Villanova landed their second Top-100 prospect in the class of 2018 when Cole Swider announced his commitment to Villanova Wildcats this afternoon.
Swider’s commitment is a coup for Jay Wright and his staff. Swider said that his relationship with Coach was a big factor, so kudos to the staff for identifying Swider early in the process and going out and landing their man.
Whereas defense has typically gotten freshman on to the court early in their Villanova careers, it will be Swider’s offense that will make him tough to keep on the bench. He’s one of the truly elite shooters in this class and has great size at 6’8” on the wing.
He’s the prototypical stretch 4 in Villanova’s system. He has polished shooting mechanics with a quick and high release point. He’s also demonstrated great off-the-ball movement which should make him deadly in Villanova’s offense. Expect him to fill the role of Kris Jenkins going forward.
Defensively, Swider is a bit more average. He’s not a liability and he shows great effort and instincts, but he’ll need to improve his strength and quickness to deal with some of the wings and forwards he’s going to face on Villanova’s schedule. That will come in time, and Coach John Shackleton has demonstrated the ability to transform ‘Nova players as required time and time again.
As for a Villanova player comparison, Curtis Sumpter is his ceiling. He’s not as athletic as Sumpter and he needs to continue to develop his offensive skillset, but he’s also a way better shooter coming into the program which should allow him to make an immediate impact. If he can continue to develop as a defender, he’s got a chance to be a star on the Main Line.
Here’s video of Swider’s 37-point outburst against fellow commitment Brandon Slater and Team Takeover during the EYBL this year.