It was a pretty good week to be a Villanova recruit, as both Mikal Bridges and Phil Booth were given nominations for the vaunted McDonald's All-American game. Full rosters will be announced in a live selection show on ESPNU on January 29th. If I were a betting man, I'd think Booth has a better chance than Bridges given that Bridges' Great Valley team doesn't play in a big league, but usually the McDonald's selections have a bit more hype nationally than both of these guys.
To hell with McDonald's though, we'll just keep bringing in underrated guys and kicking ass.
Here's how our boys did this past week.
Bridges and Great Valley went 1-1 this past week. A dominating defensive effort helped Great Valley defeat Oxford 55-35 on Tuesday night. Bridges led the way with a sleek 21 point, 10 rebound effort in the win. However, the Patriots dropped their first game of the season to Rustin 46-42 and now sit at 9-1 on the year.
On Saturday night, Great Valley will host Downington East for a 7:30 pm tip. They're back on the road Tuesday night for their big rivalry game at Unionville (7:15 pm tip) and then return home Thursday night to host Octorara Area (7:30 pm tip).
Bridges and new verbal commitment Donte Divincenzo were recently spotted at the Villanova-Providence game, where Josh Verlin caught up with Bridges and learned that despite the two being good friends, Bridges didn't know Divincenzo's commitment was imminent.
Mikal Bridges just told me he had no idea Donte DiVincenzo was going to commit to Nova, he found out via Twitter. He's definitely happy.
— Josh Verlin (@jmverlin) January 5, 2014
Booth and Mount St. Joseph sit at 15-3 on the season after a perfect 2-0 week which saw an 84-64 win over Mt. Carmel and a 78-56 win over McDonogh, which featured a 360 dunk by Booth (one of 4 total dunks in the game for him). Booth finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists in one of his best performances of the season.
Highlights of the game would have to be Jaylen Adam's (6'0) one handed breakaway slam and Phil Booth's 360 dunk.
— MSJ Student Section (@MSJStudents) January 9, 2014
Booth and MSJ host St. Maria Goretti and Notre Dame commit Martin Geben tonight at 7:00 pm, before they prepare for the big rematch with Dwayne Morgan and St. Frances Academy next Wednesday night at 7:00 pm. SFA won the first meeting this season 60-51 in early December.
Pitman dropped their first game of the season 59-55 to Penns Grove, in what was considered an upset by many. Tim Delaney still looked good however, prompting Ian Simon from CoBL to call Delaney "virtually unstoppable" in a 14 point outing. On Thursday night, Pitman rebounded to smack Wildwood 76-33.
The Panthers rebounded by smacking Pennsville 82-35 with Delaney chipping in 15 points. Pitman's record now sits at 6-1 on the season, with a Saturday home game with Clayton (12:00 pm tip), a Tuesday matchup at Clearview (7:00 pm tip) and Thursday home game vs. Gloucester City (7:00 pm tip) on tap next week.
Divincenzo and Salesianum have posted a 6-1 record to date, with their lone loss coming against Philly powerhouse Archbishop Carroll. Divincenzo is averaging 19.5 ppg so far this season, with his most recent 27 point effort leading the way to a 80-46 win over Smyrna.
Salesianum has a game tonight at St. Elizabeth at 7:30 pm, before heading to Tatnall on Tuesday night for a 5:45 pm tip.
Tyus Battle was the first offer Jay Wright made for the 2016 class, and he'll continue to be the top priority for Villanova. A member of the Wildcats staff was in town to watch him play yesterday.
Villanova & Michigan watched 2016 G @kidmamba23 today. Ohio State & Syracuse also in touch.
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) January 10, 2014
Jahlil Wallace, a 5'10" point from Redan, Georgia, is planning to announce his college decision on April 15th....and he likes Villanova?
2014 5'10 PG Jahlil Wallace (@AgentJay0) Redan (GA) plans to announce his college decision on April 15th. Likes UAB, Miami, and Villanova
— Drew Messmer (@AllMetroDrew) January 8, 2014
Hard to envision him landing with Villanova in April unless there's an unexpected transfer in the coming months, as Jay Wright has stated that he's done for 2014 - and even if he wasn't, Wallace doesn't really fit the mold of what Villanova needs.
Quick update on 2015 shooting guard Justin Simon, who last week we reported was interested in Villanova - we can confirm that the Wildcats' staff has made contact with the California native.
Continue to keep an eye on Vaughn Covington in 2016. Brian Flinn's latest article on the Neumann-Goretti guard details how he's one of the top perimeter defenders on the team and continues to hear from Villanova.
2017 Sanford, Delaware guard Eric Ayala attended Villanova's Hoops Mania in October, and took an unofficial visit to Delaware this week.
2017 Sanford (DE) guard Eric Ayala will take an unofficial visit to Delaware today.
— Alex Kline (@TheRecruitScoop) January 8, 2014
Villanova women's basketball recruit Alex Louin was nominated as a McDonald's All-American. Congrats Alex!