With the news that Javhon Quinerly is officially transferring out of Villanova, things suddenly look very thin at the point guard position for next season’s Villanova Wildcats. Collin Gillespie is the only guard with experience running the offense on the roster.
Freshmen Justin Moore and Bryan Antoine should see plenty of time in the backcourt if they weren’t planning on it already. But with the 2019 recruiting class still open and grad transfers available, should Jay Wright look to bring in another player?
I’ve ranked the options to my personal preference.
Swing for the fences on Cole Anthony
Anthony needs no introduction as a potentially generational talent at the lead guard position. He recently announced a final 4 of but we know Villanova recruited him in the past and there’s a pre-existing relationship. Like most elite recruits Anthony is looking for a place to feature from day one. A Gillespie/Quinerly backcourt looked crowded, but not so much anymore.
Longshot? Absolutely. But Anthony’s talent, competitive approach and winning attitude seem to line up with Villanova’s core values. The only risk is obvious - a surefire NBA lottery pick doesn’t buy in for his one season on campus. I think it’s worth the risk, and while the answer is likely no, I think you have to say you tried.
Make this Collin Gillespie’s team, and utilize a help-by-committee approach
As Jake outlined in his excellent season review of Gillespie, there’s plenty to like about his development path compared to past lead guards under Jay Wright. With a freshmen/sophomore class that is loaded with talent a national title run in 2020 may be a more realistic long-term approach than scrambling to plug a glaring hole for next season.
With Villanova seemingly in the thick of it with 5-star prospect Jeremy Roach in the 2020 recruiting cycle, this also keeps a clear path to playing time open.
Pick up a grad-transfer
Some people will be soured by the Joe Cremo experience but I don’t count Jay Wright among them. I think he’ll view Cremo’s contributions as proof that hired guns can succeed in his program.
The transfer portal is growing by the day, with names like South Dakota State’s David Jenkins and and St. Joseph’s Lamarr ‘Fresh’ Kimble sure to draw plenty of interest. Both are intriguing options because of their experience and production.
Again, this doesn’t create a logjam that turns off an elite player like Roach and doesn’t add to an already unbalanced roster that is full of underclassmen.
Take a transfer that has to sit
Alabama’s Kira Lewis is the big name in the portal, but he’ll likely have to sit for a season unless he pulls a waiver out of the hat.
Just 17 years old and coming off an amazing freshman season, it’s worth looking at players like Lewis if you don’t feel the winds are in your favor with regards to 2020 recruiting. A bird in hand and all of that.
Another local name that could be leaving? Jared Bynum at St. Joseph’s. While maybe a little undersized Bynum had an impressive freshman season for the struggling Hawks and boasted one of the best assist rates in the country playing heavy minutes..
Flip a croot
With the coaching carousel in full swing, there may be the opportunity for signed recruits to get out of their LOIs. Late-signee Saddiq Bey had a pretty decent year if I recall.
One name that jumps out is 4-star guard Anthony Harris who is signed with Virginia Tech. With Buzz Williams all but announced at Texas A&M, what happens with his Hokies class is anyone’s guess.
Harris, ranked #66 in the 247 Composite, hails from Paul VI (Va.) and played for Villanova pipeline-Team Takeover on the AAU circuit. He took visits to Wake Forest and Duke before committing to Virginia Tech. While he never received an offer from ‘Nova, the staff will be plenty familiar with him.
I don’t love this option because the ‘Cats already have two combo-guards coming in next season.
I’d rather invest in what we have, which is maybe my way of saying that - past Cole Anthony of course - I’m on board with taking our lumps and developing the guys that we have.