Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

As expected, Wayns chooses Villanova

Maalik Wayns had time, lots of time. He's not even a high school junior, leaving him one more summer and two full high school basketball seasons to impress the college basketball world.

Maalik Wayns (wearing hat) holds his Roman Catholic jersey as teammates congratulate him.
Maalik Wayns (wearing hat) holds his Roman Catholic jersey as teammates congratulate him.Read moreGINA GAYLE/Daily News

Maalik Wayns had time, lots of time.

He's not even a high school junior, leaving him one more summer and two full high school basketball seasons to impress the college basketball world.

Wayns, though, didn't see the point in waiting. His mind was made up and, he insists, not going to change. He wanted to go to Villanova, so yesterday the Roman Catholic guard announced that's where he intends to play his college ball.

"I just wanted to get it out of the way," he said. "Now I can focus on other things, my academics, winning a championship in high school."

Like a lot of people in his position who have found their way to the Main Line campus since Jay Wright took over, Wayns likes what the Wildcats do with their guards. Close friends with former point guard Kyle Lowry, he saw how the ex-Cardinal Dougherty star blossomed into a first-round pick within 2 years. He watched Randy Foye grow into the Big East Player of the Year, Allan Ray earn a paycheck from the Boston Celtics and Scottie Reynolds continue the chain with Big East Rookie of the Year honors this season.

"It's a guard school," said Wayns, adding that his friendship with Lowry in particular carried a lot of weight. "Jay Wright is a guard coach. He's a coach who lets you play. I was looking for a coach who would let me play my game, and he does that. He lets guards play."

Between now and September 2009, Wayns could just get a nasty baptism into the netherworlds of college hoops. Oral commitments aren't binding, which means if Wayns explodes into the sort of recruit a lot of people project him to be, he might find a lot of people trying to change his mind.

It has happened countless times, with guys "reopening" their recruitment after an explosive summer of AAU ball or one great high school season puts them on everyone's radar.

Won't happen with him, Wayns insisted. "Villanova is where I'm going," said Wayns, who said he also considered Virginia, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Saint Joseph's and Temple. "I'm not worried. That's where I want to be." *