Villanova Wildcats 2018-19 Recruiting Roundup: Top Targets w/ Insider Scouting Reports

With Villanova’s (good but not great) 2017 recruiting class set in stone after the commitments of forwards Jermaine Samuels, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree and guard Collin Gillespie, it’s time to look ahead to the 2018 targets that head coach Jay Wright and his staff are currently pursuing. All of the following players have received formal scholarship offers from Villanova…

o Cameron Reddish

Position: Small Forward
Height/Weight: 6’8/200 lbs.
Hometown: Norristown, PA
High School: The Westtown School (West Chester, PA)
ESPN60 Grade: 95 (5-Star)
ESPN60 Nat’l Ranking: 4th
Also Considering: Arizona, Auburn, Connecticut, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Syracuse, UCLA

Scouting Report (via ESPN Insider – 5/8/2017)

From a very young age, Reddish’s talent has been undeniable. With the game of a guard and the body of a big forward, he’s a true mismatch problem, who has the feel for the game and natural unselfishness to match. He’s probably smoother than he is explosive, but still a good overall athlete, with long arms. He handles the ball well and can create for others but has always had an instinct for sharing the ball and scoring within the flow of the game. He’s a developing shooter and gradually becoming a more dangerous driver as he continues to fill out his frame and grow into his body. He also has great economy of motion in route to the rim with very long strides and quick hands on the defensive end.

His unselfishness and willingness to share the ball is both one of his greatest strengths as well as one of his biggest weaknesses. For a guy of his talent, he doesn’t dominate a game quite as often as he should. Some of that is due to the fact that he’s really only beginning to learn how to create his own shot and is still an inconsistent shooter from the perimeter, but his motor doesn’t always run quite as high as it needs to either.

Bottom Line:
He’s ultra-talented, naturally unselfish and gifted with a terrific combination of size and instinctive feel. However, he’s still very young and his game just beginning to evolve. Patience is a key but long-term he’s one of the brightest prospects in the class.

o Elijah Weaver

Position: Point Guard
Height/Weight: 6’5/200 lbs.
Hometown: Oldsmar, FL
High School: Oldsmar Christian
ESPN60 Grade: 88 (4-Star)
ESPN60 Nat’l Ranking: 42nd
Also Considering: Boston College, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida International, Florida, Louisville, Miami (FL), Nebraska, South Florida, UCF, UCLA, USC

Scouting Report (via ESPN Insider – 5/8/2017)

Weaver is a physically imposing scoring guard who is playing at both the point and off guard positions. He owns all the physical tools: size, strength, quickness and toughness for the backcourt. He takes command of the floor with his presence and does a good job changing speeds with the ball in his hands to effectively get past defenders. His points are mostly from transition and half court penetration although when he gets to his pull up jumper it’s effective. Defensively he can cover multiple positions and switch on to small guards and muscle and chase against bigger backcourt shooters.

In order for Weaver to effectively becomes a point guard he must value the ball better by cutting down on his turnovers and cranking up his assists. His approach to serve others first and set the table for his teammates is imperative in order to make the transition to a point guard. His outside shot is a work in progress from behind the arc. He makes three’s but is considered a volume shooter. Improved shot selection with learning the nuances of the lead guard spot will enhance his consistency.

Bottom Line:
As Weaver continues to grow in the game from learning the point guard position while keeping his aggressiveness to score he will have the balance needed to operate more efficiently. He already demonstrates the vision to make the assist especially in the conversion game and his upside is evident but he must parlay his physical tools with better basketball IQ and decision making to impact games on a regular basis.

o Jahvon Quinerly

Position: Point Guard
Height/Weight: 6’0/170 lbs.
Hometown: Jersey City, NJ
High School: Hudson Catholic
ESPN60 Grade: 90 (5-Star)
ESPN60 Nat’l Ranking: 22nd
Also Considering: Arizona, Kansas, Maryland, Ohio State, Seton Hall, Stanford, Syracuse, UCLA, Virginia

Scouting Report (via ESPN Insider – 5/8/2017)

He’s highly skilled with an instinctive feel for the game. There isn’t much he can’t do with the ball in his hands and he’s exceptionally smooth while doing it. He’s gifted both physically and mentally with the basketball. He has outstanding hands and is virtually ambidextrous as a ball-handler and passer, but he also has natural poise and presence with the ball in his hands along with the acumen to read opposing defenses. He plays with confidence, has an advanced understanding of how to use a ball-screen, increasing speed with the ball, and economy of motion going through the lane with long strides. He makes plays for both himself and others and has an ability to make tough runners in the lane as well. He’s a better on-the-ball defender than he often gets credit for when he’s locked in as well.

It is almost ironic that a player with such naturally soft shooting touch, and pretty clean mechanics to match, is not yet a consistent shooter from the perimeter. Nevertheless, Quinerly is definitely a drive-first playmaker at this point in time, but with increased confidence and repetition, he has all the tools to evolve into a very good shooter. There are also questions about his physical upside. He’s older than most of the other top point guards in the 2018 and not a naturally explosive athlete. He plays mostly under the rim, doesn’t have the lightning quick first step to blow right by set defenders in the half-court, or the muscle mass to absorb the level of contact he’s going to see at the next level. He has a tendency to rest when he’s away from the basketball, on both ends of the floor, and needs to be a more engaged weak-side defender in particular.

Bottom Line:
His skill set, savvy, and high basketball I.Q. make him one of the best point guards in the national class of 2018. While he doesn’t have the type of size and explosiveness that typically screams of long-term upside, his continued growth will be tied to the development of his body and shooting.

o Hameir Wright

Position: Small Forward
Height/Weight: 6’7/205 lbs.
Hometown: Albany, NY
High School: The Albany Academy
ESPN60 Grade: 89 (4-Star)
ESPN60 Nat’l Ranking: 27th
Also Considering: Cincinnati, Dayton, George Washington, James Madison, Maryland, Syracuse, Vermont

Scouting Report (via ESPN Insider – 1/25/2017)

Wright is a big forward with great length and a consistently improving skill set. He has equally long arms and legs and while he plays mostly as a four now, he has the chance to develop into a big wing down the road. He can score around the rim and make some baby hooks over his left shoulder but is also smooth facing the basket. He handles some in the open floor, is agile enough to allude defenders with euro steps and is starting to be more of a weapon behind the three-point line as well. Defensively, he’s long and athletic enough to block shots from the weak-side of the floor and can start the break after pulling in defensive rebounds.

The tools are all there, he just needs to tighten everything up at this point. He has the potential to impact the game in a lot of ways and score the ball from various spots on the floor but consistency isn’t his strong suit just yet. He’ll play hard in stretches, but he can also disappear at times and so it’s both a matter of continuing to polish his skill set as well as developing his motor so that it doesn’t run only in bursts.

Bottom Line:
His size, length and budding mismatch skill makes him a very intriguing prospect in the national class of 2017 and a priority for high-major programs in the northeast region.

o Jalen Smith

Position: Power Forward
Height/Weight: 6’9/200 lbs.
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
High School: Mount Saint Joseph HS
ESPN60 Grade: 88 (4-Star)
ESPN60 Nat’l Ranking: 37th
Also Considering: Arizona, Maryland, Miami (FL), Providence, Stanford, Syracuse, USC, Virginia

Scouting Report (via ESPN Insider – 1/25/2017)

Smith has a rare combination of size, agility, athleticism and natural skill. He’s super long with big shoulders to fill out. He runs the floor very well but changes direction and covers the court equally fluidly. He has a great natural touch all the way out to the three-point line, good hands and dexterity.

The first half of his high school career was characterized by incredible talent but a questionable motor and toughness. He’s very hesitant to bang inside, gets driven to the ground by contact and too often unproductive for someone with his immense tools.

Bottom Line:
He’s a highly talented youngster with significant upside. He possesses all the tools and abilities to evolve into an athletic and skilled four-man but needs to show a consistent motor and willingness to play through contact to maximize those tools.

o A.J. Reeves

Position: Shooting Guard
Height/Weight: 6’4/195 lbs.
Hometown: Chestnut Hill, MA
High School: Brimmer and May School
ESPN60 Grade: 86 (4-Star)
ESPN60 Nat’l Ranking: N/A
Also Considering: Boston College, Connecticut, Creighton, Fairfield, Louisville, Providence, Rhode Island, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia Commonwealth

Scouting Report (via ESPN Insider – 2/14/2017)

Reeves is a late blooming big guard whose frame has stretched another three inches since he arrived in the high school level and is now starting to develop the strong body to compliment his size advantage in the backcourt. While he projects off the ball at the next level, he’s a solid ball-handler and passer, who plays primarily with the ball in his hands in high school. He owns a good looking pull-up game with the size and compact release to score over smaller guards, has shown flashes of taking defenders down to the block and the mechanics to become a good three-point shooter.

He’s more athletic north to south than he is east to west and so he isn’t always able to get all the way to the rim in a half-court game. While he’s a vastly improved shooter, especially in the mid-range area, he’s not yet a high percentage shooter from behind the three-point line and that’s an area of his game that will become increasingly important at the next level. He’s just learning to manufacture his own offense in the half-court and isn’t great laterally on the defensive end.

Bottom Line:
He’s a big guard who is evolving in lane with a guy who can be athletic in the open floor, score over smaller guards in the half-court and be a good secondary ball-handler and decision maker.

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