Villanova has a depth issue when it comes to tall players after this season -- they don't really have any. Thanks to the vagaries of the recruiting world, Villanova will have just one player listed over 6-7 on the team for next season, unless they can add another in the 2013 recruiting class. Villanova has forwards, but they are of the smaller variety, like JayVaughn Pinkston and incoming recruit Kris Jenkins, whose strength can be effective against many, but the Wildcats can't give up that might height advantage in the low post.
So Jay Wright is a man on a mission, searching for a big man to add to his team this summer.
That search took him and Raphael Chillious to the Mercersburg Acadmy vs. Martinsburg High game in Martinsburgh West Virginia yesterday to check in on unrated forward Donte Grantham. The 6-7 forward has impressed observers, but has largely flown below the radar in recruiting circles. Programs like WVU have shown interest in him, but potentially would want him to redshirt or attend prep school.
Grantham is a former guard who had a late growth spurt that caused him to be moved to forward more recently.
Villanova is also involved with 6-8 forward Tyrek Coger out of Word of God in Raleigh, North Carolina. Coger recently told Justin Byerly of CarolinaPreps.com that the Wildcats were at the top of his list. Coger is a true power forward, rated 2-stars by ESPN, with excellent feet and good hands. He's skilled at finishing around the rim and has a decent jumper for a post player, but needs to commit to playing inside. He was formerly committed to Missouri.
Coger challenged former Kentucky point guard John Wall to a game of 1-on-1 at a camp last summer and became a YouTube phenomenon.
Gavin Schilling of Findlay Prep in Las Vegas is another option, but perhaps a less-likely one, for the Wildcats. It seems that every major program in need of a big man is after the 6-9 center, ranked 15th at his position and easily one of the best uncommitted post players in his class. Schilling has the height, body and can run the floor well enough to compete for the Wildcats right away, but he will need to get more aggressive to become a star.
He recently told PremierBall's James Kerti that he had narrowed his list to four schools, UCLA, Minnesota, Michigan State, and Villanova. He is planning to take an official visit to the Main Line next month.
Then there is Lennard Freeman of Oak Hill Academy, who checks in a 6-8, 215-pounds. Defensively, he is ready to play for a team like Villanova, which makes him a perfect fit for a guard-centric offense, but he will need to grow his skills offensively in college. Freeman is very athletic and he's not afraid to take contact for his team.
Villanova has a few lines in the water to land another big man for their 2013 class, and while they aren't likely to bring in a superstar, the Wildcats should be able to bring in a big body who can help on defense immediately and potentially develop over four years.