The July live period is typically a time when we see prospects step their game up in front of college coaches, and offers start flying in every direction. Though you wouldn’t know that if you are a Villanova Wildcats fan.
Following last weekend’s grassroots events, Jay Wright and his staff have yet to extend a single offer. That’s pretty out of the norm across the college basketball landscape, but there are other considerations to take into account for ‘Nova.
2018 recruiting is going extremely well
Landing a top target before July is important for momentum. Landing two likely has Wright and staff feeling extremely #good. While other schools send out a flurry of offers as they try to kickstart their class, Villanova is in prime position.
For better or worse, Villanova is recruiting just four players (Cam Reddish, Jahvon Quinerly, Elijah Weaver and David Duke) right now. That could change, but by most accounts ‘Nova is in solid position with their remaining targets and appears set to try and win the battles they’ve alreay invested in.
There is really no reason (yet) to go out and offer any 2018 players right now, in my opinion.
Villanova’s roster uncertainty is a real
We’ve been over it ad nauseam at this point, but the scholarship chart is pretty tight. If there is no roster attrition, Villanova can’t even take another prospect in this class.
That scenario is highly unlikely, obviously. Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges could leave early. Omari Spellman could as well. Tim Delaney has a major health concern, and Eric Paschall and Phil Booth will have graduated with a year of eligibility remaining. Booth has his own health issue to overcome as well.
But with all of that up in the air, it’s hard to project needs for next year’s roster, much less the class of 2019 and beyond. Villanova has made early offers to several elite targets, but they may wait a while longer on some others.
The staff followed the same pattern a year ago
Looking back to the spring and summer of 2016, Villanova sent out several 2018 offers before the live period, and then waited until later in July to extend several more. Assuming that’s the plan this year as well, Wright and his team are likely just continuing to evaluate players across the entire month rather than make a snap decision based on limited viewing.
With multiple events - CoBL has a fantastic breakdown - taking place locally this week, the ‘Cats staff will get a closer look at some key targets (and maybe some unofficial visits too!).
And then there’s always the following weekend in Vegas as well to finish off summer evaluations. By the end of July, we should have a bit more action.
Here are a few 2019 players to keep an eye on though, given Villanova was seen watching them this past weekend.
4-star PG Jalen Lecque - Lecque recently visited Villanova, but left without an offer. The Villanova staff watched him this weekend, though he appears to have left the game early with a minor injury. Maybe Villanova needs another look before an offer but he looks like a solid fit. Lecque picked up offers from Xavier, UConn, USC, Miami (Fla.), and Illinois just yesterday alone.
4-star SG Tyrese Maxey - Very new name here, but Rivals notes that Maxey might be close to picking up an offer after Villanova caught a glimpse while watching him play Cole Swider this past weekend. Also, check out Maxey’s comments on Swider from the article above. Sounds like he had a fun time dealing with him!
4-star SG Isaiah Wong - Wong has been a familiar name for Villanova for well over a year now. As a local he’s attended multiple games and events on campus, yet does not hold an offer yet. He just won the UAA championship with WE-R-1 and by all accounts performed very well all weekend even while playing up a year.
4-star PF Eric Dixon - Wright was spotted at Dixon’s game while in Atlanta and the undersized forward got great reports all weekend. Dixon is already in the USA Basketball program (though he did not make the final roster this summer). If Wright sees enough development in his outside game, it’s a good bet he’ll get an offer as one of the best players in the area.
4-star CG Paul Mulcahy - There was a report that Wright was at the game to watch 2018 PG Jalen Carey, but I think it’s more likely Wright was watching the NJ Playaz to scout Mulcahy. He’s got good size and likely projects as a point guard in college.
4-star SF Donta Scott - There’s been hype building around Scott for a while now. He’s a fantastic athlete that might have more tantalizing upside than production right now, but he seemed to turn a few heads at the UAA event this past weekend. Will be interested to see how hard ‘Nova goes after him, if at all.
4-star PG Khalif Battle - Tyus Battle’s younger brother is a pretty good prospect in his own right. He’s in the Team Final program so Villanova is likely well aware of him already, and he had a monster performance in front of the ‘Nova coaches at the Peach Jam. Tyus Battle’s recruitment was a bit of a circus though, so we’ll see if ‘Nova pursues.
4-star SF Seth Lundy - From the reports I saw on Lundy he’s solid prospect with a good skillset - a potential prototypical fit for Villanova’s positionless system. He can score at all three levels offensively, but he’s yet to see his recruitment pick up. I’d expect that to change soon.