Now seems like as good a time as any to take a look at where Villanova men’s basketball recruiting stands in relation to the High School Class of 2018.
Prior to looking at the Class of 2018 prospects, it makes sense to first baseline what players are on board already and what the primary needs are both in terms of positions and skill needs.
Based on the assumptions that a) Phil Booth will redshirt this season and return for his Senior season (5th year on campus) and b) no players will leave early for the NBA, here is where the roster stands entering the 2018-19 season:
Seniors: Jalen Brunson, Phil Booth, Mikal Bridges, Eric Paschall
Juniors: Donte DiVincenzo, Tim Delaney, Dylan Painter
Sophs: Omari Spellman, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, Jermaine Samuels, Collin Gillespie
Frosh: TBD (that is what we are here to discuss)
Breaking these down by position and projecting a “Top 8”:
Perimeter: Booth, DiVincenzo
Perimeter: Bridges, Samuels
Interior: Spellman, DCR
Painter, Gillespie and Delaney may or may not work themselves into the rotation by 2018-19 but for now, this projects as the Top 8.
Two things jump out at you when look at this projection:
- Four of the projected starters are Seniors and will have but one year to hand the torch to any 2018 Freshmen (that will need to get enough PT in 2018-19 to be ready for prime-time come 2019-20).
- There are 11 of 13 possible ‘ships already accounted for … that said, we came into this exercise with assumptions and the likelihood of none of these players leaving early or freeing up a scholarship for some reason is rather small. So, we will assume that Villanova needs to land three players from the Class of 2018 in order to build the best possible roster for 2019-20 (given the wealth of players currently projected in the Senior Class of 2019 it makes more sense to project the skill needs to 2019-20).
So … what are the primary needs for the 2018 High School Class for Villanova?
In no particular order, these are the gaps to be filled:
A. A player with a point guard skill set (to replace the Brunson/Booth skills)
B. A wing scorer (to replace the Bridges skill-set)
C. A versatile, long wing player that could potentially team with DCR and or play some minutes at the 5 in the scenario where Omari Spellman is a one-and-done after his 2017-18 Frosh season
Villanova is well positioned with a number of 2018 prospects right now and continues to evaluate and establish relationship not only with them but with other potential prospects:
To fill the “A Gap” the two most prevalent names are:
Jahvon Quinerly (he has a huge list with strong contenders like Arizona, Cal, UVA, Syracuse, Notre Dame and UConn but Villanova is well positioned here)
Prentiss Hubb (his list includes Georgetown, Marquette, Maryland, N.C. State, Syracuse, UVA, Xavier and Wake Forest)
To fill the “B Gap” two of the early leaders are:
Elijah Weaver (some of the programs that are strongest in the Weaver sweepstakes as of today are: Villanova and Florida with UConn, UCLA, Maryland and Florida St. also in play)
Brandon Slater (he has Villanova high on his list - which also includes Georgetown, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, UVA, Syracuse, and N.C. State)
To fill the “C Gap”
Jalen Smith (Maryland and Villanova are the school most consistently mentioned but Arizona, Kentucky, UCLA, UVA, Stanford and Syracuse lie in wait)
Hameir Wright (at one point, Villanova was one of the schools first mentioned in regards to Wright, it seems that things have cooled off and he now has Michigan St, Miami, Syracuse, Maryland, and Indiana calling as well)
As always, the VUSports, Villanova Recruiting Depth Chart details the full list of players Villanova is recruiting from high school Seniors through Frosh.