Villanova Basketball Recruiting: Biggest Competition for Top 2015 Targets

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2014

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

With the summer dwindling down and players headed back to school, the Villanova Wildcats have only three players left on their list of prospective targets for the class of 2015. 

The three players left on the table are Chris Silva, Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Briscoe, and each of those individuals possess a different challenge for the Wildcats with a different set of competitors lining up for their respective signatures.

Below is a look at the competition Jay Wright and his staff will face to bring each one of these players to Villanova. 


Chris Silva

Silva recently tweeted a list of the five schools left in the running to bring him in. 

The Roselle Catholic (N.J.) product listed Kansas State, South Carolina, Seton Hall and Rhode Island as the other four schools left in his recruiting process. 

On the surface, it may seem like Villanova has the upper hand in the race for the big man based on program pedigree, but that isn't likely to be the only factor playing into Silva's decision. 

Seton Hall is a local team for the player based in North Jersey, and thanks to what Kevin Willard has done there, the school is becoming a contender in the smaller Big East Conference. 

South Carolina brings the appeal of the SEC, but it takes a certain type of player to deal with noted hothead Frank Martin. 

Kansas State will always be included in the second tier of Big 12 basketball schools, but it does have one of the best home courts in the nation, which could act as a major selling point for Bruce Weber. 

Rhode Island seems like an odd school to be included with these names from bigger conferences, but an opportunity to play early in his career could persuade Silva to head up to New England. 

Villanova stands a strong chance to snag Silva since it will need help down low from the first second Silva potentially steps on campus. 

With a need down low and a winning pedigree behind it, Villanova could put itself high atop the forward's list of favorite schools when the time comes to make a decision. 


Isaiah Briscoe

Briscoe, who is Silva's high school teammate, has a local feel to his final list of schools, but his decision may not come for quite some time. 

The guard from Roselle Catholic told SNY's Adam Zagoria he plans to make his decision as late as possible, which means he may not commit until the spring. 

Competing for the commitment of the star guard with Villanova are Arizona, Seton Hall, Rutgers and St. John's. 

The one school that doesn't fit in with the others here is Arizona, which has one spot open in the class of 2015 and already has two verbal commitments from shooting guards. 

With Arizona already loaded at Briscoe's position, a local school should benefit from his decision, but which program gets his talent remains to be seen.

Rutgers has a tarnished image right now, but playing in the Big Ten has to spark at least a bit of interest in the mind of Briscoe. 

St. John's has done well in the recruiting department during the Steve Lavin era, but the results have been hard to come by. 

As mentioned above, Seton Hall is a burgeoning program in the Big East that could easily contend with one or two big-name signings. 

Expect the Pirates to be a big contender for Briscoe, and with a crowded backcourt at Villanova, he could lean toward the local school instead of coming down to join up with Wright and the Wildcats. 


Jalen Brunson 

The third player with Villanova still left on his list of potential suitors is Brunson, who will visit Michigan State, Purdue, Temple and Illinois as well. 

The allure of playing for a contender in a basketball powerhouse like the Big Ten is a big draw for any young player, and Brunson has that at Michigan State and Illinois. 

As for Temple and Purdue, neither school has been on the national radar on a consistent basis as of late, but Brunson could opt for one of those programs to help turn them around for good. 

Villanova presents Brunson with an interesting scenario because the Wildcats will have Phil Booth, Ryan Arcidiacono, Dylan Ennis and Donte DiVincenzo in the backcourt for the 2015-16 season.

Brunson may not be handed a starting gig right away, which could turn him away from the Wildcats given how much freshmen play in this age of college basketball. 

While he may not start right away, Brunson could end up being a solid contributor off the bench, like Kris Jenkins and Josh Hart were last season. 

By handing him playing time during his freshman campaign off the pine, Villanova could jump to the forefront of Brunson's list, especially if his visit goes well. 


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