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.
Bryan Antoine wants other stars to join him at Villanova
By ADAM ZAGORIATINTON FALL, N.J. –– Having committed to reigning national champion Villanova, Bryan Antoine wants other stars to join him for the 2019-20 season.
The 6-foot-4 combo guard has a couple of fellow classmates in mind.
“I would say Isaiah Stewart, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Matthew Hurt, those are the kids that come to mind right now,” Antoine said Tuesday during an open gym at the Ranney School (N.J.). “Yeah, I’ve been talking to them.”
All three are considering Villanova, with Robinson-Earl taking his official visit last weekend. Hurt recently had an in-home visit with Wildcats coach Jay Wright. Stewart and Hurt have yet to announce their visits.
“Anybody can say they want to go here but end up somewhere else, so I don’t really know,” Antoine said when asked if he thought any of those guys were leaning toward the Wildcats.
For his part, Antoine is glad he made the decision Sept. 4, choosing Villanova over Duke and others.
“It feels great,” he said. “Now I just have to focus on the basketball season and that’s pretty much it. I don’t have to worry about the coaches texting me and stuff like that.”
He and teammates Scottie Lewis,who is down to Kentucky and Florida, and Alex Klatsky, who is headed to Florida as a preferred walk-on, have their sights set on the prestigious New Jersey Tournament of Champions title.
“Yes, TOC, sectionals, everything that we did last year, plus more,” Antoine said. “Try to be ranked as a team top 5, top 10 in the country.”
Asked if it would be a failure if they don’t win the TOC, Antoine said, “Yes, because last year we came so close. We lost the state championship by 2-3 points. We were so close to being the No. 1 team in the state so we have something to prove this year.”
In a game in which LSU-bound big man Naz Reid finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, Roselle Catholic beat Ranney, 63-61, last year in the Non-Public B state final. RC went on to wint their third TOC title under head coach Dave Boff.
Antoine and Lewis have now been at Ranney for four years, choosing to stay at the upscale New Jersey school instead of heading off to a basketball factory like Oak Hill Academy (VA) or Montverde Academy (FL).
“My goal was to start something here and finish it here,” Antoine said.
As for what his role will be next season at Villanova, Antoine said he will play positionless perimeter basketball.
“It’s more of a positionless guard, whoever grabs the rebound can take it on the break,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re 2, 3, 4.”
With Nico Mannion choosing Arizona and Cole Anthony being courted by schools like North Carolina, Notre Dame, Miami and Pitt, it remains unclear if Villanova will add a point guard in this class.
“I think JQ [Jahvon Quinerly] might still be there,” Antoine said. “If not, then something might happen in between the time that he leaves or not.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, 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.