Jahvon Quinerly, a five-star 2018 point guard, spurns Villanova by choosing Arizona.
Speculation around the coveted guard’s collegiate destination can now be put to rest. Villanova made a late push for the skilled New Jersey product, but to no avail. Quinerly will become a Wildcat, just not in the Big East and not for Jay Wright.
Quinerly, a proficient ball-handling floor general, has warranted enough attention through his play on the court to be the fourth ranked point guard in his class. He trails Tre Jones, Darius Garland, and Immanuel Quickley in that regard. Quinerly plays alongside other talented prospects at Hudson Catholic (NJ), including Luther Muhammad and Louis King. The trio round out the top 5 in New Jersey and will each continue their careers as Division I athletes following their senior seasons.
While ‘Nova missed out on Quinerly, they still lead the pack in the Big East. You can expect the Wildcats to win the Conference championship yet again this season, defending their title from 2016. Despite the loss of team stars, Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins, Villanova should be able to defend their 2016 Big East crown. Although the Big East is certainly improving and should be somewhat competitive with Xavier, Butler, and Seton Hall in the mix, they have not been battle tested like ‘Nova.
Even though Villanova missed out on one of the prized guards of the 2018 class, hope can still be drawn from another 2018 prospect. Jalen Carey, a four-star and eleventh-ranked point guard in his class has narrowed his potential schools to six via his Twitter account. The list includes UConn, Miami, Kansas, Rutgers, Syracuse, and Villanova. With Quinerly off the market, ‘Nova may turn their attention to Carey.
With returning impact players such as Jalen Brunson and Donte DiVincenzo, the outlook for ‘Nova is certainly bright. Throw in Phil Booth, Villanova’s leading scorer from their National Championship victory over North Carolina in 2016, who missed all but three games last season to return and provide for this Wildcat offense. Mikal Bridges, a projected member of Jay Wright’s starting five, is also expected to be a first-round selection in the 2018 NBA Draft. The ‘Cats will also have 2016 five-star center Omari Spellman on the court after being academically ineligible this past season.
Although the Big East Conference is steadily improving with the likes of Xavier, Butler, and Seton Hall on the rise, Villanova won’t be tested until they face the madness in March.