Class of 2018 small forward Cole Swider has committed to Villanova!
The Barrington, Rhode Island native made the announcement that he would become a Wildcat on Friday at a press conference at St. Andrew’s School. Swider chose ‘Nova over fellow Big East school Xavier, as well as former Big East power Syracuse and ACC blue-blood Duke.
Swider is the 92nd overall recruit in America for 2018 and ranks first in the state of Rhode Island. He’s the 25th-ranked small forward in the country as of now, per 247Sports, and is viewed highly enough to be listed as a four-star player per the Composite Rankings service.
Jay Wright’s 2018 class bumps up to two with the addition of Swider, as he joins Fairfax, Virginia’s Brandon Slater. Slater, a fellow four-star shooting guard, had committed to ‘Nova back in May as you might recall.
As Wright brings in the 3rd-ranked Big East class for 2017 with two four-stars (Jermaine Samuels and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree) along with three-star Collin Gillespie, the 2016 Naismith Coach of the Year and five-time Big East Coach of the Year looks like he’s showing no signs of slowing down for 2018.
Nor is Villanova, whose outlook continues to be positive as they look to remain as the dominant force they’ve been since the Big East’s restructuring.
Swider checks in at 6-foot-7 and 210 lbs. as he enters his senior season in high school. He will be an intriguing fit to watch going into 2018 with how ‘Nova’s roster looks at the moment. Assuming they keep Jalen Brunson for his senior year, he and Donte DiVincenzo should have command of the backcourt. Mikal Bridges looks like he’ll have a chance to go pro after 2017 with some hype building around him, so should that happen, Swider would likely be competing for playing time with Samuels, Eric Paschall and perhaps Tim Delaney as well if he returns to 100 percent.
A player with Swider’s versatility may grant him some leverage for playing time, but of course, time will ultimately tell where and how he fits in. Someone of his caliber should be able to make it work, and Wright has crafted plenty of creative lineups before.
In the end, this is a huge get for ‘Nova and Wright, who score a big recruiting W over blue-blood Duke and ‘Cuse and Xavier, too. And a win for Swider too, who will be able to play for what is currently the best program in the Big East, bar none, and one of the best in the nation, too.