The Villanova Sports Information Director has released the official notice that Class of 2011 Players Darrun Hilliard, Tyrone Johnson, Achraf Yacoubou, and Markus Kennedy have officially signed their National Letters of Intent to play basketball for Jay Wright at Villanova.
Four athletes have inked national letters of intent to enroll at Villanova and join the men’s basketball program in the fall of 2011, it was announced today. The group includes: 6 -5 Darrun Hilliard of Liberty (Pa.) High School; 6-2 Tyrone Johnson of Montrose Christian School (Md.); 6-9 Markus Kennedy of Brewster (N.H.) Academy; and 6-4 Achraf Yacoubou of Long Island (N.Y.) Lutheran High School.
"Our staff is very excited about this class," stated Wildcats head coach Jay Wright. "Each one of these young men brings great talent, character and commitment to our program and we’re thrilled to have them join our Villanova Basketball Family."
Hilliard averaged 18 ppg in helping Liberty High School to the Pennsylvania Class AAAA state semifinals in 2009-10. He played his AAU basketball for the New Jersey Warriors.
"Darrun brings us so many qualities that we value at Villanova," states Wright. "He has a great feel for the game and a knack for doing what’s needed to win. He scores when his team needs him to score, gets big rebounds and is an extremely versatile player. Darrun has received excellent coaching from Chad Landis at Liberty. We think he’s very well prepared to make the transition to this level."
Johnson hails from Plainfield, N.J., where he established himself as an elite prospect in 2009-10 at Plainfield High School. He averaged 18.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game and becomes the latest of a group of Garden State natives to play for Wright that includes Randy Foye, Mike Nardi, Corey Stokes and Dominic Cheek. Johnson has since transferred to Montrose Christian School in Maryland, where he will play in 2010-11. On the AAU circuit, he played with Team Final.
"Ty continues the great line of Villanova guards from the state of New Jersey," noted Wright. "We think with his ball-handling and athletic skills, he can make an immediate contribution to our program. He has the kind of toughness and tenacity we look for in young players. We know that he is being well-schooled at Montrose by Coach Stu Vetter."
Kennedy, a 6-9 forward, is a Yeadon, Pa., product who signed a national letter of intent to attend Villanova in the fall of 2009. He subsequently elected to enroll for a prep year at Brewster Academy after playing the 2009-10 campaign at the Winchendon (Mass.) School. On the AAU circuit, he has played for the New England Playaz.
"Markus is a versatile forward who has really benefitted from the prep school experience," stated Wright. "He is a fine young man who has grown into an impressive basketball player. We think he will develop into an outstanding Big East power player as his college career unfolds. Under the tutelage of Jason Smith, we know he will be very well prepared when he arrives next fall."
Yacoubou, is like former VU standout Allan Ray and current senior Corey Fisher, a native of the Bronx, N.Y. He has made his mark as an outstanding wing player at Long Island Lutheran High School and played for Rich Soils AAU squad.
"Asch’ is a hard-working and talented guard with tremendous upside," said Wright. "He is very committed to becoming a great player and has been well taught by his coach John Buck. We’re excited to have him join our basketball family."