Villanova Basketball Recruiting: How Phil Booth Signing Affects Wildcats

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2013

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On what was supposed to be a very quiet last Tuesday in July, the Villanova Wildcats received some good news in regards to the class of 2014.

It was announced on Tuesday afternoon that Phil Booth (Mount St. Joseph's in Baltimore, Maryland) will join the Wildcats for the 2014 season.

Booth becomes the second player to sign on for the class of 2014 after Mikal Bridges (Great Valley/Malvern, Pennsylvania) committed to the program a few weeks ago.

With the addition of Booth, the next generation of backcourt generals on the Main Line is beginning to form.

No matter what happens in the chase of point guard Ja'Quan Newton (Neumann-Goretti/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), head coach Jay Wright has solidified a point guard recruit to play behind current starter Ryan Arcidiacono for two seasons and learn the ways of the collegiate level.

Booth will also add to the flexibility in the backcourt that Wright already has.

Going into the 2013-14 season, Wright has five guards he can rely on to play valuable minutes during the regular season.

Of those five, Tony Chennault and James Bell will be the only two to depart the program after the upcoming season.

With Arcidiacono, Darrun Hilliard and Dylan Ennis coming back as upperclassmen for the 2014-15 campaign, Booth will have ample time to work his way into the Wildcats' rotation. 

When he enters the program, Booth will not face the same contributing pressure as most incoming freshmen do nowadays. He will be able to develop into his own player without being rushed into the spotlight.

Another, and possibly more important, positive to come out of Booth's recruitment is the continued Beltway pipeline that Villanova established through the class of 2013.

Just like Booth, class of 2013 recruits Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins are natives of the Baltimore-Washington metro area. With a pipeline in place, future recruits could easily find their way to the Main Line in the coming years. 

The early commitment of Booth will now mean that the Wildcats will get to use all of their resources to court Newton, who would form a formidable partnership with Booth in the backcourt in the future.

Newton is the prized possession of the class of 2014 for the Wildcats. Adding Booth is a crucial element to the recruitment of the Philadelphia native.

Showing Newton they are serious about adding top players to their program is a positive for the Wildcats, who will be in competition with schools like Georgetown, Syracuse and Miami (FL) according to the player's ESPN recruiting profile.

Regardless of what happens on the recruiting trail from now until national signing day, the Wildcats have made it clear they are not fooling around when it comes to the class of 2014.


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