Happy Friday Nova Nation! There are usually two big storylines immediately following any college basketball season, and they both focus on who’s going where. First is the coaching carousel, and Villanova’s been lucky enough that for the past several seasons all that means is waiting to find out which Jay Wright Assistant is going to get their shot to lead another program. The second is the a combination of the Pros and the Portal.
For a long time, while transfers did happen the majority of player movement came down to who would be leaving early to go play professionally. But now with players being able to transfer and play immediately, combined with not needing to leave college to make money thanks to NIL, the transfer portal has become almost as important as recruiting.
For Villanova, there are a lot of rumors our there around who’s staying, who’s going, and who might be coming. So today we’re going to break down what we expect to see, and the likelyhood of player movement. Let’s start with what we know.
Who’s Definitely Leaving?
As far as ending their playing careers, Collin Gillespie, Jermaine Samuels, and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree have exhausted their eligibility (unless DCR applied for a med redshirt on the down low for the 2021 season, but given his physical limitations he’s likely done). Gillespie and Samuels are likely off to professional basketball careers. DCR on the other hand had a cryptic message recently that may indicate he’s back on the sidelines with Nova next year. Maybe as a Grad Assistant? We’ll have to wait and find out.
Who’s Definitely Staying?
Right now there’s only one player I could say with absolute certainty is staying at Villanova, and that’s Justin Moore. He’ll rehab throughout the summer, and we’ll all be hungry for timetables and updates. But given that he’ll hopefully still have a long basketball career ahead of him, I don’t see any reason for Villanova to try to rush him back. For now, the safe assumption is that he will take a medical redshirt for the 2023 season as he recovers from a torn achilles tendon.
The big impact from that though is it frees up additional minutes for next year. Villanova will be without its top three scorers who also averaged nearly 100 minutes per game. That’s a TON of opportunity. To put it into perspective, Villanova hasn’t seen that level of opportunity open up in the starting lineup since the 2018 National Championship. So with that much opportunity available, there’s incentive for players who have been waiting for their opportunity.
Which Dominos Fall First?
The first two major decisions I’m expecting are from Caleb Daniels and Brandon Slater. The pair of seniors still have their COVID year of eligibility remaining, and will need to decide between going pro or coming back for one more run. All signs seem to point to a return for both, although nothing official has been announced. Still there’s plenty of positive signs to be found on social media.
Could anyone else decide to leave?
If you want to believe the Debbie Downers online, you may think it’s inevitable that there WILL be a player transferring out of Villanova this season. I’m not saying it won’t happen. Players have more information at their disposal today than ever, and can make their own informed decisions. But what I think a lot of these people claiming someone will transfer are doing is taking their own thoughts of how someone should or would react and projecting it onto these players.
There was so much talk about guys not getting enough playing time or frustrations with coaching decisions that came from the fan base, not from the players. Then these same fans are saying, that must have been such a bad/disapointing experience for the player, they must be looking to move on to something else.
In reality, we don’t know what other factors played a part in player utilization this season. Interviews with coaches and players have indicated there were lots of setbacks and injuries this year to key reserves that could have slowed or reduced their progress. But the fact still remains that there is going to be a TON of opportunity this season, and Jay trusts the guys that have put in the work. There are a lot of players that may not have cracked the rotation this season, but they put in the work and have built up trust with the staff. If I had to put money on someone leaving vs no one leaving, my money’s on no one.
Who could join the roster?
We already know about the three incoming freshman: Cam Whitmore, Mark Armstron, and Brendan Hausen. This is a VERY talented group that will be in the mix for playing time immediately if they show up with the right mentality and physically ready for the college level.
But possibly the biggest storyline for Villanova since the Final Four is that the staff has been very active in talking to point guards in the transfer portal. The two names that have had the most buzz around them are Courtney Ramey from Texas and Jaelin Llewellyn from Princeton.
Ramey was a former Villanova recruit as a member of the Class of 2018. He’s played four seasons at Texas, and has one year of eligibility remaining. In 2022, he averaged 9.4 points, 1.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1 steal per game.
Texas transfer Courtney Ramey is receiving interest from the following programs, per his father:— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 7, 2022
Llewellyn is also getting interest from a number of big name programs, but opportunity, recent success, and location may put Villanova at the top of the list if they decide to extend an offer.
Princeton transfer Jaelin Llewellyn tells me that he's receiving interest from the following programs:— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 31, 2022
Averaged 15.7 PPG and 4.7 RPG this past season.
Regardless of if Villanova takes on a transfer at PG or not, fans will be going into next season without knowing who will step into that role. It’s unfamiliar territory as it hasn’t happened since Ryan Arcidiacono’s freshman season in 2012-13. Should be a VERY interesting summer!
In other news...
Courtney Ramey transfer: Kentucky, Villanova among Texas basketball guard's 17 interested programs
Texas men's basketball transfer guard Courtney Ramey has a large list of suitors after entering the portal last Thursday, according to CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein, who cited Ramey's father Thursday. NCAA Tournament teams such as Connecticut, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Marquette, Murray State, TCU, Villanova and Wisconsin are among 17 programs to have expressed interest.
Texas Longhorns Men's Basketball Transfer Courtney Ramey Drawing Interest from Handful of Elite Programs - Sports Illustrated
Senior guard played 128 career games with Texas
Big time recruit Skyy Clark picks Illinois | wandtv.com
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) -- Big time news for the Illini men's basketball program today.This afternoon, Skyy Clark picked Illinois on ESPNU over Gonzaga and Villanova.
Mikal Bridges Owns An Impressive Ongoing NBA Record | The Cold Wire
There are many impressive things about the Phoenix Suns. That's why the team is number one in the West and is very close to returning to the NBA
WATCH: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl Bookends Rookie Year in Utah | Sports Illustrated
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl gives efficient minutes to OKC down the stretch.
Can Fran Dunphy lead La Salle back to college basketball relevance? | The Inquirer
Fran Dunphy detailed his initial reluctance and eventual acknowledgment that he needed to be the one to fix the Explorers.
First home conference series brings Butler to town | Villanova University
VILLANOVA, Pa. – On the heels of picking up back-to-back wins, Villanova welcomes Butler to town this weekend for the first home BIG EAST series at Villanova Ballpark.
Track & Field Great Marty Liquori To Be Inducted to Academic All-America Hall of Fame | Villanova University
Villanova track & field all-time great and 1968 Olympian Marty Liquori is one of four inductees that make up the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame Class of