Villanova on Tuesday morning landed a commitment from Joe Cremo, a grad transfer from Albany and one of the top targets for anyone on the transfer market.
A 6-foot-4 guard, Cremo was a big-time scorer for the Great Danes, averaging 17.8 points and 3.8 assists as a junior. He also shot the ball at 45.8 percent from three. While he is a natural off-guard, he is a perfect fit for what Villanova wants to do offensively given his ability to pass and his feel for the game. He also spent a ton of time playing with his back to the basket for Albany, and all of that fits perfectly with Jay Wright’s unique and innovative offensive attack.
“Villanova is a nice fit,” an America East coach told NBC Sports. “Good move for both parties.”
The question, however, is whether this is truly good news for Villanova.
Prior to Cremo’s commitment, Villanova was assured of having eight rotation players back next season. That doesn’t include Donte DiVincenzo or Omari Spellman, both of whom are borderline first round picks that are currently testing the waters of the NBA draft. With DiVincenzo back in the mix, Cremo’s commitment means that the Wildcats have nine perimeter players on the roster on a team where Jay Wright has made a habit of using seven or eight-man rotations; he is one of the few coaches that has made a habit of leaving two or three scholarship positions on his roster available. It’s better to have players playing too many minutes that too many guys for the minutes available.
I say all that to say this: Did Villanova take this commitment because they think they are going to lose DiVincenzo to the NBA draft?
It’s not hard to connect those dots. It’s also not hard to assume that Cremo is simply a safety measure for a team that is going to have two seldom-used sophomores and three freshmen — one of whom may or may not get cleared immediately by the NCAA — playing major minutes.
Whatever the case may be, Cremo is certainly a good fit for the Wildcats, but that doesn’t mean that his commitment is a net-positive for the Villanova program.