Good idea BY The Athletic’s Dana O’Neil to tag along with the coaching staff of the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats as they embarked on their July recruiting. O’Neil’s mission was to try to discern what Jay Wright is looking for in a recruit. Nothing mentioned in the article depart radically from the normal recruiting/evaluation process, but it was impressive just how often the coaches mentioned the importance of a player’s “fit” within the Villanova system/culture. The discussion about how Wright won’t budge from what he expects/demands reminds me of Bill Belichick’s “We don’t become you; You become us” mantra.
There is, for Villanova, just one real deal-breaker in recruiting: a lousy official visit. While the coaches refuse to be influenced by outsiders, they will heed their own players’ feedback. Though rare, the staff has been known not to offer a recruit if the players don’t feel comfortable during his visit. “The last thing we’d ever want is for one of our guys to be like, Why’d you bring this dude here? He’s not what we’re all about,’’ Neptune says. “People have to fit. Chemistry is a weapon.’’