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2017 Villanova Basketball Preview: Mikal Bridges

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A whole lot of defense, wingspan, and more offense?

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at DePaul Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Mikal Bridges

Hometown: Malvern, Pa.
High School: Great Valley HS
Height: 6-7
Weight: 191 lbs

Mikal Bridges’ Career Stats

SEASON MIN FGM-FGA FG% 3PM-3PA 3P% FTM-FTA FT% REB AST BLK STL PF TO PTS
SEASON MIN FGM-FGA FG% 3PM-3PA 3P% FTM-FTA FT% REB AST BLK STL PF TO PTS
2016-17 29.8 3.6-6.5 0.549 1.2-3.1 0.393 1.4-1.6 0.911 4.6 2 0.9 1.7 2.3 1.3 9.8
2015-16 20.3 2.2-4.1 0.521 0.6-1.9 0.299 1.5-1.9 0.787 3.2 0.9 0.7 1.1 2.2 0.6 6.4

*Redshirted 2014-15 season.

Player Preview:

After having a promising redshirt freshman season coming off the bench for the national championship squad in 2015-16, Mikal Bridges got his opportunity to start after an injury cost Phil Booth his season. In that time, Bridges improved his game in just about every aspect, most notably improving his three-point percentage from a lowly 29.9 percent to a borderline-elite 39.3 percent and his free throw percentage from a respectable 78.7 percent to a nearly-automatic 91.1 percent, good for a tie for eighth-best in the nation. Bridges also lived up to his massive potential on the defensive end, swallowing up opponents with his massive wingspan on his way to becoming Big East co-Defensive Player of the Year alongside teammate Josh Hart and Creighton’s Khyri Thomas. This year, Bridges will be expected to create more shots for himself this year, and to guard the best guard or wing on the opposing team. There is buzz from NBA scouts on Bridges’ potential at the next level, but there are worries about his passivity offensively. Look for him to attempt to prove those doubters wrong on the court this year.

Best Case Scenario: Bridges becomes one of the best shooters in the country in addition to his always stellar defensive play, challenging for Big East Player of the Year and the Julius Erving Award for the best small forward in the nation. As one of the most experienced players on the team, Bridges becomes a vocal leader on the court in the absence of Hart and becomes aggressive around the basket, taking eight to 10 field goals a game on his way to a 50-40-90 season.

Worst Case Scenario: Bridges continues to be passive offensively, having multiple games where he goes scoreless. He regresses slightly in efficiency, but his defense and athleticism keep him as a mainstay in the starting lineup for the Wildcats and one of the most impactful players in any given game.


Wisdom of the Crowd

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.

Poll

How many points per game will Mikal Bridges score this season?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    0.0-5.0
    (0 votes)
  • 8%
    5.1-9.9
    (57 votes)
  • 60%
    10.0-12.9
    (401 votes)
  • 30%
    13.0+
    (203 votes)
661 votes total Vote Now