Home Virginia lands Duke five-star TJ Power: How does Power fit with the ‘Hoos?

Virginia lands Duke five-star TJ Power: How does Power fit with the ‘Hoos?

uva basketball
Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

So, what do we know about TJ Power, the Class of 2023 five-star who committed to Duke, didn’t play much there as a freshman, and is now headed to Virginia off the transfer portal?

Pretty much, that’s the extent of what we know about Power, a 6’9” stretch four who got lost in the shuffle in his one-and-done year at Duke, getting only 7.0 minutes per game in his 26 game appearances.

It’s hard to glean too much from those kinds of numbers, and starting my deep dive, I can’t even find much from his individual game performances to analyze, because he only got double-digit minutes in seven games, with a season-high of 16, in Duke’s 72-68 loss at Georgia Tech in early December.

Power did log 13 minutes (hitting a pair of threes) in Duke’s 73-48 win over UVA on March 2, but that was all garbage time, because that game was all garbage time – Duke led 21-9 at the under-12 timeout, it was 40-18 at halftime, et cetera.

So, we’re going to have to just go with the scouting reports on Power from his prep days.

What got him the five-star designation was his three-point shooting, which will fit a huge need for Tony Bennett and UVA.

Bennett, of late, has liked to have a stretch four on the floor – think: Jake Groves, Ben Vander Plas – who can be a threat on pick-and-pops.

Now, Power, it would seem, projects as a replacement at the four spot for Ryan Dunn, who is off to the NBA as a projected first-round pick.

Dunn’s draft status is entirely on his ability on the defensive end; on offense, Dunn was about as much a liability as you can imagine, really only able to score on backdoor cuts, offensive rebounds and the rare opportunities that would come along in transition.

The scouting report on Power from his prep days touted his athletic ability, which, if that translates to the college game, would set him apart from the likes of Groves and Vander Plas, both bigger guys who got the bulk of their offense from spot-ups.

So, slot Power in at the four alongside another rising sophomore, Class of 2023 four-star Blake Buchanan, at the five spot, and suddenly, you’ve got a frontcourt with two athletic guys who can run the floor, score off pick-and-pops – Buchanan more as a midrange guy – who, on the downside, would give up a few pounds to the bigger bigs.

Power is listed at 216; Buchanan played in 2023-2024 at 6’11”, 225.

Get ‘em in the weight room, put a few pounds on ‘em, and let’s see what happens, right?

This pickup off the portal is, quite obviously, huge news for Virginia fans.

The frontcourt, now, seems finished, as far as 2024-2025 is concerned, with Power and Buchanan getting the starters’ minutes, and redshirt freshman Anthony Robinson and incoming four-star prep recruit Jacob Cofie fighting for minutes off the bench.

It still wouldn’t hurt to get a young point guard to add to the group for next year, if there’s one available …

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].