Villanova landed their third commitment in the Class of 2015 on Wednesday afternoon as Chicago native Jalen Brunson announced that he will be playing his college basketball for the Wildcats.
“The past two days I’ve really been thinking about it, and I knew this is where I wanted to be,” Brunson said during a press conference at his school on Wednesday.
Brunson is a five-star recruit that is currently ranked as the No. 15 prospect in the class by Rivals, but he may actually be the best point guard in the country. He’s not as quick as Jawun Evans and he’s not as talented of a scorer as Isaiah Briscoe, but he’s a strong, left-handed leader that knows how to run an offense and can make plays off of the dribble when it is needed.
The son of former NBA player Rick Brunson, Jalen has an excellent understanding of how to play the game. He generally makes the right decision when he has the ball in his hands, and can consistently knock down jumpers out to the college three-point line. He’s not an overwhelming athlete, like fellow Chicago product Derrick Rose is, he’s just a very, very good basketball player that should be the next great point guard to come through Villanova under head coach Jay Wright.
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Brunson will join a pair of three star recruits, power forward Tim Delaney and off guard Donte Divincenzo, in Villanova’s 2015 class, having picked the Wildcats over Illinois. His recruitment was one of the more fascinating in the class, as he was long considered to be a lock to be headed to Temple back in the spring. Fran Dunphy was planning on hiring Jalen’s father to a position as an assistant coach, and the assumption was that the two Brunsons would become a package deal. Dunphy already had three assistant coaches on his staff, so if he was bringing Rick aboard into a position where he would be one of the four coaches that can recruit, it would have been an awful hire if Rick were unable to recruit his own son to the school.
He wasn’t hired by the school, which means that his son ended up at one of their intra-city rivals.
Missing out on Brunson also hurts for Illinois, but the good news for John Groce and company is that they are still in excellent position to land a commitment from Evans, a four-star prospect from Texas.