Mikal Bridges was in his second season in the Villanova Wildcats basketball program, but only his first suiting up for the program after redshirting. He used his length to become a good defensive option by the end of the season and saw more minutes in games later in the season.
Bridges is a versatile player who will certainly take on more responsibility next season. Now on to the #analysis.
What we expected
Before the season kicked off, we thought that Bridges had a chance to become a defensive presence in the rotation this season. His potential to score in multiple ways was almost as good as his 7-foot wingspan.
Then again, his lack of on-court experience and bulk could have held him back.
Vote from Wisdom of Crowds
We held a vote to predict how many points Bridges would total this season. It wasn't clear to voters how much time he would see amongst a pretty strong line-up this season.
Bridges played in all 40 games this season, and VU Hoops predicted that he would would score around 4.3 points this season. A plurality of readers thought he would score between 4.1 and 6 ppg, while a large number predicted between 2 and 4 points.
Looks like the Crowd's wisdom was a little off this time. While Bridges' 6.4ppg is close to the top of the range that most VU Hoops readers put him in pre-season, it's just that smidge higher. Only 9% of readers thought that Bridges would score between 6.1 and 8 points per game this year, and only 12% predicted a score over 6 ppg.
Bridges was a factor for Villanova in their trip to St. John's at the end of January. He played 24 minutes and was perfect from the field, making every shot he took -- the only blemish coming on one of his seven free-throws. He also grabbed 4 rebounds, two steals and scored 13 points.
He didn't have very many terrible performances, but his March 5th game against Georgetown was not his best work. It was one of only two games where he was held scoreless. He played 17 minutes, missed both of his shot attempts, had two rebounds, and fouled out of the game. It doesn't get much worse than that.
All-in-all, however, Bridges put together a nice freshman season. His defensive presence was his forte, and he flashed an improving offense game as the season wore on. He's got stardom and future NBA player written all over him, and next year he'll be expected to be a much bigger part of the rotation.