Four-star guard Phil Booth picks Villanova

  • 07/30/2013 2:05 pm in

061713jvxAfter narrowing his choices to five schools two weeks ago, class of 2014 Mount St. Joseph’s (Md.) guard Phil Booth opted to end the recruiting process on Monday.

The four-star guard tweeted his decision earlier this afternoon: He’ll be a Villanova Wildcat.

Booth, the No. 81 prospect in the ESPNU Top 100, chose Villanova over Georgetown, Indiana, Temple and Virginia.

As recently as the second July evaluation period, Booth said he planned to take an official visit to Bloomington on August 29.

The Team Takeover guard visited Indiana unofficially last February for the Hoosiers’ 81-73 win over then-No. 1 Michigan on ESPN’s College GameDay.

Indiana remains involved with several other backcourt options in the class of 2014, most notably Australian Dante Exum and Robert Johnson, one of the fastest rising players in the country.

Exum has already taken an official visit to Indiana and Johnson told Inside the Hall that he planned to visit when we spoke to him on July 14.

Ahmed Hill, Ja’Quan Newton, Jordan McLaughlin and Trevon Bluiett, who plans to trim his list of schools to five tomorrow, are other players in the 2014 class that can play on the perimeter that Indiana is involved with.

(Photo credit: Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

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  • Kyl470

    I don’t see this being a huge issue. Honestly I don’t think IU needs to add another guard in this class. Sheehey and Gordon are the only two seniors and I don’t think anyone on the team will be leaving early for the NBA (including Vonleh). That means there are only 2 available scholarships unless they plan on kicking PJ off the team. With Blackmon committed already I would like to think the other available scholarship would go to a big man.

  • RonB

    No.81 is no big loss. There are lots of great players in this class who have not committed. Also, they see Blackmon,Robinson,Williams and Yogi and don’t see a lot of playing time unless they want to be a back up for Yogi until he leaves in a couple years. We need a Big Man, Exum or a highly ranked guard. I am sort of glad he did not suck up one of our 2 spots.

  • Darkside9861

    No big loss but seems to be a trend with recent recruiting. I have not seen where Zeller or Olidipo did anything for our recruiting for next year. I have noticed that every new person we go after, Louisville or UNC is right behind.

  • Rie

    I think I write this on every other thread, but scholarships should not be our concern as fans. It is always made to look like a big deal from the media and rival fan bases, but it has always worked out fine.

    Point being, we need to pursue the best players, both in terms of skill and fit. I agree that losing out on P. Booth is not a huge loss, but there is no way we shouldn’t be adding another guard to our class. We have no idea what is going to be happening with Yogi this year and whether or not he makes the jump to the NBA. Even if he does not, who do we have behind him as a true point guard? JBJ would be a converted two guard, along with Stanford. So while they may be able to play the position, it is not their natural fit. Without even delving into the specifics on position, we would be rolling three deep on quality guards in 2014 (assuming Devin stays a three), which is nowhere near enough. Not to mention, we don’t even know how great Stanford/Devin will be.

    Assuming you are correct in that Noah stays another year, I would argue grabbing another guard is a priority, not a big man, if we have to choose between the two positions. Fortunately, as I initially stated, we will not have to choose because we will accept as many player signings as we see fit, and hopefully, one of them is Dante Exum.

  • BrianS

    I only want the kids that want to be Hoosiers! Our guys are going to
    work HARD under Coach Crean – that is a proven fact, and it isn’t for

  • HoosierTrav

    Lets hold off on judging that until the class of 2014 is completely signed….. And Zeller and Oladipo helped bring Yogi, Jeremy, Hanner, Noah Vonleh, Troy Williams, Stan Robinson, Luke Fischer, James Blackmon Jr., and possibly Okonoboh and Exum… Thats pretty substantial. we cant help that other teams like Louisville and UNC are recruiting our targets. That comes with the territory. We have won as many head to head battles lately as we have lost against those teams. (Zeller, Yogi, Vonleh, Williams)… The most important thing is that we are getting better and better. I personally feel like 2016 is the class that we will pillage. Most kids in the 2014 class, watched IU at their worst in history. They watched a lot of losses and negative vibes. That’s important. 2016 will see us as the blueblood that we are at a young age.

    Lets not fret. This class could turn out to be Okonoboh, Exum, and Blackmon…. that would be AMAZING when considering who we’d be pairing them with.

  • Swishmac IU

    I find it interesting that those on this site are so gung ho on a recruit until we miss out and then it is always “no big issue” or ” no big loss”. Any recruit that IU invest time into and doesnt land is a loss. I agree with Rie, there is so much that happens behind the scenes that no one besides CTC, coaching staff and/or the recruit know what drives decisions. CTC could have called Booth and was straight up with him – advising him to pursue other schools because IU is going in a different direction. Or this coudl have been a big loss because Booth was one CTC really wanted – we dont and will never know.
    Dont get me wrong, i love the opinions on this board, which is why i check it 5x daily – just dont get how you can “love” a recruit one minute and then act like it is no big deal the next.

  • BrianS

    I think you answered your own question regarding the bump when you pointed out UL & UNC are right behind Indiana. Everyone is watching who Crean is recruiting and who he isn’t. I really wanted that Pinson kid, but we aren’t going to get every out of state recruit. Booth – not worried about it. My only concern is we lose the in-state advantage again. Too many Indiana kids leaving for other Big 10 schools the last decade. Cody & Yogi swung things our way some, but the border needs locked down. We can’t be having the DeShaun Thomas’ & Gary Harris’ leaving the state for other Big 10 schools and stay on top for long.

  • BrianS

    If we get Exum no one will ever remember Booth’s name.. 🙂

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I agree, it’s not a big loss and isn’t really a shock either. I am officially crossing my fingers on Exum, but other than that I’m not concerned about additional guards in this class either. I will be surprised if anyone not named Vonley goes pro next spring …. Yogi will be good, but I’m not sure he is Larkin / Burke good….

  • plane1972

    Some kids want to venture away from home, but not too far away. So, other Big Ten and Kentucky schools will continue to be attractive to in-state recruits; don’t see that changing. We just need to get our fair share and hope we develop them better.

  • RonB

    This kid is a shooting guard maybe a combo at best. We already have 4+ of those on our team with Blackmon already coming next year. Why not go for a highly ranked point guard to back up Yogi or a Big Man or go for all the higher ranked players we are recruiting vs a kid who is ranked 81. I would have really liked Pinson he was ranked about 13 or 14 but he choose UNC before all their trouble started. Our list has Exum who would be a top 10 player but because he is from another Country he is not on ESPN lists, McLaughlin-18, Goodluck-19, Hill-33, Leron Black-36, Blueitt-41, Newton-67 and Robinson-74. Also Robert Johnson who is a raising star. We only need one more player to fill our roster. It looks to me like we have a lot of choices all ranked higher than Booth. Coach always has others we may not know about yet. It is not a time to be so worried about 2014 yet and this young man went to Villanova not UNC or Louisville as you suggested.

  • RonB

    I agree there is to much knee jerk reaction to recruits but this old boy never thought Booth was a good fit and said it more than once so please take me off your list. I am glad Booth found a school close to home that would give him a better chance at playing time. 2014 is full of good players and I am sure Coach will land a good one who fits our program.

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    I haven’t been as big on Blueit or Booth . Exum would be nice of course but a one and done . I like the Johnson kid . I think he has one of the biggest upsides of the 2014 class . most of the others are either staying the same or dipping were Johnson has just exploded this summer .

  • MillaRed

    It isn’t an issue at all. He’s not James Blackmon. Who will get every minute Booth would not. It would be “nice” to get 4 and 5 star recruits 2 deep at every position. But the kid will actually “play” at Villanova. I don’t blame him at all.

  • Swishmac IU

    Milla – certainly not going to argue that Booth is Blackmon, but Oladipo wasnt Blackmon either and he seemed to find some minutes – obviously the program was in a different place when Vic was coming in. I dont blame Booth, or Pinson, or Lyle, or etc – in my opinion, any recruit that is interested in IU, is offered by IU and chooses to go elsewhere is opportunity missed. Fortunately there a fair amount of currently talented players and some that are willing to buy in and bust arse. Each one of them needs to decide what situation is best for them – if they dont choose IU, so be it. I usually enjoy your perspective in your posts, but predicting a kid will or will not get minutes is tough for you, I or anyone else on this site.

  • Kyl470

    Yogi will not be going to the NBA early. Let’s be serious he will most likely never play in the NBA. He will be your classic good college point guard that never made the pros. In this years class 4 of the guys are wing players so I think IU will be fine at the 2 and 3 spots for a while. Granted if you can get an elite guy like Exum you take him, but I’m definitely more worried about interior play. HMP and PJ will have to do something in a game before anyone will believe they will contribute. So that’s why getting a third big man to go with Fischer and Vonleh is more important than another guard.

  • Anyone out there want a scholarship from IU? I’ll take one!

  • SCHoosier

    U make a point..but I think we all want to be supportive of whomever IU is targeting..none of them are exactly “chopped liver.” If we had to rank our preferences I can see where 1) we would have died to get a kid like Booth 3 years he’s a target but not a must get 2) This is a deep class and Crean & Co. have been successful bringing on kids late in the process. Hopefully that will continue this year…if not..”You buys your ticket and takes your chances” in college recruiting.

  • Ole Man

    Apparently we have many, many available.

  • Hardwood83

    Makes sense. ‘Nova is a solid school & program, runs a guard oriented scheme and is close to home for Booth. I would rather he choose them now than later- kinda clears the runway for others.

  • dtfreed

    We have one of the best 14 guards so most don’t want to play 2nd fiddle or compete with him on a daily basis, they can’t see team work yet and the other schools are using Blackmon against IU.

  • SCHoosier

    I agree with this..Yogi, JB..Stan R..and even Troy W and D Davis could all find important time at the guard spot. Easy for a competing recruiter to point that out (not to mention Exum..which I’m sure they do citing all the projections that he will end up at IU) U can talk all you want about player development, style of play etc etc..but it comes down to these kids going to where they will get the most playing time immediately..cause all of the top ones think they are ready for it..where ever.

  • MillaRed

    I am no math major, but I do know only 5 players see the floor at the same time. And although I cannot predict the number of minutes any kid will see the floor, I can guarantee Phil Booth is well aware that James Blackmon, a probable McD All-American is committed to IU and plays his position.

    I’m not arguing on this subject. I’m just saying two things, the fact Phil Booth is not going to be a Hoosier bothers me 0%, and until further notice I am not concerned about our recruiting. It’s grading out at an A+ IMO.

    I’m completely convinced the next SG commitment and Booth will contribute in a similar fashion.

    Go Hoosiers.

  • doodle777

    As far as Yogi going to NBA, I don’t see him as a starter at IU let alone going to NBA. Not a big concern here other than a top recruit once again picked someone else rather than us.

  • Mooks

    Someone we might seriously consider if Exum is out is Ja’Quan Newton. The dude is a 6’2″ PG and is strong inside the paint with traffic. Can be a boost for us if we face taller teams.

  • james

    Newton just announced his six finalists and we did not make the cut.


    I don’t think we, “lost”, this kid. Probably more likely it was a case of either he felt like his chances at getting immediate minutes at IU were not good and had a lot better chance of getting minutes right away somewhere else or, behind the scenes, he was told, ” we appreciate your interest but we’re going in a different way, best wishes “. Either one of those scenarios speaks to how fare our recruiting has come over the last year or two.


    Kinda have always had the Trevon vibe, you know, never really having the feeling that he was gonna be at IU in the first place and even more so I didn’t get that, man he’s gonna pick somebody other than us and that is gonna suck, feeling. I seen him as being one of those that ended up, after a year or two, saying, ” NOW, I understand just how deep the talent pool is that I jumped into the deep end of, so I’m transferring out to somewhere else.

  • Daburns0

    What???? I guess you’re just trying to be argumentative. He will be a really good point guard at IU. I understand your concerns at the next level, but not seeing him as a starter at IU is just ridiculous.

  • Outoftheloop

    Unfortunately Booth is an “in-betweener” as a recruit for IU. He is not a top 50 kid, but he is a top 100 kid. IU has limited scholarships. Therefore despite an IU “offer”, he could not say yes to IU until we learn if Exum and/or Okonoboh will say yes. He made a reasonable choice. IU is now in the very top tier of schools: KY, Duke, Kansas, UNC, IU; then there are the almost top schools: Syracuse, AZ, MI, MSU, OSU, UCLA; then there are a whole slew of really good programs (like Villanova). For IU to make a priority of anyone out of the top 50 he will have to have Oladipo/Sheehey athleticism and Hulls/Oladipo/Sheehey work ethic (or Roth shooting plus some Etherington/Hartman athleticism) ! There will be no basketball commitments for IU until October or November. That is why it is so important to have a solid commitment from a top 25 player like James Blackmon early. Even if he turns out to be our only recruit for 2014 (highly unlikely) he will be a starter on day one, probably be our leading scorer as a freshman, B1G Freshman of the year, etc. Since we have a great 13 man roster now and will only lose two seniors, that makes 2014-15 a great team-Vonleah, Yogi, Blackmon, Williams, Hollowell, Perea, Fischer, Robinson, Davis, Jurkin, Etherington, Hartman! That is a Final Four team!

  • Outoftheloop

    Peter Jurkin has many talents and skills which no one else on the IU roster can touch: 7′ plus, great length, great defensive instincts, a good outside shot and free-throw shooting, a true rim protector. In addition, by all reports, he is a fine, hard working student and a good citizen. IU has invested 1 year in his health issues. We should give him four more years to get healthy and to develop his game (yes a redshirt this year if he is not totally,100%, healthy). Our rotation is likely to be 10 deep-not 12. So who needs to “kick” a great kid, with tremendous upside potential, who is a true 7′ basketball player “off the team” in order to have an extra guard on the roster?

  • Kyl470

    How can you say Jurkin has great defensive instincts, good outside shot and free through shooting and call him a rim protector? He didn’t even see the court last year. The only thing he has proved is that he can warm the bench. As an IU fan I hope he becomes the 2nd coming of Dikembe Mutombo, but realistically I see him as the 2nd coming of Tijan Jobe.

  • Outoftheloop

    You just have to pay attention. I saw him play in Chicago a few summers ago (2011) against All-Star competition (some “international” event with Perea and Yogi on opposing teams). No one threatened the rim when he was on the floor. I watched him in another All-Star event in April or May of 2012 and he was as good as or better than any of the “Bigs”. I read Coach Crean’s comments about him in the last month praising his outside shooting. I don’t claim to know how he will play against B1G competition. That is why I stressed giving him 4 more years to get healthy and to develop his game. One thing I do know is that he started on the Indiana Elite team that won lots of games against the very best competition (and that his back-up is now a major college player) and that he is over 7′ tall. Look at IU’s roster and 2014 offers, do you see any other 7′ plus players? I thought not!

  • Kyl470

    I also read Coach Crean’s commits last year saying how we would see Cody’s outside game so you can’t believe everything you hear a coach tell the media. Playing in high school or AAU events is not the same as Big 10 basketball. We can revisit this post at the end of next year, but I’m guessing Jurkin averages less than 5 min. a game this year.

  • Outoftheloop

    Cody’s outside game was there last season, Coach Crean just decided not to confuse the “great dynamics” of his top 6 players with it. I think that was a mistake, especially against Syracuse, where Cody scoring from 15-17′ would have been so effective (and our short guards Yogi and Hulls were so ineffective). But all of the Pros’ reports talk about how good Cody is from the floor. Cody always says, “I could always shoot” from the floor. Let’s talk in March-April, but minutes/game will not be relevant because neither of us has any idea when Peter will be 100% health-wise. The important point will be, if Peter plays 15-20 minutes, how does he impact the game.