Experience? Talented Youth? A Balance of the two? What makes for a Championship Basketball Team?
We're going to take a look at the experience that is returning to College Basketball. Let's look at the past two National Champions; Kansas entered the 2007-08 season returning players having played 11,871 minutes. Last season, North Carolina's squad started the season with 14,265 minutes of previous playing experience.
Looking at the early favorites for the 2010 Championship, Kansas's players have racked up 8,906 total minutes in college ball. Purdue (11,990 minutes) ranks the highest among popular top-ten picks. Fellow Big East foe, West Virginia, has turned in 10,311 minutes. 2009 Runner-up Michigan St? 9,082 minutes. The Longhorns from Texas are only returning 5,011 minutes of returners. And John Calipari's Kentucky team? Coach Cal had better hope that the freshmen bring it, because the Bluegrass Wildcats only have 6,350 minutes of NCAA experience.
Here are some other totals...
- North Carolina- 6,386
- Washington- 7,220
- Tennessee- 10,507
So where does Villanova stack up? I'd say that they are in pretty good position to be a prime "Experienced" squad poised for a deep NCAA Tournament Run.
Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes, Antonio Pena, and Reggie Redding are bringing 10,110 minutes of college ball to the 2010 Season- throw in 330 minutes from Taylor King's Duke career and Villanova can tout 10,440 minutes of College Basketball. That's a pretty experienced team and only adds to the validity that they are one of the contending teams in this upcoming basketball season.