Charlie Villanueva, an agile 6-8 forward from Blair Academy in New Jersey, has many top division one schools pursuing him hard right now in the recruiting process. This is because Charlie told us he is likely to narrow his field of schools down in the Spring of next year. This appears to be the trend among most top division one players in the class of 2003.
Charlie is likely to be a top 20 player on most "experts" rankings list. And it appears he is starting to focus on a serious list, according to his AAU coach, Gary Charles.
"Right now Charlie is very interested in Illinois, Florida, Syracuse, Seton Hall, North Carolina, Villanova, and St. John's," Charles said. "He doesn't have a leader right now. It's a little early for that. And anything can happen this early in his recruiting process. I think Charlie will think about it more once Jason (Fraser and AAU teammate) makes his decision."
Fraser is still trying to decide between Villanova, St. John's and Louisville. Currently, the Wildcats have the slight edge but Fraser has not even given a solid indication on when he could have a decision.
Charles also told us right now that Illinois and Florida have done a very good job in pushing themselves to the top of the list. "This is what Charlie has told me," Charles said. "But it's so early. Every school on that list has a great chance at Charlie."
A junior, Villanueva has shown he has the skills to have the complete offensive package. He runs the floor well and can pull up and take the jumper. Villanueva had a very solid summer and appears ready to hold on to his sparkling reputation.