#6 Villanova Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Villanova Wildcats
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #6
Conference Rank: #1 Big East
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Villanova has a little streak of winning an NCAA Championship every other year. After titles in 2016 and 2018, 2020 could again be their year. The Wildcats return three starters to a team that won 26 games and a Big East regular season title and bring in a superb recruiting class. After a disappointing campaign that only resulted in one NCAA Tournament victory, this is a Villanova team that has the ability to win it all.
2018-19 Record: 26-10, 13-5
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jay Wright
Coach Record: 448-175 at Villanova, 570-260 overall
Key Departed Players:
Phil Booth, Guard, 18.6 ppg
Eric Paschall, Forward, 16.5 ppg
Joe Cremo, Guard, 4.0 ppg
Jahvon Quinerly, Guard, 3.2 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Collin Gillespie, Junior, Guard, 10.9 ppg
Saddig Bey, Sophomore, Forward, 8.2 ppg
Jermaine Samuels, Junior, Forward, 6.4 ppg
Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, Junior, Forward, 5.1 ppg
Cole Swider, Sophomore, Forward, 3.5 ppg
Brandon Slater, Sophomore, Forward, 0.3 ppg
Key New Players:
Bryan Antoine, Freshman, Guard
Chris Arcidiacono, Freshman, Guard
Eric Dixon, Freshman, Forward
Justin Moore, Freshman, Guard
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Freshman, Forward
Caleb Daniels, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Tulane, not eligible
Collin Gillespie is the team’s top returning scorer, averaging 10.9 points last season. The 6-3 junior will be the leader in a backcourt that has a lot of new faces. Gillespie is a proven shooter and leader, but the Wildcats will have to rely quite heavily on a trio of freshmen as well. Bryan Antoine is an All-American, but a shoulder injury will slow down his development. He is expected to be ready to go before conference play begins. Meanwhile, fellow freshmen Chris Arcidiacono and Justin Moore will help fill the void. Coach Jay Wright will also utilize Saddiq Bey as a point forward. The 6-8 sophomore is a matchup nightmare and averaged 8.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists last season. Jermaine Samuels is the other returning starter and, like Bey, the 6-7 forward can knock down outside shots consistently. Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree does the dirty work in the paint and ranked second on the team with 5.8 rebounds per game despite coming in off the bench. The addition of Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Eric Dixon will add more options in the frontcourt. Robinson-Earl is one of the top recruits in the country and is widely considered an NBA lottery selection in the not so distant future. If he can pick up the slack left by Eric Paschall, Villanova will be in good shape to dominate the Big East and make another serious push towards a national championship.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.7 (135th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.4 (63, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.8 (211, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.6 (168, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 10.6 (11, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.2 (133, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.8 (101, 4)
Rebound Margin: 1.8 (120, 5)
Assists Per Game: 14.0 (126, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.1 (39, 3)
Madness 2020 NBA Draft Rankings:
#18 Bryan Antoine
#28 Jeremiah Robinson-Earl
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#13 Jeremiah Robinson-Earl
#14 Bryan Antoine
#55 Justin Moore
#66 Eric Dixon