Hometown: Baltimore, MD
High School: Mount Saint Joseph
Weight: 190 lbs
Phil Booth Career Per Game Stats
During the Championship season of 2016, Phil Booth played through knee pain en route to being the leading scorer in the biggest game of his career. The following off season, he had minor surgery to help clear up any issues, and anticipated a full recovery as he was about to take over the starting SG role the next season. But issues with his knee flared up again in the form of tendinitis, and Booth only played in the first three games last season.
Last season became a will he/won’t he back and forth for Phil Booth. While it sounds like internally the decision was made to shut him down for the season, the media and fans were always told he could be back in two or three games. But by mid-way through the conference schedule, it had become clear to everyone that Booth was likely to sit out the rest of the season and focus on a return for 2017-18.
Now with a season of focusing on rehab and becoming a better team leader under his belt, Booth looked to be on track for a full recovery. Then he sat out the Blue/White scrimmage with some soreness in his knee. Sure, it’s all precautionary at this point, but after being strung along last season no one is going to feel confident in what Booth can provide on the court until we see it in person.
With the season just around the corner, there are still a lot of question marks around health, playing time, and role. But the biggest question about Phil Booth, assuming he plays, is which version of his game we’re going to see. As a freshman, he was blistering hot from deep (48.5% 3FG%) and an amazing finisher at the rim (77%, 2nd best on the team). In his sophomore season, his offensive numbers dipped but his defense really stepped up, improving in both rebounds and steals per game. He also became the team’s best free throw shooter at 87.7% from the line.
Booth is simply the most difficult Wildcat to predict this season. He could lead the team in scoring this year or miss half the games, we just don’t know yet. But given that the team has now dealt with and managed his knee for over a year, I’m guessing there’s a plan in place that will get Booth on the court. If he can play over 20 minutes a game, then he has the potential to be the best player on the team. If his knee won’t allow that, then he’ll still be the most valuable role player Villanova has. The question is, which version of Phil Booth shows up this season?
Best Case Scenario: Knee issues are minor and managed well as Booth starts at SG and becomes the dynamic scoring option we saw in the national championship. Capable of scoring from deep, driving to the rim, or pulling up short, he’s virtually unguardable. On defense Booth is able to protect the perimeter and shows an uncanny knack for crashing the boards from the top of the key. He finishes the season as Nova’s leading scorer.
Worst Case Scenario: The knee issues are, well, an issue. Booth isn’t shut down for the season, but his minutes are reduced to 10-15 per game and he comes off the bench as a role player. While still a capable shooter, it’s no where near the potential we saw early in his career and he finishes outside the Top 5 in scoring. He remains a solid defender, but plays better in the zone and can’t lock down opposing guards.
Wisdom of the Crowds
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.
How many points per game will Phil Booth score this season?
This poll is closed
4 to 7
7 to 10
10 to 13