Fresh off a National Championship, the Villanova Wildcats staff has already been out recruiting instead of enjoying a well-earned vacation. No rest for the weary when you are maintaining a dynasty.
You can find the NCAA’s official spring/summer recruiting calendar for 2018 here. And be sure to check out last year’s explainer on what is allowed inside of each recruiting calendar period.
With the hiring of Ashley Howard at La Salle, Jay Wright will be joined by Kyle Neptune, George Halcovage and the recently promoted Mike Nardi on the recruiting trail in the coming months.
It’s been - and will be - a busy first few weeks
The ‘Nova staff has been busy as we gear up for the first live period this coming weekend. In case you missed any of it, here is a quick rundown of what has happened so far since the National Championship:
- Local 4-star forward Eric Dixon will commit on Tuesday April 17th. He’s down Villanova, Virginia, Louisville and Seton Hall. At this point, it would be a major shocker if he didn’t announce for Villanova.
- 4-star guard Justin Moore was visited at school by the ‘Nova staff in early April, and Moore will host Villanova for an in-home visit on Tuesday. Villanova is considered the frontrunner as of now.
- Villanova visited 5-star guard Cole Anthony on Friday.
- 5-star center Isaiah Stewart took an unofficial visit to Villanova on Saturday.
- Villanova saw 4-star guard Isaiah Wong over the weekend.
- Villanova will conduct an in-home visit with 5-stars Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis on Wednesday April 18th.
- George Halcovage is flying West to see 2020 5-star Nico Mannion on Monday.
- Mike Nardi heads North to see 3-star guard Joe Girard on Monday.
- Villanova will head to Stepinac (N.Y.) to see 2020’s R.J. Davis and 2021’s Adrian Griffin this week.
And that’s what we know of. You can see that the staff is zeroing in on a handful of players.
If you’re into the Crystal Ball thing, Villanova is the current leader for Eric Dixon and Justin Moore. ‘Nova also picked up predictions for Bryan Antoine and John Bol Ajak last week. Things are happening!
The AAU season
The next several months will revolve around coaches attending various AAU events all over the country, culminating in the big showcases like Peach Jam and the Las Vegas events in the Summer.
There are three major circuits - the Nike EYBL, Under Armour Association and Adidas Gauntlet - that operate on the same calendar, but visit different cities throughout the country.
In recent years, we’ve seen the event organizers try to circulate in a region to make it easier on the coaches. This year, Nike and UA seem to have coordinated well. They’ll visit Dallas and Indianapolis in April’s recruiting periods and then finish in Georgia this Summer. Expect to see the ‘Nova staff at those two circuits primarily given the amount of known targets in the next several classes.
While Villanova’s 2019 targets are pretty well defined at this stage, seeing who the coaching staff is watching from the 2020 class and beyond could reveal plenty about the long-term recruiting strategy.