‘Cats Land Big Man
Jason Fraser will play college basketball at Villanova. On Thursday, he announced for the Wildcats over Louisville and St. John's. He joins shooting guard Allen Ray, small forward Curtis Sumpter and guard Randy Foye in what is now a terrific recruiting class loaded with top players.
Fraser is basically in a class by himself. He has the rebounding capability of Amare Stoudemire and like Stoudemire blocks shots at a great clip. However, few can match his credentials in terms of winning. There's something to be said for the undisputed fact that no matter what team this young man plays on, he's generally on the winning side of the ledger and that's an intangible that simply cannot be understated.
For the last month, Fraser held true to the statement that Villanova led for his services. Then, in what amounted to a recruiting heart attack for the schools that were monitoring him, it looked as if he might wait until the late period to sign. Fortunately for Villanova, SJU and Louisville, that didn't happen and they are now each able to move forward and activate their spring plans having learned of his decision.
So, to whom do we owe the credit for Villanova landing such a prized recruit? Well, let's start with the coach. While Jay Wright was at Hofstra, he wowed the NYC kids. He landed a number of the mid-major players but always made it a point to keep in touch with the kids who were being recruited at a higher level. Wright, a hot commodity for the past four seasons, figured he wouldn't be at Hofstra his entire career.
Now, in his first season as head coach on the Mainline, Wright signed three kids from the Big Apple. But, these aren't just three players from New York; they are the three highest-rated players from the state. When it's all said and done, Fraser will be a McDonald's kid, Ray is a Top 50 player and Sumpter isn't far behind. Foye, the fourth signee, is from New Jersey and provided he takes of business in the classroom, will also be capable of playing minutes at either guard spot for the Wildcats as a freshman.
On Nov. 29, Wright sent notice to the entire college basketball community that Villanova basketball is on the move. Much to the delight of Wright, it was Fraser who delivered the message.