationship with the players, which Mooney pretty much always does, and are always honest with them, which Mooney is, you can easily see why the players would return the favor and be more than fine with having this conversation. They know the deal. They know how scholarships work, and they know if they aren't going to be here, it helps the program by letting Mooney know early.
 

spiderman

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agreed VT, but the player (Crabtree) might not have decided yet either. may want to see how this year plays out.

we should have an idea what Mooney is thinking in 3 days. if anyone hears definitively that Durkin is or isn't visting ... please share asap! thanks.
 
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RichmondNative

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we'll know if we're still active in a couple days if Durkin visits.
The Ball article said his official visit was scheduled for Sept 16-18 and he said he wanted to do all his visits before deciding, so I think he still comes unless the Spiders cancel on him. Cancelling doesn’t seem like a good idea with the current portal and transfer rules.
 
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VT4700

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agreed VT, but the player (Crabtree) might not have decided yet either. may want to see how this year plays out.

we should have an idea what Mooney is thinking in 3 days. if anyone hears definitively that Durkin is or isn't visting ... please share asap! thanks.
Of course, it is possible he may not have decided. I think he has. I think the decision for him was about this year, and he was thinking either he is done, or maybe play this year and that's it. But, if he hasn't decided, than we should not be offering anymore scholarships.
 

spiderman

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The Ball article said his official visit was scheduled for Sept 16-18 and he said he wanted to do all his visits before deciding, so I think he still comes unless the Spiders cancel on him. Cancelling doesn’t seem like a good idea with the current portal and transfer rules.
right. but Durkin is scheduled for 9/9. if we're done on the wing, I think the Durkin visit will be cancelled.
 

SFspidur

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With Grace and Goose this year, we had to be at 13, but we had so many spots open it did not matter. Because of who we lost, the plan was going to be the transfer route this year, and if Grace or Goose left, we would have either gotten another transfer, or left the spot open. Now, it 100% makes sense to have the conversation.
I kind of disagree here. With Grace and Goose coming back and Walz on board, we had one more spot available, which was fine to hold for the portal. We ended up having three spots because Sal and Isaiah left.

What if Grace and Goose had not wanted to come back? Assuming Sal and Isaiah still left, then we would have been trying to get five guys from the portal, and I don't think Mooney would have wanted to have to tap the portal that hard. Pretty sure he would have put more effort into recruiting high schoolers for 2020 if he knew he had a minimum of three more spots in addition to Walz, plus potential transfers out.

Now, Grace and Goose might not have known before the season was over whether they wanted to come back, and that's fine, but it's odd to me that Mooney presents it as if the topic was never broached until March. Could be true, but if it was me, I would have been simply raising the topic with the guys the previous summer...

"Hey, no need to decide for sure right now, but just wondering if you've given any thought to whether you want to use your extra year with us or not. If not, we'd love to be able to recruit some new guys to fill out the roster. If so, great, we'd love to have you. If you're unsure, that's cool too...we'll chat again later in the season, but let me know at any point if you and your family start having any thoughts on it."
 
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urmite

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What would be crazy is if we don't take anymore players because Crabtree has decided this is definitely his last year and Burton has decided this definitely isn't his last year.

What a twist!
 
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VT4700

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I kind of disagree here. With Grace and Goose coming back and Walz on board, we had one more spot available, which was fine to hold for the portal. We ended up having three spots because Sal and Isaiah left.

What if Grace and Goose had not wanted to come back? Assuming Sal and Isaiah still left, then we would have been trying to get five guys from the portal, and I don't think Mooney would have wanted to have to tap the portal that hard. Pretty sure he would have put more effort into recruiting high schoolers for 2020 if he knew he had a minimum of three more spots in addition to Walz, plus potential transfers out.

Now, Grace and Goose might not have known before the season was over whether they wanted to come back, and that's fine, but it's odd to me that Mooney presents it as if the topic was never broached until March. Could be true, but if it was me, I would have been simply raising the topic with the guys the previous summer...

"Hey, no need to decide for sure right now, but just wondering if you've given any thought to whether you want to use your extra year with us or not. If not, we'd love to be able to recruit some new guys to fill out the roster. If so, great, we'd love to have you. If you're unsure, that's cool too...we'll chat again later in the season, but let me know at any point if you and your family start having any thoughts on it."
Well, all that sounds good, but you make it sound like Mooney never talked to Grace or Goose during their 4 years here, and all of a sudden needed to get a feel for what they might decide. Chances are he already knew they were undecided going into the season just based on normal communication.
 

SFspidur

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Well, all that sounds good, but you make it sound like Mooney never talked to Grace or Goose during their 4 years here, and all of a sudden needed to get a feel for what they might decide. Chances are he already knew they were undecided going into the season just based on normal communication.
I would hope so, but Mooney certainly made it sound like the topic had never even been broached with the guys.

I understand if he didn't want to give JOC any solid answers whenever he was asked about it, but he could have done more to suggest it was an ongoing dialog or open question rather than specifically saying he'd never talked about with the guys (or whatever similar wording he used from time to time). It always came across oddly to me.
 

97spiderfan

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If I were the coach, I would want to know much earlier that and if you have good relationships with the players, you are having that conversation.

I suspect Mooney already knows who is doing what and I think we can read between the lines as to who is returning and who isn't. By that, I mean, we have 2 open slots for next year and have 3 players we have signed, so yeah, I think he knows. He just is being tight lipped with the media about it.
 

GKiller

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Of course, it is possible he may not have decided. I think he has. I think the decision for him was about this year, and he was thinking either he is done, or maybe play this year and that's it. But, if he hasn't decided, than we should not be offering anymore scholarships.

What you say is plausible VT but you're also assuming right here, we don't know re: Crabtree. As SF noted Mooney has stated how he's approached these in past, said he doesn't talk about it until after season. Ongoing dialogue makes most sense to me, but fact is how you feel at end of season can be different than your plans at beginning. So on some level I totally understand talking at end of year. regardless you're doing some type of forecasting, getting a feel, making assumptions, whatever u want to call it - - which they can do with transfers too. u make it seem like there's some blood contract with Burton or Crab. What happens if Burton gets a longer term injury. That's awful for him and us of course but it's sports it can happen. And then we need ship for him again. I don't care how they handle it, no issue making educated assumptions on any of it to me. Sman's point about not doing it for sake of team locker room is very fair. But to me you're fine there, right now u could plausibly take hs kids for Burton & Crab, and still have the ships open because transfers will happen. Maybe you can have your cake and eat it too.
 
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RichmondNative

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right. but Durkin is scheduled for 9/9. if we're done on the wing, I think the Durkin visit will be cancelled.
Yes I figured Durkin’s visit was earlier based on your comment. Who are you saying is going to cancel though - Durkin or UR? To me, it can only be the player who decides to cancel and if Durkin makes that choice I don’t think that influences what Ball decides to do. All you may be able to assume is that the Spiders told Durkin that they currently did not have a spot, but could have one in the future.
 

spiderman

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Yes I figured Durkin’s visit was earlier based on your comment. Who are you saying is going to cancel though - Durkin or UR? To me, it can only be the player who decides to cancel and if Durkin makes that choice I don’t think that influences what Ball decides to do. All you may be able to assume is that the Spiders told Durkin that they currently did not have a spot, but could have one in the future.
I believe if we decide we don't have a spot we'd call Durkin and Ball and tell them that. at that point they'd save their visits for schools with spots.
visits do cost the school money. I don't believe we'd spend to host someone that we can't currently offer.