After a National Championship and a team depleted due to the draft, Villanova basketball will have new life to keep the success going in new recruits.
Villanova basketball lost Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, Omari Spellman, and Mikal Bridges all to the draft this offseason. Even though they still have Phil Booth and Eric Paschall to go with a great recruiting class, these do not rival the top-tier when it comes to recruiting. In saying this, I mean that they are not quite on the same of Duke or Kentucky. Specifically, Duke landed three of the top 2018 prospects while Kentucky added three players in the top-25.
Villanova has three players in the top-75 of the 247Sports Composite rankings: Jahvon Quinerly, Cole Swider, and Brandon Slater. This is obviously an outstanding class but these players might need to outplay their recruiting rankings in order for the team to remain near the top.
Quinerly has a smooth game. With his superior handles, nice touch on a floater, the ability to find the cutter for an open layup, and 3-point shooting ability off the dribble, he will be a dangerous weapon in the backcourt. Considering head coach Jay Wright has had remarkable success with guards in the past, Quinerly is hoping to follow in the footsteps of several other greats.
Swider has the ability to play both high and low. He also plays really well in traffic. Swider can shoot a three in traffic and pass out of the post when necessary. Speaking of post play, Swider has shown the ability to play in the post although he is mostly known as a deadeye 3-point shooter. Swider uses his 6’8 frame to play above the rim and can make his opponents look minuscule when on the perimeter.
Brandon Slater will be a gritty, tough player for Villanova. He can bang bodies and make tough shots either close to the rim or away from the rim. He can shoot in traffic (3-pointer or mid-range) and off the dribble well. He can play in transition and put the ball on the floor well enough to get to the hole either in half court or during a fast break. Finally, Slater has the ability to find the open man.
With the one-and-done rule still in effect, the top teams like Michigan State, Duke, and Kentucky often build the best teams on paper. Yet, Villanova can definitely find success in recruiting because they have won the NCAA title twice in the last three years.
Heading into this year, it will be a challenge to compete with the other top teams because Villanova does not return the superstars that it did a year ago. Still, with this recruiting class coming in to join some talented returners, it is possible. In terms of fit, these recruits should seamlessly join Wright’s 4-out-1-in motion offense.
You can practically already see Quinerly cutting off of screens, Swider finding open spots to shoot the three, or Slater interchanging the five position to try to attack in the post. Also, you will witness all three players around the perimeter attacking the defense by either screening, driving off of screens, or shooting. These players abilities will help maintain the spacing that Wright desires.