Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Josh Hart to Villanova, Clarifies ‘Negative Recruiting’ Comments (UPDATED)
Josh Hart committed to Villanova over Penn State and Rutgers Wednesday afternoon, and then clarified his “negative recruiting” comments during a phone interview with SNY.tv.
“It was a great place for me to be,” the 6-foot-6 small forward out of Silver Springs (Md.) Sidwell Friends said. “They talked about developing me not only as a player, but as a man and how I’m going to be successful in life.
“After they talked about that and really reiterated that to me during my visit and after my visit, I felt like that was the best opportunity for me and the best place to be.”
Hart also clarified his comments that Villanova was the only school not to negatively recruit him.
Both Hart and SNY.tv received various calls from the other schools involved in his recruitment — “I had a lot, too,” Hart said — arguing that they don’t use negative recruiting.
“Not necessarily talking bad,” Hart said. “No one really said Coach [Jay] Wright is a bad person or Villanova’s a bad program or anything like that. It was just more looking at their roster, saying what they have and what they don’t have. And Villanova, they never really said anything about anybody else’s roster. They was just comfortable and confident in what they had.
“They don’t really talk bad about anybody or anybody’s roster or anything like that, just really show their character.”
He added: “I didn’t mean to say negatively recruiting but it was just more talking about the rosters and that.”
While the other coaches pointed out that Villanova has a slew of perimeter players, Wright and his staff were still able to persuade Hart there was a unique place for him on the team.
“What I bring to the table is just no one’s gonna out-work me,” he said. “No one’s gonna hustle more, no one’s gonna dive on the floor for loose balls more than me. That’s one that [Coach Wright] really valued in my game and said that’s really going to set me apart, not just from Villanova but from a lot of other schools.”
Hart, who joins Gonzaga forward Kris Jenkins in Villanova’s 2013 recruiting class, said he will now turn his attention to recruiting other 2013 and ’14 players.
“Definitely,” he said. “Guys like Phil Booth, Tre Campbell, JaQuan Newton to say just a couple.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.