Coming off a National Championship and with Ryan Arciadiacono heading off into the sunset, 2016-2017 was going to be a big year for Jalen Brunson. As a 5 star prospect and arguably the top PG in the 2015 class, expectations were high when Brunson stepped on campus and his sophomore season was going to provide him with the opportunity to be the floor general of the defending champs. When Booth went down, questions popped up about whether Brunson would be able to handle the ball-handling duties by himself, and when Omarai went (read: was taken) down, questions popped up about whether Brunson would be able to create space and slice up a defense.
"Yes" - Brunson, in response to all questions.
Our Wisdom of the Crowds had Brunson at 11-13 points per game, which he eclipsed with an impressive 14.7 per game. Brunson shot 54% from the field and averaged 4 assists per game. Brunson was a road warrior, putting up 27 at Creighton, 21 at Providence, 22 at Seton Hall, and 17 at Xavier.
The hands down highlight of his season was his dunk on John Collins of Wake Forest, for obvious reasons.
The numbers are impressive but they don't tell half the story. Brunson is the perfect point guard: he sees the floor like a 15 year veteran, he sees the game 5 to 6 plays in advance, and he has the uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time. Take his patented two-for-ones at the end of first halves, which Jay said he does on his own, and then remind yourself you're thinking about a 20 year old.
Jalen Brunson recently announced that he will be returning to the Main Line for his Junior season. As best can be gleaned, JB seems happy with the decision:
— Jalen Brunson (@jalenbrunson1) April 20, 2017
Brunson was arguably the MVP of Villanova's season, which sounds insane considering Josh Hart is still enrolled at Villanova University. Sure, there were turnovers. Sure, there were some ill-advised shots. But overall, Jalen Brunson had an incredible season and we get to watch him again next year.