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Johnson Sidelined for Europe Trip

Incoming Villanova Freshman Tyrone Johnson will not be able to play during Villanova's Summer Tour of Europe.

The 6'3" point guard sustained a broken foot during a pickup game last month and had surgery according to Joe Juliano who spoke with Head Coach Jay Wright.

Johnson is expected to be ready to play when the NCAA Basketball Practice officially begins in the middle of October.

"We really needed to see him this summer as a point guard," Wright told Juliano. "But he’s not going to be able to play. So that’s a disappointment. We needed him to play."

Johnson’s injury came shortly after he moved on campus this summer and has limited his participation in off-season workouts.

The highly-touted freshman was expected to be the primary back-up to Maalik Wayns, but with this set-back the position may be open to competition. In the mean time, Jay Wright expects to use Darrun Hilliard as his back-up point guard, and JayVaughn Pinkston*, whose suspension ended on June 1, may also get an opportunity to play some minutes there.

"As a coach, you have a guy like [Pinkston] — he can literally play from the one to the five spot," Wright told CSN, "and we’re going to use him at the one some this summer.

"So we’re going to give JayVaughan some time at the point, because after Darrun Hillard, he’s our next-best ball handler. His versatility is invaluable. He’s going to be a big part of what we do."

Ash Yacoubou could be another beneficiary of those minutes as he has reportedly been working on developing his skills at the point in case he was needed in that role. Certainly in European action, Wright may give Yacoubou that chance.

Once pre-season practices begin, however, Johnson will have every opportunity to earn his previously presumptive role.

Wright will take his young team to France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands from Aug. 7-16. They are slated to play five exhibition games as part of the tour.

After leaving for Paris on August 7th, the Wildcats are slated to spend four days in France and Luxembourg. There will also be a pair of exhibition games played against opponents which have yet to be announced.

On August 11th, the Wildcats move on to Amsterdam, where they are scheduled to play three games on successive dates. On Aug. 12 Villanova is set to face the national team of Israel followed by contests against the national teams of Georgia (Aug. 13) and the Netherlands (Aug. 14).

By NCAA rule, teams preparing for a preseason overseas trip are permitted to use 10 days of organized team practice with coaches present at any time prior to departure. Villanova practiced both yesterday and today and will now take a break and resume organized practices again closer to the August departure date.

* Regarding Pinkston at the point, we have reached out to Villanova officials to confirm that is the case.