#9 Villanova Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Villanova Wildcats
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #9
Conference Rank: #1 Big East
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Villanova won their second national championship in the last three years. That has paid huge dividends on the recruiting trail and this Wildcats team has the talent to bring home another title. But it will not be easy without four double-digit scorers who were all drafted in the first 33 picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Jalen Brunson led the team with 18.9 points, while Mikal Bridges connected on 104 three-pointers. Fellow guard Donte DiVincenzo provided an impressive scoring option off the bench and forward Omari Spellman led the team in rebounds and blocks.
2017-18 Record: 34-6, 14-4
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jay Wright
Coach Record: 422-165 at Villanova, 544-250 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jalen Brunson, Guard, 18.9 ppg
Mikal Bridges, Guard/Forward, 17.7 ppg
Omari Spellman, Forward, 10.9 ppg
Donte DiVincenzo, Guard, 13.4 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Eric Paschall, Senior, Forward, 10.6 ppg
Phil Booth, Senior, Guard, 10.0 ppg
Collin Gillespie, Sophomore, Guard, 4.3 ppg
Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, Sophomore, Forward, 3.1 ppg
Jermaine Samuels, Sophomore, Forward, 1.1 ppg
Dylan Painter, Sophomore, Forward, dnp last season
Key New Players:
Saddiq Bey, Freshman, Forward
Joe Cremo, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Albany
Jahvon Quinerly, Freshman, Guard
Brandon Slater, Freshman, Forward
Cole Swider, Freshman, Forward
Eric Paschall and Phil Booth are the experienced seniors on the roster. Paschall is the team’s top returning scorer with 10.6 points per game and the 6-8 forward added 5.3 rebounds. He is very productive on both ends of the floor, but often gave way offensively to his teammates. That will not be the case anymore. Booth has been a leader on this team for a while now and he is a great piece to build around on the perimeter. There is a new senior on the roster with the addition of Albany graduate transfer Joe Cremo. Last season with the Great Danes, he averaged 17.8 points per game and is a threat to shoot from anywhere on the floor. After the seniors, Villanova will have to rely on four sophomores to provide some experience. Collin Gillespie could step into a starting role in the backcourt, while Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, Jermaine Samuels and Dylan Painter will all add depth to the frontcourt. The incoming class has four players who are all capable of making an immediate impact. Perhaps none is more important than McDonald’s All-American point guard Jahvon Quinerly. Brandon Slater and Saddiq Bey will add more options on the wing, while Cole Swider could see some time in the frontcourt. This is a relatively young team, but with Paschall and Booth providing leadership, this group will be very dangerous by March.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 86.6 (1st in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.2 (114, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 50.0 (5, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.8 (107, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 11.6 (3, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.1 (13, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 77.9 (10, 3)
Rebound Margin: 3.2 (71, 4)
Assists Per Game: 16.4 (23, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.6 (14, 1)
Madness 2019 NBA Draft Rankings:
#43 Eric Paschall
Madness 2018 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#27 Jahvon Quinerly
#36 Cole Swider
#46 Brandon Slater
#115 Saddiq Bey