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Villanova Basketball Recruiting: 2018 Big Board

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It’s officially ‘crootin season so let’s take a look at the board.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Mount St. Mary's v Villanova Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The 2017 season is done and dusted, but there’s very little time to rest for the Villanova Wildcats staff. The April live period is just around the corner and evaluations will continue throughout the spring and summer.

Right now, Phil Booth is the lone senior set to graduate before this class arrives, but even he will likely have a 5th year of eligibility if he’s granted a medical redshirt as expected. That means that if there is no attrition, just two scholarships remain open.

Here's the current scholarship outlook, courtesy of MikeJ.

roster outlook
Villanova Basketball Roster Outlook

Speaking of attrition, we’re still waiting for formal decisions from Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges with regards to the NBA Draft, but I expect both will be back for next season. That could be their last though, and Villanova will likely have at least three scholarships available, if not more.

(Editor’s Note: Forgive our non-sexy format. As we continue to build out our new editor, embedding HTML right now is not a good option. Hopefully we’ll be back to our usual format in the future.)

Backcourt

Prentiss Hubb (Washington, D.C.) - 4-star SG - #35 Nationally

Hubb just cut his list down to 6 schools, but most consider this to be a Villanova-Maryland-Virginia race at this stage, though Kansas is lurking. Hubb looks like he’s moving the fastest among all of Villanova’s targets, and has talked about a spring/summer commitment. He took multiple trips to ‘Nova late in the season, but has said he’s going to take a few more before making a decision.

Brandon Slater (Fairfax, Va.) - 4-star SG - #36 Nationally

Along with Hubb and his AAU teammate Jalen Smith, Slater forms a potential 3-man package deal. It’s important to remember these package deals rarely materialize, but the trio is talking about it and they’re being recruited by the same schools. Slater has been relatively quiet, but he did visit for the Virginia game. team battle between Villanova, Maryland, Virginia and Syracuse are the main schools involved.

Elijah Weaver (Oldsmar, Fla.) - 4-star PG - #31 Nationally

Weaver is expected to release a Top-12 in the coming days, so he appears far off from a college decision. This will come as a little disappointing to ‘Nova fans, given Weaver’s ‘dream school’ comments on multiple occasions. With Louisville bowing out of the race (they have two guard verbals already), Villanova would appear to be in a strong position moving forward.

Jahvon Quinerly (Jersey City, N.J.) - 4-star PG - #28 Nationally

One of Villanova’s earliest targets, Quinerly blew up during the high school season and the biggest knock on his game (slight frame) seems to be considered a non-issue at this point. He seems like a likely 5-star in the next update. He’s planning to take some visits this spring and summer, and looks ready to ride out his recruitment into the fall. Villanova is in the thick of it, but more of the big boys are likely to come calling once he gets on the AAU circuit again.

Cameron Reddish (Norristown, Pa.) - 5-star SF - #4 Nationally

The “you have to find room for him” guy in the class, ‘Nova is selling Reddish on being the program’s first one-and-done in the Jay Wright era. He does really like Villanova and visits often, but he also really likes Duke. We’ve seen this movie before, but you never know right?!

A.J. Reeves (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) - 4-star SG - #73 Nationally

Reeves picked up an offer recently when the ‘Nova staff was up scouting Massachusetts, but they may be coming a little late to the game on him. He’s a big scoring guard who would fit well but this looks like a UConn-Providence battle right now.

Cormac Ryan (Milton, Mass.) - 4-star SG - #119 Nationally

Villanova offered Ryan a while back, and he’s making the move to the EYBL this summer after playing for a non-affiliated AAU team last year. Not much buzz since the offer, so this doesn’t feel like a match.

Devon Dotson (Charlotte, N.C.) - 4-star PG - #38 Nationally

Villanova has offered Dotson, who briefly talked about making a visit that has yet to materialize. This doesn’t feel like a recruitment that has mutual interest right now.

Frontcourt

Jalen Smith (Baltimore, Md.) - 5-star PF - #20 Nationally

Frontcourt isn’t a huge issue unless Omari Spellman blows up and heads to the NBA, but Smith looks like the type of player you take if you have room. Maryland is considered the leader, but Smith has visited Villanova on multiple ocassions and the ‘Cats look like a real threat in this recruitment.

Cole Swider (Barrington, R.I.) - 3-star SF - #141 Nationally

Villanova offered Swider recently after some monster performances in high school. Swider can really shoot it and offers good size on the wing as well. He’s already been to campus, so there is mutual interest. If Jay wants a sniper, this is a great option.

Hameir Wright (Albany, N.Y.) - 4-star SF - #45 Nationally

This has been a curious recruitment. Villanova appeared to be a favorite to land Wright in 2017, but the staff wanted him to take a redshirt year to get into the S&C program. Wright opted to reclassify to 2018, and it’s been really quiet between ‘Nova and Wright since that move. He just announced a PG year at Brewster (N.H.) for next season.

Nate Laszewski (Northfield, Mass.) - 3-star SF - #149 Nationally

Laszewski is more of a perimeter player at this stage but he projects as a stretch-four as he continues to grow and put on muscle. He’s considered one of the best shooters in the class, but there hasn’t been much buzz since he was offered on his visit last year.

Prospects To Watch

Jalen Carey (New York, N.Y.) - 4-star PG - #78 Nationally

The Villanova staff has scouted Carey several times in recent months, and he didn’t disappoint much in the high school season. He’s got good size and can score out of the point guard spot, which fits the bill for ‘Nova.

David Duke (Providence, R.I.) - 4-star PG - #76 Nationally

Duke has great size for a point guard at 6’4” and is a big-time athlete that is capable of the highlight play from the lead guard spot. He’s the AAU teammate of A.J. Reeves, so the ‘Cats staff should get plenty of evaluation time in this spring and summer.

Matthue Cotton (Newark, N.J.) - Non-Rated SG

Not much buzz between ‘Nova and Cotton yet, but he’s a Team Final kid and the staff is likely to see plenty of him while tracking Reddish. He’s just starting to real in Power 5 offers, and Cotton has also spoken highly of his interest in ‘Nova.

Luther Muhammad (Jersey City, N.J.) - 4-star SG - #48 Nationally

Villanova has sniffed around Muhammad but hasn’t yet offered. He’s Quinerly’s teammate at Hudson Catholic and for SportsU on the UAA circuit, so the staff will get a fresh look at him this summer.

Louis King (Burlington, N.J.) - 4-star SF - #26 Nationally

There’s been zero buzz here thus far, but King did announce a big switch from the UAA brand to the Nike brand and will play with Philly-based Team Final this summer. He’s worth keeping an eye on.

David Duke (Ashburnham, Mass.) - 3-star CG - #174 Nationally

Villanova scouted Duke in February, but no offer followed (yet). He’s a guy that a lot of industry people are expecting to blow up this summer during the AAU season.