Men’s basketball adds new recruits to class of 2022



Brandon Slater (left) and Cole Swider in uniform.

Brendan Carew

On Wednesday, Nov. 8 during the first day of the early college signing period for high school seniors, Brandon Slater and Cole Swider committed to play basketball for the University.

Both members of the class of 2018 have been verbally committed since the summer but made it official this week. Both players were four-star recruits and are among the top ranked perimeter players in this class. 

Slater, coming out of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Va. committed on May 24 of this year. The 6’6”, 180-pound shooting guard is known for using his length and athleticism to slash to the rim and score but he may not even be finished growing.

What he brings to the Wildcats is an exceptional jumping ability and an effective scorer, but he is still focusing on developing his ball-handling and sharpening his shooting. The smooth, lanky lefty swingman can score in many ways and has the potential to be a multi-positional defender. He was ranked 70th in ESPN’s Top 100 of the class of 2018.  

“Brandon’s energy and elite athleticism makes him extremely effective on both ends of the floor,” Head Coach Jay Wright said. “We are so excited to have him and his family as part of our program’s future.” 

Slater chose Villanova over a number of schools including Miami, Syracuse, Louisville and Kentucky.

“Villanova is the school [that] when I stepped on campus, I felt home,” Slater told ESPN. 

[In an interview with the Washington Post, he added,] “Villanova felt like the college version of my high school, Paul VI. I’m a family guy and a relationship guy and that’s what it came down to.”

Slater’s versatility on the perimeter should fit in perfectly in Wright’s system as he may be tasked with being a primary ball handler or a threat as a wing. 

Swider, of St. Andrews School in Barrington, R.I., verbally committed to Villanova on June 30. At 6’7”, 210 with a superb shooting ability and deemed one of the top three-point shooters in the country, this power forward brings a silky jump shot and a tenacity on the boards to the Wildcat squad.

Ranked 35th in ESPN’s Top 100, Swider is classified as one of the best shooters in the nation because of his ability to make shots while running to spots in transition, coming off screens or off the dribble. He can stretch the floor and has fantastic hands and touch.

“Cole is a versatile player who adds length and elite shooting ability to our roster,” Wright said. “Great kid from a great family. The Nova Nation will love Cole and his personality.” 

Swider decided to attend Villanova over Xavier, Duke, Texas and Michigan. He told ESPN that, “when it came down to it, I loved the campus, the players and Coach Wright and the staff has a really good plan for me to come in and contribute right away.”

 Swider will add size to the guard position at the college level. “Villanova is getting a really good shooter, someone who can also get to the basket and someone who is going to work to get better,” Swider added.

This pair of big wings have complementary games that should allow them to thrive in the Wildcat 4-in-1-out system. Currently the University is at the maximum of 13 basketball scholarships for next season but they are still hoping to add a point guard from the 2018 class.