Villanova makes early statement

The Villanova Wildcats are off to a great start with the 2012 recruiting class.

It is too early to say who will or won't end up with the top class or a top five class in 2012, but one thing is for sure, Villanova is making a big time statement. By locking down Daniel Ochefu, Jay Wright and company are off to a blistering start on the recruiting trail.

There was no doubt that the class of 2012 was an important one for Villanova. With so much talent in the area surrounding Philadelphia, and scholarships to give, Wright and company had to strike gold, and they have done just that.

Playing in the always tough Big East, it is an arms race to bring in the most talent, and no team is off to a better start, outside of potentially Indiana, than Villanova.

Already the Wildcats have a pair of five-star pledges. Ochefu ranks as the No. 15 overall player in the class while Savon Goodman checks in at No. 24. Add in a stellar scoring point guard in Ryan Arcidiacono, and the Wildcats look primed to be one of the top teams for years to come.

What is special about this group so far is that they all fill a specific need for Villanova. Not only does this trio possess special talent, but their roles will all be clearly defined from the moment they land on campus.

With Ochefu, he comes in right away and gives a big body with a lot of strength who will be physically ready to compete right away. Given that current center, Mouphtaou Yarou, is already considered a big time NBA prospect, the odds are he won't stick around for his senior year. That would leave only Markus Kennedy in the Villanova program to compete with Ochefu for minutes. Landing a big center like Ochefu was of the utmost importance with that in mind.

Goodman is the type of combo forward that Villanova thrives with. The Wildcats love to get up and down the floor, and with Goodman they have a guy who can defend multiple positions as well as use his strength and athleticism to make plays on the offensive end. Only Jayvaughn Pinkston fits the role at the power forward spot on the Wildcat roster, and the two actually do complement each other very well.

Finally there is Arcidiacono. The tall and rangy point guard can flat out fill it up on the offensive end, but also he is capable of distributing. With his size and ability to play on or off the ball, he gives Villanova a legitimate backcourt scoring threat who can score off the bounce or off the catch. That position was sorely lacking on the depth chart for the Wildcats.

While technically Villanova doesn't have any more scholarships to give, the likely early departure of Yarou and usual attrition of one or two players over the course of two years makes it entirely possible that the Wildcats could add a fourth to this already stellar class.

It is no secret that Villanova is hard after local target Amile Jefferson, and also they have spent significant time recruiting five-star Kyle Anderson. If the Wildcats would be able to snag either one of those two, they would be looking at a class that could easily challenge for the top spot in the country, and make them one of the teams to beat for years to come.


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