“Unique circumstance” would be a way of putting it lightly when describing Jahvon Quinerly’s recruitment process over the past twelve months. The 6-foot, 170-pound point guard out of Jersey City’s Hudson Catholic High School announced his verbal commitment to Villanova University this past Wednesday via his personal Instagram account. Quinerly, a Hackensack, New Jersey native, is ranked as the No. 5 point guard and 26th overall prospect among the nation’s top 100 high school recruits according to ESPN.
Once part of head coach Sean Miller and Arizona’s loaded 2018 recruiting class that had been ranked as high as second in the country, Quinerly de-committed and reopened his recruitment this past October after the FBI conducted an extensive investigation into the underbelly of the college basketball world. Among numerous other indictments handed down, the investigation led to the arrest and firing of former Arizona assistant Emmanuel “Book” Richardson, the man most responsible for recruiting Jahvon Quinerly to the school’s Tucson, Arizona campus. What has become increasingly clear as the discovery portion of the probe comes to a close is that the amplitude of potential NCAA rules violations uncovered throughout college basketball is wide enough to fundamentally and indelibly alter the sport.
Although Quinerly wasn’t named individually in the FBI’s report, “Book” Richardson is accused of paying a $15,000 bribe to an “unnamed Arizona recruit” who is known to have committed to the school in early August. Coincidentally or not, Quinerly announced his pledge to the Pac-12 power on August 9th, thus the controversy and suspicion surrounding him regarding whether or not he was involved.
Yahoo Sports reported that once Quinerly de-committed from Arizona, Villanova hired an outside law firm to investigate the facts of the case, including any possible ties to it that Quinerly might have. If any connection between the high school senior and Richardson is unearthed, the ultimate result could be dire for both Quinerly and Villanova. Yahoo identified a source with knowledge of the recruitment as saying, “Based on the information they have and the due diligence that they did, they think he’s got a very good chance to play.”
Assuming he is cleared of any wrongdoing and is eligible to play immediately, the addition of Quinerly strengthens a 2018 recruiting class that has a chance to be one of Jay Wright’s best since his arrival on the Main Line. Having already secured the commitments of 6’8, 210-pound sharpshooting forward Cole Swider and 6’5, 180-pound wing Brandon Slater, ranked 34th and 48th in the nation respectively according to ESPN, Villanova will now welcome on campus three top-50 recruits for the 2018-19 campaign.
Provided below is a scouting report on Jahvon Quinerly courtesy of ESPN Insider:
He may be the most skilled guard in the ESPN 100 and has an equally instinctive feel for the game. There isn’t much he can’t do with the ball in his hands and he’s exceptionally smooth and shifty while doing it. He’s gifted both physically and mentally with the basketball. He has outstanding hands, touch, 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, economy of motion going through the lane with long strides, a great floater game, and the ability to make plays for both himself and others. He’s always had a very soft shooting touch but has recently evolved into more of a shot-maker than he was earlier in his career. He’s also capable of moving well laterally on the defensive end when he wants to.
Quinerly doesn’t have as much natural explosiveness, upper body strength, or physical upside as other five-star point guards in the class and is relatively old for his grade. He tends to create by being shifty and using ball-screens more so than blowing by a set defender in the half-court, and plays mostly under the rim without the muscle mass to absorb the level of contact he’s going to see at the next level. He’s made great strides polishing the consistency of his three-point range within the last year and needs to continue to be consistent and confident in that area of the game. He doesn’t always play with the sense of urgency to maximize his abilities and needs to be more consistent with his work habits. He tends to rest when he’s away from the ball, on both ends of the floor, and is rarely as competitive a defender as he is an offensive player.
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.