Villanova was busy this past weekend - the staff rolled up I-95 to New York City to take in both the Nike and Under Armour events as expected. They saw all the players that you're familiar with, and a few new ones for good measure. That National Championship opens doors, y'all.
No new offers as of yet, but judging by Twitter those are still rolling in from most programs. So we may yet see that. Here's a recap from the weekend - major thanks again to Josh and Ari from City of Basketball Love who somehow managed to cover all the events and not have a mental breakdown. A lot of this intel comes from them - and make sure to read their notebooks fore even more detail and quotes from the prospects.
Friday April 15
The 16U event for Nike and all events for Under Armou kicked off on Friday night and Villanova had representation at both. 'Nova spotted watching Team Takeover's younger group at the Nike games in New Jersey. The big name to know there is 2018 5-star forward Jalen Smith. The 6'8" forward already holds an offer from Villanova after visiting for Hoops Mania - and yes he attends the same high school as Phil Booth did. Smith said he enjoys how "ruthless" Villanova plays no matter the situation.
Nova had an assistant at UAA as well where they checked in on Team Melo, which features 2018 point guard Noah Locke. No offer yet for the Baltimore native, but he should stay on the 'Cats radar after visiting for Hoops Mania last fall.
Sports U has become notable for their "Fab Five" and 'Nova took in their win on Friday night. 2018 PG Jahvon Quinerly was in top form all weekend, and remains one of the top priorities for Villanova in that class. The group also features 5-star Naz Reid (holds a Villanova offer) and Atiba Taylor, who's seen some interest in the past.
Saturday April 16
Jay Wright and Baker Dunleavy were out bright and early at the Nike event on Saturday morning. Dunleavy started the day watching BABC vs. Las Vegas Prospects. LV is loaded with talent, but nobody besides O'Shae Brissett that 'Nova has been involved with. Maybe scouting 3-star forward Terrell Brown?
Wright took in Albany City Rocks game to watch Hameir Wright. By all accounts he was very impressive in leading his team to a win, and had some really good things to say about 'Nova (and it would appear he does NOT have an offer yet).
Wright then moved on to check out GA Stars vs. Meanstreets - another pair of rosters lacking a former 'Nova target. 5-star wing Brian Bowen is somebody Villanova is trying to get involved with (thanks National Championship) but don't get too excited - they're late to the game. But worth making a pitch.
Competition for Lonnie Walker is heating up, so Wright and Dunleavy went two-deep for Team Final's opening game. Worth the reminder that Final also boasts Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree and Cam Reddish, both of whom have offers. But Walker's the main guy, and it's only going to get tougher to land him after he was on fire all weekend. 'Nova was back there for the second game too.
For those of you who were lucky enough, ESPNU broadcast the PSA Cardinals' opening game on Saturday. Wright was there to watch Mohamed Bamba and Quade Green - both got rave reviews all weekend. As several readers have posted, Bamba had some nice things to say about 'Nova in this interview.
There appears to be legs to the emerging Kevin Knox stories. 'Nova watched his game on Saturday, and it was widely reported that 'Nova is trying to set up an in-home visit on Thursday as Knox gets set to host his top contenders. Knox didn't mince words when he said 'Nova was late to the game, but when the National Champions call you should listen.
Wright also watched a highly-anticipated all-New York matchup between the RENS and NY Lightning. 5-star guard Hamidou Diallo (has a 'Nova offer) got all the plaudits but 'Nova has a more realistic shot with his teammate Jordan Tucker - and I'm even starting to feel that one fade despite Tucker continuing to list 'Nova.
Sunday April 17
Wright switched over to UAA for Sunday - but Villanova had an assistant at Nike. They started the day watching Bamba, Green and the PSA Cardinals again. Look out for Mo Bamba to get some #1 overall player consideration. He was dominant all weekend from the sound of it.
Villanova also checked back in on Diallo and Tucker. It will be interesting to see if Villanova can get back in Diallo's ear, but again, not counting on it. They made sure to check back in with Team Final as well.
Meanwhile at UAA, Villanova went two-deep for Trevon Duval. Jerry Meyer made a Crystal Ball pick for Trevon Duval that's bound to make you happy, but pump the breaks a bit. While he seems to really like Villanova and they appear to have a strong foothold in this one, Duval also said he's planning to decide really late. Will Wright wait for him? We saw how that played out with Rawle Alkins.
Wright also checked in on the younger guys - Noah Locke on Team Melo and then Team Rio's 2019 studs Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis. Long way to go in the recruitment of those two but both could be 5-star talents when the rankings drop.
Okay, that was a lot. Keep in mind, this isn't exhaustive. This is just what hitting the 'like' button on Twitter gets you while you're golfing (poorly, I might add) all weekend. Seems like all the regular names, plus a few new ones. About what you'd expect for the first live period coming off a National Championship.
Let's talk about it all.