NCAA Basketball Countdown: #1 Villanova Wildcats

As we close in on opening day, we finish out out countdown preview series with the Villanova Wildcats.

2019-2020 Record: 24-7

National Championship Odds: +700

Big East Championship Odds: -105

Key Returners (2019-2020 Stats)

Collin Gillespie: 15.1 PPG, 3.7 REB, 4.5 AST, 1.2 STL

Justin Moore: 11.3 PPG, 3.1 REB, 1.9 AST

Jermaine Samuels: 10.7 PPG, 5.5 REB, 2.0 AST

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl: 10.5 PPG, 9.4 REB, 1.9 AST, 1.1 STL

Key Newcomers

Villanova did not have a 2020 recruiting class. They did have two players who redshirted a year ago and will hit the floor for the first time this season. Caleb Daniels, a former Tulane guard will see his first game action this year. As a sophomore at Tulane, he averaged 16.9 points, 5.3 REB, and 3.3 AST. The other new guy for the Wildcats this season is Eric Dixon. Dixon is a 6-foot-8, 260 pound forward was the #71 ranked prospect in the 2019 class and should have a strong impact for Jay Wright’s squad this year.

Upcoming Games

11/25Boston College7:00 PM
11/26Arizona State/BaylorTBD
11/30Saint Joseph’s5:00 PM

Season Preview

Without over analyzing the Villanova Wildcats right away, let me start off this season preview by blessing your eyes with Collin Gillespie’s highlights from 2019-2020.

Collin Gillespie 2019-2020 Highlights

Collin Gillespie is undoubtedly a contender for Big East player of the year, and could even find himself on an All-American team at the end of this season. The 6-foot-3 senior guard is now in his senior year with the Wildcats and has an opportunity to leave college basketball as a champion. Jay Wright will likely lean on his senior point guard a lot this season, and Gillespie will be ready to rise to the occasion when Wright needs him the most.

Of course Gillespie can’t win a title on his own. Lucky for him and Nova Nation, they return multiple impact players from last season who will play major roles this year in order to keep Villanova at the top of the AP poll and get them to where they want to be in March. Three returning players that will have a big impact in 2020-2021 are Justin Moore, Jermaine Samuels, and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. In my eyes out of those three, Robinson-Earl is the most important piece. As a freshmen, the 6-foot-9 forward averaged 9.4 REB. Simply an absurd number. 9.4 rebounds per game was good enough for fourth best in the conference and also earned him Big East freshmen of the year as well as a unanimous selection to the Big East All-Freshmen team.

It’s an exciting year for Villanova as they return so much great talent to this years squad. They are the early favorite for winning both the Big East and National Championship.

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