2012 Villanova Basketball Preview: Darrun Hilliard

Nick Laham

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 sophomore guard, Darrun Hilliard.

Darrun's nickname is "Money."

Hometown: Bethlehem, PA

High School: Liberty (PA)

Height: 6'5"

Weight: 205lbs.

2011-2012 Stat LIne

18.1 1.6-4.3 .373 0.7-2.5 .292 0.8-1.0 0..767 2.0 1.0 0.3 0.4 1.8 0.8 4.8

Darrun entered his freshman season as perhaps the most unheralded of all of his freshman classmates, but he quickly proved he was not going to be relegated to a reserve role, beginning the season in Jay Wright's starting lineup and recording 9 total starts at the position. As the competition seemed to get better, Darrun found himself relegated to the bench once JayVaughn Pinkston emerged as a go-to guy.

Darrun has been again tabbed as a candidate to make the starting lineup on the wing, and Jay Wright has backed him to have a very strong season shooting the basketball this year, a development that would put a lot of happy faces on the 'Nova Nation crowd.

While not the most athletic player on the team, Hilliard perhaps has one of the stronger basketball IQ's, which has enabled him to secure playing time early in his career. His biggest shortcoming is perhaps his strength as at 6'6" and just 200 pounds he had (and will likely continue to have) a hard time defending bigger and more athletic wings in the Big East.

Best Case Scenario: Hilliard locks down a starting spot on the wing and realizes his potential as one of the top shooters on the team, keeping defenses from collapsing the paint on Villanova's strong frontcourt.

Worst Case Scenario: Hilliard's lack of strength/athleticism make him a defensive liability and his shooting isn't good enough to keep him on the court often, leading to a rotation-player type of role for the sophomore.


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 that Hilliard will see a decrease in his scoring this year, scoring only 3.0PPG and playing 10 MPG. They write:

"Hilliard saw much action in the beginning of the year as he started nine games, but he saw his time shrink and shrink as Nova moved into their Big East schedule.The sophomore will have to make a name for himself if he wants to regain the minutes that he had within reach last year."

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

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