The Tigers finished the season at No. Duke heads into the offseason as the favorite to win the men's basketball national championship at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. The Cats are now tied with Michigan as the fifth favorite to win the title behind Duke, Tennessee, Virginia, and Gonzaga.
Frontcourt Remember when VU was known for its guards, and the frontcourt was an afterthought?
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Leading the way is sophomore Saddiq Bey, a late pickup before last season but a key contributor who showed the ability to do a lot on the floor. He can shoot from behind the arc, defend, pass and rebound. He handles the ball, has a good basketball IQ.
Sophomore Cole Swider came to Villanova with a reputation as a lights-out shooter but struggled from long range and missed the end of the season with a broken hand. Then there are the newcomers.
Robinson-Earl impacts the game in many ways. He has very good hands, rebounds quite well, has solid footwork and a good touch. Fellow freshman Eric Dixon is a hard-working rebounder who will do anything to win.
The point guard job falls to junior Collin Gillespie, who has demonstrated the ability to run the team and hit long shots but must defend better. A pair of freshman shooting guards will see big minutes right away. Antoine is a fine athlete who shoots well and can create for himself and others but needs to be more aggressive, while versatile Justin Moore can handle the ball, hit shots and defend four positions.
Both must acclimate themselves to the Wildcat system quickly to fill the gaps on the wing. Chris Arcidiacono, brother of national title team hero Ryan, will provide depth at both guard spots.
Final Analysis The Wildcats have an interesting roster that includes plenty of talented players, but without a scholarship senior on the team and players still proving themselves as leaders, it will take some time for things to come together.
If Gillespie can handle the point for minutes per game, Bey continues to develop, the freshman wings grow up quickly and the team plays better defense than it did last year, this will be a dangerous group.
Wright likes his roster and should be able to create a Big East contender and a tough NCAA Tournament foe — within the parameters of the Villanova way.