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Maryland transfer Hakim Hart commits to Villanova

The Philadelphia native has found a new home on the Main Line.

Maryland v Indiana Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Wildcats have made their second big splash of the offseason, after it was announced Friday that Maryland transfer and Philadelphia native Hakim Hart would be heading home to Pennsylvania to play for Villanova next season.

Hart is a 6-foot-8 guard that averaged 11.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists last season in College Park. He is a graduate transfer with one final year of eligibility remaining.

Hart, an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection, entered his name into the 2023 NBA Draft, while maintaining his college eligibility and entering the transfer portal. He ultimately chose Villanova over Kansas, Gonzaga and Miami.

It was reported that Hakim Hart was on campus for a visit on April 15th, just four days before he announced his commitment date.

Let’s get down to a breakdown of his game.

At 6-foot-8, Hart is the missing puzzle piece in this Villanova lineup and projects to be a day one starter. Hart is an extremely athletic wing who excels at scoring on plays off the ball and in motion. He is a gifted passer and an above average defender.

Hart shot 47.9% from the floor last season, which is incredibly efficient, but was average at best from beyond the arc. The good news however, is that Villanova is the place to come to improve from deep. Kyle Neptune will have a lot to work with as Hart has one of the quicker and more unique releases I have seen from someone his size in recent memory.

Hart will also need to improve his rebounding for his size, but those two minor critiques are the only glaring flaws.

One thing that will be an incredible asset for the Wildcats is Hart’s versatility. For being as tall and strong as he is, Hart is not listed as a guard by accident. His ability to make plays with and without the ball is extremely impressive. In a game against Wisconsin in late January, Hart had 13 points and eight assists to just one turnover. Small sample size, yes, but the ability is there.

On the other end of the ball, Hart is a willing and able defender. Kyle Neptune has a vision of what he wants this team to look like and it is finally coming together. As it stands, a projected starting lineup of: Mark Armstrong, Justin Moore, TJ Bamba, Hakim Hart and Eric Dixon is a pretty traditional Villanova “small-ball” lineup that can switch anywhere on defense and wreak havoc on offense.

Hart’s have traditionally ended up working out pretty well for Villanova and I see this being no different. A local kid who shoots over 80% from the free throw line has yet another success story written all over it. This was another home run for Kyle Neptune and company.