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2017 Villanova Basketball Preview: The Bench Mob

Tipping off our 2017-18 men’s basketball previews.

NCAA Basketball: Never Forget Tribute Classic-Villanova vs Notre Dame Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2017-18 season right around the corner, we are starting off a series of previews with the Bench Mob!

Denny Grace

Hometown: Catonsville, Md.
High School: Calvert Hall (Md.)
Height: 5-11
Weight: 175

Tom Leibig

Hometown: Havertown, Pa.
High School: Haverford (Pa.)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 195

Matt Kennedy

Hometown: Fairfax, Va.
High School: Flint Hill (Va.)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 175

Peyton Heck

Hometown: Wilmington, Del.
High School: Archmere Academy (Del.)
Height: 5-11
Weight: 175

This year's edition of the Bench Mob looks like its deepest yet, expanding into a quartet instead of the usual trio from recent memory. Grace, Leibig, and Kennedy are all veterans at the job, joining the team last season for the first time, after previously being practice squad players. Of the bunch, Grace is the oldest, now coming in as a graduate student and fifth-year player. Meanwhile, Leibig and Kennedy are entering their senior seasons.

They appeared in seven games together, previously getting some action in the Wildcats' quarterfinal round beat down of St. John's. Neither of them were able to log a point in the stat sheet, but still got the home crowds riled up whenever they entered a game.

The newcomer, Peyton Heck, joins them and the rest of the team as a full-time member. Heck hails from the same hometown as Donte DiVincenzo and spent his first two years on the Main Line as a practice squad player. For Heck, it's almost like a dream fulfilled, as he served as a ball boy for the 'Cats when he was in kindergarten and first grade back in 2003-04. His father, Chris, is a Villanova alumnus and the current president of the Philadelphia 76ers. Before coming to Villanova, he played basketball and football--as a defensive back--at Archmere Academy (Del.).

Best Case Scenario: The Wildcats pour it on their opponents, resulting in numerous Bench Mob appearances. Also, everyone in the quartet logs some numbers in the stat book. On the bench, they come up with another unique celebration, it catches some airtime from the TV cameras and they go viral.

Worst Case Scenario: Villanova plays from behind or in tight games frequently, and maybe Jay Wright is in a bad mood and the Bench Mob stays put off to the side. The less Bench Mob time, it probably means the team isn't doing so hot.

The Wisdom of Crowds Returns

We are pleased to bring back our Wisdom of Crowds experiment for the 2017-2018 season. In this series, we ask that you consider the points covered in our player preview to supplement your own personal insights and instincts to predict the points per game each scholarship player on the roster we score in the upcoming season.


Which member of the Bench Mob will sink a basket first?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Denny Grace
    (130 votes)
  • 17%
    Matt Kennedy
    (116 votes)
  • 25%
    Tom Leibig
    (175 votes)
  • 38%
    Peyton Heck
    (259 votes)
680 votes total Vote Now