Villanova Basketball Recruiting: Would Briscoe or Brunson Suit Wildcats Best?

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2014

Jul 18, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Team USA East player Isaiah Briscoe (9) shoots the ball against Team France during the Nike Global Challenge at Trinity University in Washington, DC. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past week, the Villanova Wildcats were handed a few blows in the recruiting department, as Donovan Mitchell and Bryant Crawford removed the program from the list of their prospective schools. 

Mitchell, who saw his stock rise significantly this summer, committed to Louisville via his Twitter account, while Crawford trimmed the Wildcats off his list of potential suitors. 

Crawford's list of seven potential suitors includes a pair of Villanova's Big East rivals, Georgetown and Marquette.

Now that two more prospects have eliminated the Wildcats from their respective recruitment processes, there are just two players left to court at the guard position. 

Isaiah Briscoe and Jalen Brunson are the two guards that Jay Wright and his staff still have a chance at bringing to the Main Line, but both offer different skill sets, and more importantly, a different recruitment process. 

Briscoe, who attends Roselle Catholic in northern New Jersey, has narrowed his search down to five schools, four of which are reasonably close to home, including Villanova. 

The one outlying school in that quintet is Arizona, but with four regional schools in his final five, it looks like he is leaning toward staying close to home. 

On the surface, you would think Villanova has the easy edge over Seton Hall, St. John's and Rutgers based on recent success, but the two other Big East schools in competition for Briscoe are close to making a breakthrough in the small conference. 

Briscoe is a player who would suit Wright's system perfectly, as he is able to play both guard positions, which wouldn't lock up the point guard position exclusively to him, and he has the build of a player ready to enter the college ranks at 6'3" and over 200 pounds, per Yahoo

Jul 18, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Team USA East player Isaiah Briscoe (9) dribbles the ball as Team France player Valentin Estienne (5) defends during the Nike Global Challenge at Trinity University in Washington, DC. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TO

Being physically ready to play in his freshman season is a big boost to Briscoe's game, but he is not fully guaranteed a spot in the rotation at Villanova because of the crowd at the position, which includes Ryan Arcidiacono, Dylan Ennis, Josh Hart and incoming class of 2015 player Donte DiVincenzo. 

If Briscoe were to head to any of the other three local schools, he could easily break into the starting five, which is a factor that shouldn't be taken lightly by Wright. 

Ideally, Briscoe is the man to go after and secure, but Brunson would not be a bad option for the Wildcats. 

Brunson, who is a few inches shorter than Briscoe at 6'0", is a point guard with strong court vision, per Those qualities could benefit Wright in the search for Arcidiacono's permanent replacement at the position starting with the 2016-17 season. 

If Wright is to get Brunson to commit to the Wildcats, he will have to pry him away from Illinois, Michigan State, Temple and Purdue. 

The Illinois-based player is not as physically mature as Briscoe is at the moment, but that could all change in the time between now and the first time he steps on a collegiate court. 

As more of a pure point guard, Brunson would be limited in his flexibility on the court, but he would be given a year to work under the experienced Arcidiacono to grow into a more complete player. 

Regardless of who the Wildcats spend most of their energy on, they will get a quality player, but at the moment, Briscoe is the more complete player of the two.