Believe it or not, the 2016-17 season is almost here! You don't believe it? Ok, you're right, it's only July. But if you're anything like me, you're riding high on the National Championship and Villanova Basketball is still right up there with trips to the beach and backyard cook-outs this summer. There's a lot of talk about the Wildcats' chances to cut down the nets for a second straight season (fingers crossed!). So as long as we're looking at what could happen, why not take a look at some of the school records that could fall next season (toes crossed?).
Most Consecutive Big East Regular Season Championships: While Nova is the only team to win 3 consecutive outright titles ('14-'16), they're tied with Pitt ('02-'04) and UConn ('94-96) for most consecutive titles. If they can dominate the Big East again next season, they'll have the record all to themselves. That would also get them one more closer to the 3-way tie of Syracuse, Georgetown, and UConn of 10 Big East Regular Season Titles (Nova is at 7).
Most Big 5 Sweeps (Total and Consecutive): While the Cats have been the kings of the Big 5 lately (3 consecutive sweeps), they're still a few years off from earning the top titles in the city's most storied basketball tradition. Temple still has the most Championships with 27 (Nova has 24) and the most consecutive years with at least a share of the Championship with 8 ('91-'98). Villanova's best run with at least a share of the Championship is 5 ('97-'01, '05-'09), and their current streak is only 3. But the Wildcats do hold the records for most outright Championships (13) and most consecutive outright Championships (3, '14-'16). They could add to each of those records with another sweep of the Big 5 this season.
Highest Pre-Season AP Ranking: Back at the start of the '95-'96 season, Kittles and company set the bar pretty high when they claimed the number 3 rank in the AP Pre-season Poll. While Duke is generally considered the best team heading into '16-'17, a lot of polls have Villanova as the #2 team. I know many of you will argue that rankings don't matter, but I would take it as a great sign of respect if the pollsters considered us one of the top two teams in the country.
Most Consecutive Wins (Multiple Seasons): The current longest win streak was set way back in 2015, when Villanova rattled off 16 consecutive victories before falling to NC State in the NCAA Tournament. But with 6 wins already carrying over, next year's team could break the record if they can start the season with 11 wins. The last time a Villanova team was able to accomplish that was all the way back in 2014.
Most Consecutive NCAA Tournament Wins: There's only one other team in school history that's had this opportunity, and they were only able to add one additional win to their Championship run. So for this season, (get ready to groan) if they can get out of the first weekend, they'll have the most consecutive NCAA wins in school history.
Most Career Games Played: Ryan Arcidiacono's record 144 games played may not stand for more than a year if this team can have another impressive season. If they play in at least 35 games this upcoming season, both Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins (currently at 110 games each) will pass Arch to set the new record.
Most Wins by a Class: Even though this record was just set by the class of '16 at 117 wins, the class of '17 is right at their heels. Currently sitting at 97 wins, Darryl Reynolds, Josh Hart, and Kris Jenkins are just 21 wins away from breaking the record.
Most Career Rebounds By A Guard/Small Forward: I'll preface this by saying that there's some debate about whether Josh Hart falls into the Shooting Guard or Small Forward category. But if Hart can repeat last year's number of 270 rebounds, he would finish his career with over 850 boards. Not only would that put him above the current best rebounding guard, Hubie White (755), but it would also put him above the best rebounding small forward, George Raveling (835). In fact, it would put him into the Top 10 all-time, knocking out John Pinone (837).
Most Single Season 3pt Attempts and 3pt Field Goals: After making the biggest 3-pointer in school, nay, college basketball history, I think it's safe to say that Kris Jenkins will have the green light from deep this season. In fact, he'll probably see a lot more plays designed to get him open shots from deep. If he can improve on his 259 attempts and 100 makes, he could break Allan Ray's records of 288 attempts and 107 makes from the 2006 season.
Most Conference Championships: Jay Wright (354 wins, 69.3% win percentage) is two wins away from passing Rollie Massimino for second most wins by a coach in school history, but he's still got a few more seasons to go before he catches Al Severance's 413 wins or Jack Kraft's 71.6% winning percentage. However, he could tie Rollie for most Regular Season (5) or Tournament (2) Conference Championships if his team were to claim either title this season.
Most NCAA Tournament Appearances: Wright and Massimino are currently tied at eleven for most appearances with the Wildcats in the NCAA tournament. Jay could take that record outright if he's able to coach his team into the tournament for the 12th time in 16 seasons.
Most NCAA Tournament Wins: Rollie Massimino, Jay Wright's mentor, currently holds the record for the most NCAA tournament wins with 20. After last seasons Championship run, Jay is only one win behind him at 19. A trip to the Sweet 16 this season would give Jay the new record, and the student would become the master.