It's the off-season so topics are slow around VUhoops.
With the 2010 Recruiting Class coming to a close, it's time to shift focus to 2011.
With Cory Joseph heading to school in Austin, most Villanova fans realize that the primary focus for Coach Jay Wright will be on the point guard position.
The three quick names that come to the top of the head for the Class of 2011 are Seattle's Tony Wroten Jr., Quin Cook from DeMatha, and Tyrone Johnson from Plainfield, NJ.
Wroten, who suffered a torn ACL playing football last fall has spent the winter rehabbing and is back to his Top 10 form. Through spring AAU tournaments, the 6'5" point guard has continued to impress. Scout's Dave Telep noted, "On the break he’s a great finisher or excellent decision maker. When he chooses, defensively he can be a guy that causes problems."
Wroten who kept his life very open via Twitter until recently has announced a number of Top 5 Lists; all of which include Villanova and Syracuse. Kentucky has supposedly entered the picture as well.
6 foot 3 Tyrone Johnson came on the scene as a two-star athlete. However the NJ native has decided to concentrate on Hoops and his skills have notably increased. According to Scout and Rivals, Johnson plays taller than his 6'3". He can make jump shots and finish around the basket without making the flashy passes. Georgetown seems to be the other major player in Johnson's recruiting.
Quin Cook, a 6-foot point guard from DeMatha in Maryland is getting looks from all the majors including North Carolina, Kansas, UCLA, Texas, Maryland, and now Kentucky. It's interesting because Villanova's mention with the DC Metro Player of the Year varies from story to story. Cook was on campus for a game or two this past season, and in an interview with Scout.com he noted that he is interested in a "a coach who lets his point guard control the game, get up and down, but also can run a halfcourt offense." That article later noted that he had an offer in hand from Jay Wright.
Cook's DeMatha teammate, Mikael Hopkins is also receiving recruiting interest from 'Nova. The 6'8" Power Forward is gaining interest from the nation's top schools.
The newest eye-raiser to Villanova recruiting is LaQuinton Ross. The 6'9" forward has moved onto the Villanova watch list when the athletic Mississippi native transferred to Life Center Academy in Burlington, NJ. One AAU coach noted, "If you put a big on him, he goes by them. If you put a small on him, he shoots over the top. His length and ability makes him a great defender and a great rebounder. He also blocks shots very well."
"Q" who has a 7'4" wingspan, notes that West Virginia, Texas, Syracuse, Ole Miss, and Mississippi St (among others) are in the picture with 'Nova.
Jay Wright and the coaching staff are also involved in another 2011 big man- Malcolm Gilbert of the Academy of New Church. The 6'11" Delaware native has always had the height, but his hard work is showing results as high major schools have began to pick up interest.
Moving on to the Class of 2012...
While Jay Wright and staff were recruiting Cory Joseph, another player from Findlay Prep caught Villanova's eye, Winston Shepard. The 6'6" small forward is a 5-* recruit and is ranked in the Top 5 for the class of 2012. At this point, a number of elite schools besides Villanova are recruiting Shepard; his list includes Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, and Texas.
Are assistant coach Chris Walker's ties to Houston starting to pay dividends? The top point guard in the Class of 2010, LJ Rose, noted that Villanova has thrown out an offer to the 6'2" player from Houston's Second Baptist School. Texas, Kansas, Duke, and North Carolina are also in line for the elite talent.
One of the top shooting/point guards in the Class of '12, J-Mychal Reese (Bryan,TX) regularly throws around Villanova's name with Baylor, Texas, Kansas and other Big 12 names. Following up a recent spring AAU performance, Scout.com noted that Reese is a "smooth lefty who generates tremendous lift on his jumper." They went on to note that he has "quickness, above average athleticism and plays with a majority beyond his years."
Looking at New York City, Nkereuwem Okoro is already considered one the City's top 3 ballers in the Class of '12. The 6'4" shooting guard from St. Raymond's (NY) is enamored at the thought of playing in the BIG EAST. Besides Villanova, Pitt, Washington, Arizona, and Kentucky are recruiting Okoro who Rivals.com notes "has a very tight handle with a dynamic pull up jumper."
In the Class of 2012, Villanova fans should keep tabs on a pair of names from Philly and one from Brooklyn; Amile Jefferson a 6'6" forward from Friends Central and Savon Goodman at the Academy of the New Church. Throw in the name Omar Calhoun, a 6'3" guard from Brooklyn's Christ the King and the prospects for an intimidating 2012 Recruiting Class are great.
What do you think? Are there any recruits who you are excited about? Who would be in your dream class for the 2011 or 2012?