Happy Thursday Nova Nation! It’s been another week of trials stemming from the FBI’s investigation into college basketball, and again some big names are being dropped. Several current coaches were named yesterday as being linked to Chris Dawkins, who’s already been sentenced to 6 months in jail from the last trial. But the biggest name, and the one that was most implicated yesterday, was Arizona’s head coach Sean Miller.
Per the below article from Matt Norlander, Miller is accused of being actively and at times exclusively involved in making payments to former players including Deandre Ayton. Yesterday the jury saw a video recording captured by the FBI. On that tape, Dawkins discusses the extent of Miller’s involvement which was then corroborated by former financial advisor Marty Blazer.
It’s a huge deal that Miller is being accused this way, as it could lead to him eventually having to take the stand and testify despite being previously told he would not be brought in. And that’s just the legal implication. Even if he isn’t brought in for this trial, he could still be involved in future court cases. And that doesn’t even touch on whether the university will finally cut ties with him due to his connection to these trials and the evidence that seems to be mounting against him with the NCAA.
So why is this the lead story for a Villanova Basketball site? Because the top two commits to Arizona’s class of 2019 had Villanova in their final lists, and could be back on the market if Miller is fired this offseason.
The biggest get for the Wildcats would be PG Nico Mannion, who was also considering Duke and Marquette. Both of those schools have returned their star point guards, while Villanova would offer an opportunity to start right away with Collin Gillespie moving to his natural position of shooting guard. The other player is Jeremiah Robinson-Earl’s teammate at IMG Accademy, wing Josh Green. Green would be a much harder get for the Wildcats given their current depth at the position and the interest of his other Final 6 schools like UNC, Kansas, USC, and UNLV.
There’s no guarantee that either of these players would choose to leave Arizona, or that they’d end up at Villanova. But the first domino in that process appears to have dropped yesterday, and now it’s just a matter of waiting to see how many more fall.
In other “news”, two Villanova football players could hear their names called in the NFL Draft this weekend, recruit Johnny Juzang has decided to reclassify to 2019, and it’s once again time for Villanova to dominate the Penn Relays. Enjoy!
College Basketball FBI Trial
College basketball corruption trial: Sean Miller accused of knowingly cheating in FBI video | CBSSports.com
Sean Miller, Arizona and Deandre Ayton came back into focus, and under scrutiny, Wednesday in Manhattan
Arizona coach Sean Miller could testify in baskeball corruption trial | SI.com
An FBI recording featured Christian Dawkins saying he talked with coach Sean Miller in relation to payment being made to Deandre Ayton's family.
NC State’s Kevin Keatts connected to FBI pay-for-play trial | Raleigh News & Observer
NC State coach Kevin Keatts’ name was connected to wannabe-agent Christian Dawkins during testimony in a federal court on Wednesday.
LSU, Wade agree to deal with amended clause | ESPN
Will Wade, LSU's recently reinstated coach after a month-long suspension for not meeting with the school to answer questions about his relationship with an aspiring agent, agreed to a contract that allows the university to fire him with cause.
College basketball trial: New evidence supports Rick Pitino | Courier Journal
Recording of basketball go-between Christian Dawkins paints Rick Pitino as a coach "who doesn't know what's going on."
Key figure in hoops trial details football payments | ESPN
Former financial adviser Marty Blazer, the key government witness in the FBI's college basketball corruption trial, testified Tuesday that he made payments to football players at several colleges as well.
Johnny Juzang reclassifies: Kentucky, Virginia target recruit | SI.com
One of the top 2020 prospects now plans to head to college this fall, insantly making him a top spring priority.
One Of The Top Recruits For The 2020 Class Has Re-Classified | The SPUN
A five star recruit from the 2020 class announced his plans to reclassify to the 2019 class. Here's the latest on Johnny Juzang.
What Ed Cooley Found on the Transfer Market | Friar Basketball
Friar Basketball provides insight into Providence College basketball that you can't find anywhere else. The site takes an honest and insightful look at the current and future state of PC Basketball.
Way-too-early Big East power rankings for 2019-20: Another Nova party? | The Athletic
Editor's note: In addition to Seth Davis' early top 25, we're looking at individual conferences to...
2019 NBA Draft Top 100 - Post Early Entry Edition | CBB Today
Despite some still having time to return to college basketball, we now know who has entered the 2019 NBA Draft in terms of underclassmen and...
Kyle Lowry’s ring finger “popped out” during Game 5, he will be ready for Game 1 vs. 76ers | Yahoo! Sports
In the second quarter of the Raptors’ close-out win against the Magic, Kyle Lowry injured his finger, apparently dislocating the ring finger on his right hand, his shooting hand. However, it’s the playoffs, he was back in the game quickly and he will certainly be ready to go Saturday when Toronto begins
2019 NFL Draft: Top 250 prospects (with comments) | Devidiscourse
Villanova offensive lineman Ethan Greenidge comes in at #231.
NFL DRAFT: Villanova's Brandon Hitner Rising Quickly | HERO Sports
Brandon Hitner arrived at Villanova knowing he had some work to do to become an effective player at one of the FCS' top conferences.
As NFL draft looms, Flanders' Ethan Greenidge waits for a call | RiverheadLOCAL
Riverhead Blue Waves football standout, a four-year starter at Villanova, is an NFL last-day draft prospect
FCS primer for the 2019 NFL Draft | Yahoo! Sports
(STATS) - NFL teams appeared slow to come around to projecting James Madison cornerback Jimmy Moreland as a likely draft pick this week.
2019 NFL Draft: Analyzing every reported New Orleans Saints visit | Saints Wire
The New Orleans Saints held official visits with at least 19 prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft like Ed Oliver and Will Grier. Who else?
'Nova's Comber looks to put on happy face at Penn | Sports | delcotimes.com
Casey Comber’s fierce competitive drive comes from a hate of losing. There is no gray area for the redshirt junior from Villanova. There is winning and losing. It’s that simple.
Marcus O’Sullivan has seen it all at the Penn Relays, but pressure on Villanova doesn’t change | The Inquirer
The former Wildcats star and Irish Olympian is in his 21st year as the team's head coach but the expectations are still immense. "There's no such thing as second, third. It’s either you win or you lose," he said.
The world-famous Penn Relays, directed by Dave Johnson | Penn Today
On Thursday, April 25, the 125th running of the Penn Relays takes its mark at Franklin Field. Tens of thousands are expected to attend from across the globe.
Joe Juliano looks back at 43 years at the Penn Relays | The Inquirer
There have been some amazing athletes and performances over the last four-plus decades. Here is a look at some of them.