Villanova Basketball Recruiting: What's Next After Mikal Bridges' Commitment?

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2013

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At the end of June, the Villanova Wildcats received a boost in their recruiting campaign for the class of 2014 as forward Mikal Bridges (Great Valley High/Malvern, PA) committed to the program (via

Bridges became the first commitment for Villanova's class of 2014. His recruitment will be used as a building block as coach Jay Wright looks to mold his team for years to come.

With Bridges joining up with the Wildcats, Wright will have another tall forward to put out on the floor on a nightly basis. Incoming freshmen Darryl Reynolds and Kris Jenkins are included in that group.

As Villanova fans continue their excitement about the signing of Bridges, they must remember that he will be the first of a few players that will enter the Main Line in August 2014 to don a Wildcats uniform.

The focus for the class of 2014 will now shift to the backcourt as Wright looks to replenish the depth at the position that he will be losing in the next two years.

The main target now has to be point guard Ja'Quan Newton (Neumann-Goretti/Philadelphia, PA), a local product that the Wildcats would love to keep in the proximity of the Big Five.

According to his ESPN recruiting profile, Newton has offers from nine other schools, including the Big Five duo of Temple and St. Joseph's.

If Newton were to join the Wildcats, he would certainly enter his name into Villanova folklore as the next best point guard to take charge of the Wildcats offense.

Newton would also not be thrust into the spotlight right away as current starter Ryan Arcidiacono will be a junior during the 2014-15 season.

If Newton does not choose Villanova, the next main target has to be another member of the ESPN 100 for the class of 2014, Phil Booth (Mount Saint Joseph/Baltimore. MD).

Booth has offers from big schools like Georgetown, Maryland and Indiana. If he were to commit to the Wildcats, his signature would be seen as a big coup by Wright and company.

Booth could be attracted to Villanova based on the pipeline that the Wildcats have developed in the Beltway area over recent years. Incoming freshman Josh Hart and Jenkins are both from that region of the country.

As the recruiting process develops over the next few months, Wright should strongly go after one of those two impact players that could take Villanova to the next level.

If neither of those two players decide to commit to Villanova, it would be ruled a disappointment, but it would not mean that the Wildcats have no other options.

Further down the road in the recruiting process, other players will be drawn to Villanova and they will have an impact on the team.

Who exactly those players will be is still somewhat of an unknown as the class of 2014 continues to take shape.


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