Happy Thursday Nova Nation! Jay Wright’s run with Team USA came to a disappointing end yesterday when they fell to France in the FIBA World Cup. They’ll now have to play in the “losers” bracket and are already out of contention for gold. But there are two silver linings he can think about on the long flight home from China. First, he’ll be back with Team USA (and likely more NBA superstars) for their run at the gold in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. And second, he can get back to focusing on Villanova Basketball.
The team’s been in good hands without him around, and that was evident yesterday when news broke that three Villanova coaches (presumably Neptune, Halcovage, and Nardi) will be in White Plains, NY to recruit 2021 5-Star SF, A.J. Griffin. Griffin is the 10th overall ranked recruit in the country, and is also being courted by the likes of Duke, Kansas, and Michigan.
The clubhouse leader right now appears to be Duke, with Coach K himself in town to watch Griffin play just two days prior to Villanova’s arrival. But the Wildcats’ staff has been putting a lot of effort into Griffin’s recruitment, and he’ll likely have a big opportunity on the Main Line when the roster logjam breaks up in two seasons.
The recruiting front has been a little quiet lately with Wright out of the country and a full roster on campus, so this hit on the radar is a great sign that things are ramping up again with the 2021 class. Those commitments are probably still a season away though, so for now we’ll have to do with sightings like this one. As for 2020, don’t hold your breath. It’s likely Villanova won’t make any moves with that class unless it’s an elite prospect or it’s clear that a current Wildcat is leaving school early. In either of those scenarios, news likely wouldn’t break until the spring. In other words, we’re probably still months away from any commitments. Still, it’s always nice to see the staff out on the trail and repping Villanova. Best of luck to all of them!
In other “news”, California is one step closer getting players paid, Arizona’s “Book” Richardson is back in the news, and at least one expert has Villanova in their Preseason Top 5. Enjoy!
BIG EAST to Host Freshmen Fundamentals This Weekend | Villanova University Athletics
Former Wildcats standout Ryan Arcidiacono will be among the former BIG EAST players taking part in Freshmen Fundamentals.
Is Roy Williams one of the greatest coaches ever? Eamonn Brennan’s college hoops mailbag, Part I | The Athletic
Brennan has Villanova in his preseason Top 5, and puts three Wildcats in his 1st and 2nd All-Big East preseason teams.
AUDIO: Big East Prospects & Interview With Sam Mazzullo (The Stepien NBA Draft Podcast) | Lineups Podcasts
Villanova Wildcats Saddiq Bey, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, and Bryan Antoine are among the players discussed as Big East prospects for the 2020 NBA Draft.
Villanova Basketball Recruiting
Villanova going three deep for A.J. Griffin; UNC set for home visit with R.J. Davis | Zagsblog
With Villanova coach Jay Wright in China for the FIBA World Cup, Villanova’s entire remaining staff will see the Class of 2021 forward ranked No. 11 in the Class of 2021 by ESPN.com.
Team USA Basketball Can Fix Itself Before Tokyo Olympics | Time
Team USA Basketball was handed a major upset by France in the FIBA World Cup. But there's time to right the ship before the Tokyo Olympics.
The lighthearted way of doing a podcast with Josh Hart | VAVEL.com
Josh Hart and Matt Hillman turned a hobbie into a business.
AUDIO: Locked On Phoenix Suns Podcast: Bridges vs. Oubre dominates wing group | Bright Side Of The Sun
We continue to go position-by-position on the Suns’ roster as we discuss the wing rotation.
Holy Spirit junior Shane Solari commits to Villanova for baseball | pressofatlanticcity.com
Holy Spirit High School junior Shane Solari announced last week a verbal commitment to Villanova University on a partial athletic scholarship for baseball.
Orchard Awarded VanDerveer Fund Coaching Grant | Villanova University Athletics
New York, NY – The Women's Sports Foundation (WSF) announced Tuesday its inaugural class of grant recipients to receive support from its new Tara VanDerveer Fund
Family Hoops Tradition Stays Strong | The Tablet
In the local basketball scene, the last name “Alesi” is synonymous with a brand of high-quality, competitive hoops that molds student-athletes from boys to men.
NCAA urges California governor not to sign ‘fair pay’ bill | NBC Sports
The NCAA Board of Governors wants California Gov. Gavin Newsom to reject a new attempt to pay college athletes, and it is prepared to take the fight to court if necessary.
California bill nearing passage could be domino that brings down NCAA's amateurism philosophy | CBSSports.com
A critical bill on the verge of passing could put the NCAA to the ultimate test: paying players
"Book" Richardson allegedly said he paid coach to fix grades | Yahoo! Sports
In a transcript of a conversation recorded by the FBI in June 2017, former Arizona assistant basketball coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson told undercover agents he paid $40,000 to a “high school coach” to help ensure the academic eligibility of former Wildcats player Rawle Alkins.