Again, my sincerest apologies for the delay in this post. The internets were not behaving as I wanted them to last week and we made the executive call to hold this back until we were fully up and running again.
Below you'll find a quick summary of Villanova's known 2014 targets, along with the latest update on them. The AAU circuit is ramping up as the summer approaches and so we should get plenty of news and insight into these players as the days pass by.
As always, if we've missed anything, put a note in the comments and we'll update accordingly!
Phil Booth, SG, Team Takeover
A true combination guard, Booth showed off his offensive arsenal during a run in the second half. Booth is quick with the ball and is effective as a playmaker and as a scorer. He pumped in points in the second half off of catch and shoot threes, floaters in the lane and plus one finishes at the rim. Booth appears to be ramping up his play and it’s coming at just the right time. Villanova remains heavily involved with the Mount St. Joseph's player, but Indiana may be making a strong push for Booth's commitment.
Ja'Quan Newton, PG, Team Final
A tough Philly guard who will remind 'Nova fans of both Kyle Lowry and Maalik Wayns. Newton's forte is getting to the basket and finishing through contact. Like Lowry & Wayns before him, Newton still needs to work on his jumpshot to make himself a truly elite player, but unlike his former city brethern, Newton possesses more size, making him more difficult to deal with off the dribble. Newton is a top priority for Jay Wright, but isn't planning on trimming down his long list of suitors until after the AAU circuit is complete.
Ben Bentil, PF, WE-R-1
It's been all quiet on the Bentil front for months, although he did unofficially visit both Rutgers and Georgetown during the last college basketball season. Bentil recently played with Team Next at the Philly Jam Fest, and held his own against the highly regarded Goodluck Okonoboh. Bentil remains mum on any list of favorites, instead preferring to focus on improving his game and his academics - surely Villanova will focus on his academics as part of their pitch.
Marial Shayok, SG/SF, CIA Bounce
The Canadian swingman burst onto the scene last year and now plies his trade for CIA Bounce in New Jersey. Jay Wright has extended an offer to Shayok, but a lot of high-major programs still appear to be waiting to see how he plays and develops this spring and summer before they make their final call. Shayok appears to have the drive to succeed as he's not content with his current progress. Villanova is one of the schools that has been recruiting him the longest.
Martin Geben, PF, Team Takeover
A new name on the recruiting radar for most Villanova fans, Geben was just recently offered by Jay Wright and is a name to keep an eye on in our never-ending search for low-post talent.
Khadeen Carrington, SG, NY Lightning
The 6'3" Bishop Loughlin guard, who hails from the same high school as former Wildcat Curtis Sumpter, reported an offer from Villanova in December. However, Carrington appears to be focused on other schools right now, with ZagsBlog reporting that he's got a top 4 of SMU, Cincinnati, UConn and St. John's.
Ray Kasongo, PF, Ohio Basketball Club
A big bodied 3-star forward that already sports an impressive list of offers (Arizona, UCLA, USC and NC State to name a few), Kasongo is a new name for Villanova fans, but would fill a need on the seemingly always thin front line. At 6'8" and 230 pounds, he's got the body to contribute right away in college. He's a Kentucky kid though, and just based on that, you might think if the Wildcats offer he'll jump on it.
Add Villanova to the list of schools that will follow 2014 F @raykasongo32 in July— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 2, 2013