It wasn’t the most orthodox recruiting circumstances, but it was a big day for the Villanova Wildcats, who received an official commitment from Jahvon Quinerly—a five-star point guard that had been on their radar for the last three years.
Quinerly was originally set to announce his decision on Wednesday night, but expedited things with a tweet that revealed his choice.
Standing in at 6-feet, 170 pounds, Quinerly doesn’t possess overwhelming size at the guard position, but he does have great quickness, handles, and court vision. He is a great facilitator that sees the floor and his teammates very well, but he can also score on his own. He can knock down the three-point shot and isn’t afraid to drive into the lane, blowing by defenders in a finesse manner—with a euro-step or crafty finish.
With Jalen Brunson appearing like a strong candidate to dash for the NBA Draft following this season, Quinerly would be a great first step into building a future after Brunson. The Wildcats do also have redshirt junior Phil Booth, redshirt sophomore Donte DiVincenzo, and freshman Collin Gillespie as other playmakers in the backcourt.
Leading up to this moment, it was an up-and-down journey for Quinerly and Villanova. The Wildcats originally offered the Hudson Catholic (N.J.) product back in April 2015, amidst the spring Under Armour Association, where he played his AAU ball with New Jersey-based Sports U.
The Wildcats were considered front runners to land Quinerly, until a positive visit to Tucson, Ariz. added the Arizona Wildcats to the mix. With his choices narrowed down to Villanova and Arizona, Quinerly ultimately chose to play for Sean Miller’s ‘Cats back in August.
However, the groundbreaking FBI investigation that was revealed just before the college basketball season began shook up the NCAA landscape. Arizona assistant coach Emmanuel “Book” Richardson was one of many coaches identified in the corruption investigation and allegedly offered a $15,000 bribe to a “Player 5”—which was widely assumed to be Quinerly.
Quinerly hasn’t said much about the situation, but did respond by de-committing from Arizona in October, putting himself back on the market. A few schools emerged, including the Oklahoma Sooners, who were deemed frontrunners alongside Villanova.
A ruling in terms of eligibility may come from the NCAA later this year, and it will be determined whether or not there is cause for punishment due to the FBI case.
Regardless, as the No. 21-ranked prospect in the class of 2018 (according to 247 sports), Quinerly tops off a solid class that already includes four-star talents in Cole Swider (Barrington, R.I./St. Andrew’s) and Brandon Slater (Fairfax, Va./Paul VI Catholic).
The 2018 bunch also happens to be the Wildcats’ best recruiting class since 2009, when Mouphtaou Yarou, Dominic Cheek, Maalik Wayns, and Isaiah Armwood come to the Main Line.