Taking a look at Villanova’s chance at landing Ja’Quan Newton

Ja’Quan Newton, one of the nation’s premier point guards, recently announced via his Twitter account that he will be cutting his college list down to 5 next week.



While Newton remains Villanova’s top target in the 2014 class, there are a host of others schools such as Syracuse, Geogertown, Miami, Minnesota, UCLA, and Cincinatti looking to recruit the talented lead guard from Philly.

Newton has previously shared his thoughts on Villanova in an talk with CBSSports Jeff Borzello:

“I like Villanova a lot,” Newton said. “I like the way they play, I like the coaching staff, and I also like their facilities.”

That statement coupled with the fact that Villanova is reportedly one of the schools recruiting Newton the hardest bodes well for Coach Jay Wright and company.

One wrinkle in the equation is the mutual interest that Newton and talented shooting guard out of Lincoln High, Isaiah Whitehead, have in playing together.

As Newton prepares to whittle his college options, it’s worth taking note of some possible key components of his final decision.


-Coach Jay Wright’s offense is very guard friendly; he has no problem trotting out three or four guards at a time thanks to his “4 out motion offense.”

-Point guards under Wright have demonstrated the propensity and ability to score the ball, and scoring is what Newton does best. Newton has an uncanny ability to find his way to the rim against any and all comers.

-As evidenced by Ryan Arcidiacono’s 34 minute average last season, Jay Wright has no qualms when it comes to entrusting freshman guards learn on the fly provided he gives an honest effort on the defensive end.

-Villanova is not too far from where Newton attends high school (matter of fact it’s about a 25-30 minute drive), so he won’t be too far from family. Newton was recently asked on his account if he was a “big family guy?” He responded, “Yea.” So family may be a key factor in his ultimate decision.




-If Newton and Whitehead do in fact attend the same school, the chances that it’s Villanova are very slim (Nova has not shown much interest in Whitehead). Right now, only Syracuse, Rutgers, Minnesota, Pitt, and Georgetown have offered both prospects.

Whitehead said that he and Newton would “probably” visit Minnesota together. 

-The backcourt depth chart in the 2014-15 season looks pretty crowded. Assuming everyone eligible to come back does in fact return, the guards would be Ryan Arcidiacono, Darrun Hilliard, Dylan Ennis,  and Josh Hart (though he may be more of a three). Not to mention, Villanova is still recruiting two additional guards in Phil Booth (from Maryland) and Robert Johnson (from Virginia). So if one of those two (or even both) commit to Villanova before Newton, there may be issues. Schools such as Miami, Rutgers, and Georgetown have less crowded backcourts, which may free up significant playing time for Newton.

Newton would certainly like to start from the get-go:


Having three or four guards playing at doesn’t seem too plausible given that Mikal Bridges, Daniel Ochefu, and JayVaughn Pinkston (assuming he doesn’t declare for the draft) will presumably garner starting gigs.

All things considered, Villanova should be considered one of the favorites to land the hometown  star Ja’Quan Newton. If Newton decides to go elsewhere, Villanova still has a legit chance at securing a commitment from Phil Booth or Robert Johnson.






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