The first April live period has come and gone, and as expected the Villanova Wildcats staff spent the weekend in Dallas, Texas balancing their time between the Nike EYBL and Under Armour Association events.
As you might have expected, this weekend was really about keeping a close eye on a pretty tight list of targets for the class of 2019, and evaluating some names we’ve known about for a while.
While the 2020 offer list is small to date, the games Villanova did watch featured plenty of elite talent and might indicate some advance scouting work by the staff. As with the 2016 National Championship/2018 recruiting class, the ‘rankings bump’ might come in the 2020 class from this past season’s title - or Villanova knocks it out of the park this year. Time will tell.
On to the action.
Less than a week after landing the commitment of Eric Dixon, Wright and staff watched his WE-R-1 at UAA, which also features 2019 guard Isaiah Wong. Dixon had a great weekend, flashing his polished inside game along with the ability to step out and make some deep jumpers. He certainly impressed 247’s Director of Scouting Jerry Meyer.
Eric Dixon will be a terror at Villanova.— Jerry Meyer (@jerrymeyer247) April 21, 2018
Dixon recently rose to to #70 in Rivals’ updated rankings, and if Meyer’s assessment is any indication he should see a bump on 247 as well. ESPN seems to agree.
Also at Under Armour were the dynamic duo of Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis - joined this season on Team Rio by elite forward Aidan Igiehon. Apparently Villanova didn’t miss a single game!
Pitt,UConn, Oregon continue to monitor 2019 big man @Big_harris22. Villanova watching @Scott_lewis_23 and @BryanAntoine_ every game. https://t.co/EGctTRnWmu— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) April 22, 2018
That should be a good indication as to the priority level of these guys - and how the staff feels about their chances at this stage.
H/T to Crystal Ball watcher Jdefal01, Scottie Lewis just picked up a Villanova prediction from noted insider Andrew Slater. Both Lewis and Antoine recently said they will take official visits later this Summer and won’t decide until the Fall, so there’s a long way to go.
The final notable at Under Armour was 2020 point guard Nico Mannion. The Arizona native is far away from Villanova’s recruiting territory, but they look to be invested in his recruitment early. No offer yet, but he could be the next in line for one in the 2020 class.
Over at the Nike event, the action focused on the usual suspects. Philadelphia-based Team Final and D.C.-based Team Takeover have produced plenty of talent for Villanova in recent years and the ‘Cats’ staff seemed to be present at every game evaluating prospects.
Final features John Bol Ajak, who holds a Villanova offer. The big man didn’t seem to make much of an impact over the weekend and appears to be a project at this point. On the other hand, Seth Lundy played very well and will certainly see his stock rise on the back of his performances this weekend. I remain in the camp of offering Lundy. He’s everything Jay Wright wants in a wing.
Team Final also features 2020 prospects Lynn Greer, A.J. Hoggard and Mikeal Brown-Jones, the latter of which already holds an offer.
With Team Takeover, the main attraction for Villanova was obviously Justin Moore. With speculation that he could decide in the next couple of months, Villanova didn’t miss a game. Takeover also features 2020’s Jeremy Roach (holds an offer) in addition to Hunter Dickinson and Terrance Williams. Both Dickinson and Williams could be Villanova targets down the line.
City Rocks, which features Isaiah Stewart and Joe Girard, got some love from the Villanova coaches as well. Stewart recently moved into the Top-10 in Rivals’ rankings, and if ‘Nova plans to invest in his recruitment you’d expect an offer to be on the way soon.
The entire staff finished out the weekend watching City Rocks take on NY Rens, which features 5-star guard Jalen Lecque. Lecque holds a ‘Nova offer, but at this stage I’d be surprised if he ended up on the Main Line.
The AAU is back in action next weekend for the second live period to close out the month. Both Nike and Under Armour are headed to Indianapolis, so expect the Villanova staff to do the same.