#3 Villanova Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Villanova Wildcats
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #3
Conference Rank: #1 Big East
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Villanova was winning national titles every other year for a while. The 2020 NCAA Tournament was supposed to be theirs to win after titles in 2016 and 2018. That group was not quite as good as those seasons by the numbers, but the Wildcats still won a share of the Big East title. And with four starters returning, along with the rest of Coach Jay Wright’s short bench, Villanova will be right in the mix for another tournament title in 2021.
2019-20 Record: 24-7, 13-5
Coach: Jay Wright
Coach Record: 471-182 at Villanova, 593-267 overall
Key Departed Players:
Saddiq Bey, Forward, 16.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Collin Gillespie, Senior, Guard, 15.1 ppg
Justin Moore, Sophomore, Guard, 11.5 ppg
Jermaine Samuels, Senior, Forward, 10.7 ppg
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Sophomore, Forward, 10.5 ppg
Cole Swider, Junior, Forward, 6.1 ppg
Brandon Slater, Junior, Forward, 1.6 ppg
Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, Senior, Forward, 1.5 ppg
Bryan Antoine, Sophomore, Guard, 1.1 ppg
Key New Players:
Caleb Daniels, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Tulane
Eric Dixon, RS Freshman, Forward
Collin Gillespie is back to be the leader of the team for one more season. The senior point guard averaged an impressive 15.1 points, 4.5 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals last season. He is a prolific outside shooter and knocked down 70 three-pointers on a team that ranked 12th in the nation in three-point field-goals per game. Justin Moore is more known for his ability to attack the basket, but also proved to be very efficient shooting the ball too, connecting on 39.6 percent of his 154 attempts from beyond the arc. Of course Coach Jay Wright wants his frontcourt to shoot the ball too and Jermaine Samuels, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Cole Swider can do just that. Robinson-Earl wasted little time turning into one of the toughest forwards in the Big East, averaging 10.5 points and 9.4 rebounds during his freshman season. He is only going to get better too. Swider was the only non-starter to average more than a dozen minutes per game. Brandon Slater was more productive during his sophomore season and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree has proven that he can do the dirty work in the paint. Those two will be asked to do more to replace the minutes lost with the departure of Saddiq Bey. Villanova may play a little smaller at times too with the addition of Tulane transfer Caleb Daniels. Two years ago he averaged 16.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists with the Green Wave.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.2 (115th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.4 (90, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.1 (155, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.0 (187, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.9 (12, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.9 (50, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.9 (29, 2)
Rebound Margin: 1.7 (134, 6)
Assists Per Game: 14.5 (66, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.9 (17, 1)
Madness 2021 NBA Draft Rankings:
#25 Jeremiah Robinson-Earl