Hometown: Baltimore, MD
High School: Mount St. Joseph
Weight: 185 lbs
Phil Booth comes in to college with the the reputation of being a very polished guard. A consensus 4-star recruit, he ranked 76th overall according to the 247Composite rankings. He held offers from Georgetown, Maryland and Indiana among others, but committed to Villanova in late July of 2013 amidst speculation that Jay Wright would take one of he or Ja'Quan Newton (Newton ended up signing with Miami-FL).
Booth was labeled as a shooting guard by most of the scouting services, but projects to play point guard during his career at Villanova. He averaged 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game en route to being named the Baltimore Prep Player of the Year. He is very fundamentally sound on offense and can get in to the lane as well as knocked down a jumper from the outside. On defense, he should immediately become one of the best on-ball defenders on the Wildcats' roster.
A lot of Phil Booth's freshmen season depends on the play of the guards in front of him. Jay Wright has said that his team has a clear top six, with Dylan Ennis and Josh Hart essentially playing starter's minutes and Ryan Arcidiacono entrenched as a starter. However, with the graduation of Tony Chennault, Booth should see plenty of the floor with Wright looking to replace the steady ballhandler.
Already getting rave reviews in practice, the expectations are beginning to mount for Booth to come in and make an immediate impact both offensively and defensively.
Best Case: Booth is the 2nd-3rd man off the bench and because of the strong play of Arcidiacono and Ennis, is allowed to focus on shoring up two weak spots on the Villanova scouting report - perimeter defense and three-point shooting percentage. A strong season lands him a spot on the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.
Worst Case: With early season tests against tough defenses from VCU and Syracuse, Booth's baptism by fire goes awry. His turnovers go up and his confidence starts to dip as the 'Cats head in to conference play and he falls out of the main rotation with Arcidiacono and Ennis.
Ed's Wisdom of Crowds experiment is back for the 2014-15 season. Following each of our previews we will be sampling the VUHoops community on the projected performances of the Villanova roster for the upcoming season.