So, some big news just came across the wire. Jahvon Quinerly has decommitted from the Arizona Wildcats. Quinerly, who committed to UofA this past summer, announced the decommitment on his personal Twitter page.
There’s a lot to unpack here before we get into the fact that he had the Villanova Wildcats as his proverbial runner-up. First and foremost, this probably has lots to do with the NCAA’s FBI probe/investigation/motherload of epic proportions they dropped last month. As the AZ Central tells, Quinerly’s status at UofA was probably going to be in question:
Jahvon Quinerly is unlikely to play for Arizona, and may not play college ball at all. Quinerly appears to be the player given money from agents through Richardson and if the NCAA finds he took it, Quinerly could be suspended for part or all of his freshman season (though it may be more likely at this point he doesn't play college ball at all, and just plays professionally overseas before joining the 2019 NBA Draft).
How do we know it's Quinerly? The document reported that Richardson took a total of $20,000 in bribes and gave most of it to a "top point guard" who committed “around three days” before Aug. 11. Quinerly, a five-star point guard, announced on ESPNU on Aug. 8 that he would play for to Arizona.
While Quinerly’s decommitment may draw some eyes, it’s not necessarily that surprising that it happened. It’s likely that he wouldn’t have suited up for the Wildcats in the first place. So decommitting from the program was probably the only move that he could make (On the topic of the investigation, Quinerly recently lawyered up).
This is a pretty hairy situation. While Jahvon Quinerly’s decommitment makes him one of the best uncommitted prospects in the country... it’s not so certain that he’ll actually play college basketball. Since the FBI seems to have done the NCAA’s job for them, the NCAA could potentially drop the hammer on him and rule him ineligible. Partially, for the full season, etc. A school that would want Quinerly would probably want to confer that they weren’t just spitting into the wind in trying to land him. And, well, things don’t exactly look too great.
So, does Villanova chase after Quinerly? They’re certainly in an interesting position right now. We’re not so sure Jalen Brunson will be back for his senior season in 2018. That they pursued Quinerly so hard might give credence to the belief that the Big East’s Preseason Player of the Year won’t be around The Main Line next year. David Duke’s commitment to Providence certainly makes it tougher for ‘Nova to ignore the New Jersey native. Their guard situation for 2018 and beyond looks a bit thin and dicey if we figure that Brunson won’t be around.
We won’t know too much about Villanova’s possible reignited pursuit (or lack thereof) of Jahvon Quinerly until a lot of this is sorted out. Needless to say though, this is a pretty major story on top of a major story. Time will tell to see what happens next.