Isaac Traudt talks Bennett, relationship with fellow Class of ’22 recruits

uva logo cavalierUVA basketball Class of ’22 recruit Isaac Traudt spoke recently with “The Jerry Ratcliffe Show” podcast. Here are some of the highlights from the interview.

On his visit in July:

“I was definitely blown away. Their facilities are amazing. The campus is really nice, really historic. I kind of like historic campuses. But I think the thing that really stuck out to me, it was just the staff, how genuine they were to us. And just kind of like, as soon as we stepped on campus, kind of just felt at home, to be honest. Great guys, with the staff there, and then the players were really good to us, too. It was a great experience. And that definitely played a big factor.”

On the family atmosphere:

“I could definitely feel it. When we went to Coach Bennett’s house, I think it was a Saturday night, with the whole team and all the staff, everyone just bonded together. Everyone was just joking around, hanging out. It wasn’t like it was like separated, coaches from players, you know, everyone was together which, which I really liked that having close relationships with the staff and everything, that’s important to me.”

On his recruitment being done:

“I feel like a ton of ton of bricks was lifted off my shoulders. The recruiting process got really stressful towards the end. I was blessed with a lot of good options, but I just felt that Virginia was right in my heart. So, knowing that I found my place and destination, I can just focus on my senior year, you know, school basketball, everything, just kind of enjoy it.”

On what Virginia coach Tony Bennett has advised him to work on:

“Coach gave me a lot of stuff to work on – playing more vertically, just working on my footwork, pick and pop, pick and roll, because he wants me to play the four and then some three, too, so I have to improve on a lot of areas. And then also defensively, too, you know that he’s such a defensive-minded coach, so if you want to get on the floor there, you have to be able to guard, and I’m making that a priority.”

On his admiration for Bennett:

“He’s obviously a great coach, but an even better person. The biggest thing for me with him was just how passionate he is about his faith. I’m big into that, too. So just being able to connect with him on that. Me and him had a great talk for about 30 minutes, just about that stuff, on the visit. And that just kind of hit home for me that, you know, this is a guy that I can definitely see myself playing for one day, and then obviously thinking about it more. He started recruiting me really, really hard after we got home from the visit. You know, I’m just I’m just appreciative of that, and definitely excited to get to work with him.

On the Five Pillars:

“The biggest thing for me was his Five Pillars – humility, unity, passion, servanthood, thankfulness. He’s been recruiting to those all 10 years, and there’s a reason why that program is so good. That was a big pitch for me. For him, to me, just, that’s their culture. And those are the kinds of guys that he recruits, so those are the guys that, you know, if you were to play for him, you’d be surrounded by. That was really important to me as well.

On how UVA can develop him for the next level:

“As we looked at schools that developed guys similar to me at that three, four position, Virginia was right up there with the most guys developed and, you know Coach is not always going to get the one-and-done guys. You know, he develops guys at a high level, De’Andre Hunter, Sam Hauser, guys like that Trey Murphy, even though he only had him for one year, but just seeing that he develops those types of guys, and really sets him up to the next level.”

On his relationship with Class of ’22 recruits Isaac McKneely and Leon Bond:

“I Snapchat them both quite a bit. But I will say that I’ve been with Isaac quite a bit, like, in person. He was on the visit with me in June. Got to meet his family and all that. Great people. You know, they raised a really good kid, obviously. But he was also my roommate at the NBA top 100 camp for about six days. So I was I was able to develop an even better relationship with him then.”

“I think it’ll really help me step out on campus with guys like him and Leon that I’m really comfortable with already prior to getting there. I’m not sure who I’ll room with, but you know, if it’s one of those guys, I’ll be really lucky, I’ll definitely be in good hands, just being able to be with a guy like that every night, and just hanging out, having a good time. But, you know, they seem similar to me in the aspect, you know, that they want to get better and everything, but also want to have fun off the court.”

On how their talents mesh:

“I think will be a perfect fit, because Isaac’s a really, really good shooter. I think Coach Bennett sees him as a combo guard, but, you know, I can definitely see that he can really shoot it, he can make plays for himself and everything. I haven’t really seen much of Leon, but I just know from Coach Bennett that he’s a lockdown defender and has a ton of upside offensively, too. I think that just having those two guys at the two and three spot will be really beneficial.”

Story by Chris Graham

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