The July Live Period is finally here, and mercifully, this looks to be a non-stressful event for the Villanova Wildcats staff and the fanbase. Jay Wright had a Spring to remember, following up a National Championship with multiple Top-100 commitments and a program-record 4 NBA draftees.
With Eric Dixon and Justin Moore in the fold (and a suddenly very full roster), Villanova has afforded itself the ability to court the handful of 2019 prospects from a position of strength. The Villanova program makes you a winner AND a millionaire, and there’s not much room left at the inn.
I’m straining to remember the last time the ‘Cats came into the big recruiting month in a position like this. At the time, the 2016 title still felt like a tentpole event, not the result of a machine purring out ruthlessly efficient wins like the 2018 title did.
Of course, this is recruiting. And there’s more losses than wins on the recruiting trail when you bring in a couple of kids every year. So there’s still work to do if Jay and team are to finish this class with a bang.
But this weekend should be much more relaxing for everyone knowing where Villanova stands.
So what to do with your weekend now that we’ve established all is well? Scour Twitter for updates?
SPOILER ALERT: Every school recruiting a kid is confirmed to be watching the kid in July. And then watching that kid, the schools will then see other kids and watch them. All other reporting is asinine. The end— Brian Snow (@BSnow247) July 10, 2018
That made me laugh harder than it should have. But if you are curious about who Villanova plans to watch this week and weekend, it’ll be a familiar cast of characters.
- Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis are playing in the UA Finals in Atlanta.
- Likewise, Josh Green and Nico Mannion will be there as well with West Coast Elite.
- Isaiah Stewart is at the Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C., fresh off a Gold medal with USA Basketball.
- Eric Dixon (WE-R-1) is in Atlanta, and Justin Moore (Team Takeover) is at the Peach Jam trying to become the first team to ever go undefeated through the entire circuit.
Villanova will obvioiusly watch Dixon and Moore a bunch, but who else they focus on should be an indicator for how they feel in those recruitments.
Nobody seems to think Nico Mannion will get out of the state of Arizona, and he’s set for what may be a commitment next week. At the very least he’s likely to confirm a reclassification to 2019.
Bryan Antoine has already set an official visit - the uber-important 5th one - to Villanova while the ‘Cats have also had steady buzz with Josh Green for most of the Spring and Summer as well.
The major prize seems to be Isaiah Stewart, who is reportedly close to setting up his official visits. If Villanova can land one of those, they’ll have extended the playing field appropriately.
We’ll keep our eyes out for any new names, but with it would be surprising to see that in the class of 2019 with just one more scholarship likely in the class. 2020 may be the place where new names surface as July evaluations are completed.