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Villanova Basketball ranked #1 in early KenPom 2017-18 rankings

A bit surprising, but encouraging nonetheless.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Wisconsin vs Villanova Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Stats-guru Ken Pomeroy has released his Top-10 for next season via his latest blog post, and (to his surprise, and my own) the Villanova Wildcats are ranked #1!

Here’s the ‘Nova write-up, but it’s important to head over to KenPom and actually read whta he wrote to understand his methodology.

Surprised? Me, too. It won’t be trivial to replace Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, and Darryl Reynolds but point guard Jalen Brunson and everybody else in the rotation figures to return. Plus, the Wildcats get Phil Booth back and freshman Omari Spellman could be an upgrade on the front line. I kind of doubt Villanova will be the best team in the land, but a fourth consecutive finish in the top five is certainly realistic.

I’m with him on the wow factor, as I said. Villanova is losing a lot of production, so I just figured there would be other teams returning more.

But we have talked about how much Villanova is getting back next season, and it’s clear that KenPom’s algorithm is bullish on the return of Jalen Brunson and Phil Booth + the addition of Omari Spellman.

Keep your heads up, Villanova is likely going to be pretty good again.