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2015 Villanova Basketball Preview: Josh Hart

Can Josh Hart build on a spectacular 2014-15 season to become a go-to player for the Wildcats's first string?

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Hometown: Silver Spring, MD

High School: Sidwell Friends

Height: 6'5"

Weight: 205

Career Stats:

2014-15 NOVA 25.5 3.4-6.7 51.5% 0.0-0.0 46.4% 1.8-2.7 67.0% 4.5 1.5 0.4 1.1 2.1 1.1 10.1
2013-14 NOVA 21.4 2.6-5.1 50.0% 0.0-0.0 31.3% 1.9-2.8 67.7% 4.4 0.9 0.3 0.6 2.4 0.6 7.8

Josh Hart returns to Villanova as a likely starter and the reigning Big East Sixth Man of the Year, after a very successful Sophomore season. The tough Villanova wing averaged 10.1 points and 4.5 rebounds off of the bench last season, connecting on 46.4% from three-point range and 51.5% of all his shots from the field. He was also honored at the 2015 Big East Tournament as the Dave Gavitt Most Outstanding Player.

In the Big East Tournament, Hart connected on 21-of-29 shots from the field and 9-of-14 from deep, scoring 20, 18, and 15 points in the three games of the week to help drive the Wildcats to their first Big East Tournament trophy of the Jay Wright era.

None of it should be surprising for the 2013-14 Big East All-Rookie team selection?

With the graduation of new Piston, Darrun Hilliard, expect Hart to be taking on a lot more of the scoring load for the Wildcats. He has the tools to be a versatile guard who provides competent defense and a potent offensive attack. Despite coming off the bench, he finished last season in the top-25 in the nation for effective field goal percentage, 16th in 3-point percentage, and number-27 for KenPom's offensive rating.

Best-case scenario: Hart steps right into Hillard's role as a do-it-all scoring guard and offensive leader who can be trusted to make the tough shots. Alongside veterans Ryan Arcidiacono, Daniel Ochefu and stud rookie Jalen Brunson, Hart shines and becomes the go-to player for the Wildcats on offense.

Worst-case scenario: After a big season coming off the bench, Hart isn't able to grow into a bigger role running with the first string. With so much talent on the team, he has a couple of big games, but the Big East voters end up looking less foolish for leaving him off the preseason all-conference teams.

The Wisdom of Crowds Returns

We are pleased to bring back our Wisdom of Crowds poll for the 2015-16 season. In this series, we ask you to consider the points covered in our player preview to supplement your own personal insight and instincts to predict the points per game each scholarship player on the roster will score in the upcoming season.