2012 Villanova Basketball Preview: Mislav Brzoja

Christof Koepsel

Each day leading up to the basketball season exhibition game we will be previewing the roster on a player-by-player basis. Next up is Croatian Freshman, Mislav Brzoja.

Let's start here... You pronounce his name Me-slav Bro-zoy-ah

Hometown: Zagreb, Croatia

High School: Traders Point Christian Academy (Whitespoint, IN)

Height: 6'5"

Weight: 210lbs.

The story of Mislav Brzoja is a unique one- the Croatian peaked late in his Senior year of high school and pulled an offer, that he later accepted, to Northwestern. But somehow, Brzoja's 4.0 GPA at his Indiana school wasn't good enough and was denied admission to Northwestern. The popular view was that Dayton was the backup, but apparently their roster filled up.

Presumably after watching 'Nova's shooting woes during the 2011-12 campaign, widespread belief is that Northwestern assistant (and former Villanova assistant under Jay Wright) Fred Hill gave his mentor a call. One thing led to another and the Zagreb native landed himself on the Villanova Basketball Roster.

Brzoja is a noted sharp-shooter who averaged 15 points, 3 boards, and just under 2 assists in eight outings at the U18 European Championships for Croatia- the Champions.

Best Case Scenario: The Croat makes an easy transition to the BIG EAST and is able to create and knock down deep shots for Jay Wright. This extends the defense and opens up the inside as an alternate scoring option as defenders need to stay honest respecting Brzoja's accuracy from distance.

Worst Case Scenario: Brzoja finds a lack of athleticism reducing his ability to find his shot.

Star-divide

The Wisdom of Crowds Returns

Ed's Wisdom of Crowds experiment is back for the 2012-2013 season. Following each of our previews we will be sampling the VUHoops community on the projected performances of the Villanova roster for the upcoming season.

Bleacher Report predicts Mislav Brzoja will score 5.5 PPG and play 12 MPG. The write, "Villanova adds the three point shooter they desperately needed last year in Croatian guard Mislav Brzoja. Of the four new players for this upcoming team, he is the only shooting specialist. If Villanova guards can figure out a way to distribute the ball evenly, Brozoja should be a valuable asset with his specialty skill."

Unfortunately we don’t have past Big East stats on Brzoja to help us predict his scoring this year. However, we can get a sense from the scoring of past Villanova two-guards and wings during their freshman season. Here’s a representative list:

James Bell 2.4 PPG

Dominic Cheek 4.9 PPG

Corey Stokes 6.4 PPG

Dwayne Anderson 1.5 PPG

Use the voting buttons, below, to predict the points per game you think Mislav will score this year and the comment section to explain your thinking.

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