Villanova basketball is traditionally a program that relies on upperclassmen. Yet, head coach Jay Wright has a top-10 recruiting class coming in for 2018-19.
Villanova basketball has dominated the college basketball headlines for the past three seasons. Over this time, the program has compiled a ridiculous 103-13 record to go along with two national championships. Head coach Jay Wright and Company are hoping to keep that momentum going into the future. However, this might not be that easy. For starters, it is always difficult to be the top program in the nation. Villanova constantly receives everyone’s best shot night in and night out. Additionally, the Wildcats need to do some serious rebuilding this offseason.
During 2017-18, only six players saw the court for consistently substantial minutes (over 15 mpg) and each of them played over 25 minutes per game. This worked out tremendously well but did it set the team up for the future? Considering four of those six players are no longer with the program due to leaving for the NBA early, replacing that production will not be easy. While National Player of the Year Jalen Brunson and NBA lottery pick Mikal Bridges will be seen as the biggest losses, these were expected for the most part. The departures of Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman, though, were not and those can be seen as the biggest blows of the offseason.
Thankfully, there are a few major returning pieces for the team. Most notably, rising seniors Eric Paschall and Phil Booth will play more substantial roles in their final seasons. In addition, Jermaine Samuels, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, and Collin Gillespie should also see more pronounced roles in their sophomores campaigns. Also, although not a returner, it is important to mention the offseason addition of grad transfer Joe Cremo. A 6-foot-2 guard, Cremo averaged 17.8 points per game last season for Albany.
To round out the majority of the core rotation players for next season, discussing the incoming 2018 recruiting class for Villanova is vital. Jay Wright is bringing in four recruits this year, all of them ranking within the top-150 of the nation. This recruiting class is ranked at No. 9 in the country. Let’s break this down a bit further by going in-depth on each incoming recruit.