The Villanova Wildcats may have been ‘Wing U’ or ‘Forward U’ in recent years, but it’s the longstanding tradition of Villanova’s guard play that drew the Wildcats’ latest commit, Jordan Longino, to the Main Line.
He’s not only excited to be a part of the program, but hopes to continue that lineage of great Villanova guards.
“It was really a perfect fit,” Longino said of ‘Nova. “Coach Wright, his history with guards, you know Donte DiVincenzo, Jalen Brunson, Kyle Lowry, guards like that are guards I look up to. I want to have as successful of a career as they did, and I think Coach Wright takes development very seriously. Also, the main thing was the team aspect of Villanova, it’s really a brotherhood there.”
The Germantown Academy (Pa.) standout first got acquainted with the Villanova coaching staff as a sophomore, when they first reached out.
Over time, their connection deepened. He got to know every coach on the team, but Jay Wright really had an impression on him.
“The more I got to talk to Coach Wright one-on-one, the more I really got to pick his brain and know his philosophy,” he said. “I trust him, I trust the coaching staff. I trust his philosophy, and I think he can take my game to the next level. Off the court, Villanova’s a great school, so it’s really a perfect fit.”
The 6-foot-5 guard enjoyed a stellar junior season. He was named the PIAA Class 4A player of the year, after averaging 22.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He shot 54 percent overall, with a 41.5 percent clip from beyond the arc.
He’s rated a four-star recruit in the class of 2021, according to 247 sports and ESPN.
He announced his decision to commit to Villanova on Thursday night, becoming the third member of the 2021 recruiting class, following Trey Patterson (Somerset, N.J./Rutgers Prep) and Nnanna Njoku (Hockessin, Del./Sanford School).
“(Wright) called me a couple minutes after (my commitment), just saying congratulations, can’t wait to get started,” Longino said. “But I talked to him before my official announcement on Instagram, about a couple of days ago, and he just talked about getting ready for my development as a player and as a man off the court. Just fired up to get started.”
He fielded about a dozen Division I offers. Villanova officially offered him in December.
According to Longino, he was also considering Virginia, Maryland, Marquette, UConn, and Indiana.
Although coronavirus didn’t sway him to look closer to home or factor in location, it did affect his timeline, driving him to make a decision when he did.
“With the pandemic, the recruiting period moved back a couple months and it kept moving back and back,” he said. “I didn’t get to take many visits, but Villanova’s always been at the top of my list as far as any other school and it didn’t really matter if I took more visits.”
Longino has been to Villanova’s campus a few times and caught a couple games. After all, his hometown of Doylestown isn’t too far from campus.
What’s he looking forward to most?
“Just being around the family aspect, that’s something they preach a lot,” he said. “It really seems like a true brotherhood, even with the alumni and everybody coming back. Just being able to be mentored by some of the successful guards and players that have been through the program and even the successful people off the court. Not even in basketball, but in school.
“It’s a school that’s close to my house, so I can be close to them. My support cast around me, my family, my old coaches, can come see me play. I’m just ready to get started. I’m ready to join ‘Nova Nation.”
Longino does have one final season at Germantown Academy, but he looks forward to the future excitedly. He has a message for the Villanova fans that aren’t familiar with him and what they can expect from him.
“First, I’m a team guy, I want to do anything that Coach Wright and the coaching staff needs to do to get wins,” he said. “I’m not looking there to put up a whole bunch of shots, I’m there to soak everything in and take leadership from the older guys and the coaching staff. I want him to develop my game as much as possible. I think I have a great base that fits Villanova’s philosophy offensively and defensively, and I think he can just take my skillset now to the next level. Looking forward to getting started.”