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2017 NBA Draft Profile: Villanova guard Josh Hart

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Hart isn’t a sexy prospect, but he’s a solid one.

NCAA Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Seton Hall vs Villanova Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Underrated for most of his basketball career, Josh Hart finished his Villanova Wildcats career as one of the most decorated in school history, and it has set him up to be the next NBA draft pick from Jay Wright’s program.

Hart capped his ‘Nova career by being a consensus 1st Team All-American in addition to Big East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards. He was also the KenPom Player of the Year.

Measurables (NBA Combine)

Josh Hart Measurables

Year Height W/O Shoes Height W/ Shoes Weight Wingspan Standing Reach Standing Vertical Max Vertical
Year Height W/O Shoes Height W/ Shoes Weight Wingspan Standing Reach Standing Vertical Max Vertical
2017 6'3 3/4" 6'5" 209 lbs. 6'8 1/4" 8'5" 27.5" 35.5"
2016 6'4" 6'5 1/2" 204 lbs. 6'8 12/" 8'3 1/2" 29.5" 38.5"

Collegiate Statistics

Josh Hart Villanova Statistics

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 33.2 6.6-12.9 0.51 2.1-5.1 0.404 3.5-4.7 0.747 6.4 2.9 0.3 1.6 2.3 2 18.7
2015-16 31.4 5.8-11.2 0.513 1.4-3.9 0.357 2.6-3.4 0.752 6.8 1.9 0.3 1.2 2.2 1.7 15.5
2014-15 25.5 3.4-6.7 0.515 1.4-3.1 0.464 1.8-2.7 0.67 4.5 1.5 0.4 1.1 2.1 1.1 10.1
2013-14 21.4 2.6-5.1 0.5 0.8-2.4 0.313 1.9-2.8 0.677 4.4 0.9 0.3 0.6 2.4 0.6 7.8

Strengths

All the usual things you hear about Villanova players - character, toughness, competitivness, etc.. - apply to Hart. Coming out of high school as the #80 player in the country, he was defined as a good athlete with a raw game. He made an immediate impact at Villanova and improved year-over-year to the point where he was clearly one of the three best players in the country by the time he graduated.

His work ethic not only shows out on the court where he’s a plus-rebounder from the guard spot and one of the best wing defenders in the country, but off the court as well. He’s a tireless worker who has improved his shot mechanics, defensive foot speed and ball-handling during his career at Villanova to the point where Jay Wright was having him initiate offense in the pick-and-roll during his Senior season. His final season also saw him shoot over 40% from the three-point line, a big improvement from the prior year (35%).

He’s a force to be reckoned with in transition and when he gets going downhill can put a lot of pressure on the defense. He’s got a high-basketball IQ and makes good decisions on offense, and reads passing lanes extremly well on defense.

He’s a proven winner that has been constantly undervalued during his career which has caused him to play with a chip on his shoulder. He will bring the right attitude and comes without any off-court concerns.

Weaknesses

The biggest knock on Hart is his athleticism and size for his position. He’s in a shooting guard’s body but plays more of a small forward’s game. While he has a good frame and wingspan may struggle to deal with longer players at the next level when matched up with them.

While he’s improved his shooting mechanics and his shooting clips, he still has a bit of a slow release and a hitch at the top of his shot. He also has a tendency to shoot a flat ball at times. All of these could be an issue at the next level.

While he featured some in the PnR to finish his career, he doesn’t have the handle that most teams will look for in the backcourt, and has struggled to create his own shot at times. He’s best when he is getting spot-up looks or when he gets going to the hoop in the rhythm of the offense.

While his work rate and college improvement will be taken as a positive, as a 22-year old Senior many teams will devalue his NBA shelf-life and potential upside because of his age.

Off The Court

A couple of cool stories about Hart that show you the mentality he brings to daily life:

Hart attended the prestigious Sidwell Friends school in Washington D.C. (the same school as the Obama children) and was asked to leave after his sophomore year. With his basketball career taking off Hart (who is a good student by most standards), he could have transferred to a basketball-factory and focused on sport. Instead, he opted to stay and graduate, taking what most would consider as the tough way out.

Similarly, Hart gained some national fame this year when the media caught wind of his time as an Boy Scout. Raised to finish what he started, Hart fulfilled his promise to his father that he would complete the program and pass his Eagle Scout requirements, even after he likely felt he had outgrown it with his basketball career taking off.

Josh Hart accepts all challenges, and usually comes out on top.

Overall

Hart’s winning pedigree and year-over-year improvement had him marked as a borderline first-round prospect heading into the 2016 draft, but he’s almost universally being projected as a second round pick because of his age, athleticism and offensive potential at the next level.

Many will point to Milwaukee Bucks rookie Malcolm Brogdon as a reason to draft proven college winners, and that’s probably a fair comparison for Hart. Whatever franchise ends up taking him will be bringing an extremely efficient player with a high work-rate and plus-defensive potential to the rotation. Hart’s best chance to lock down a spot in the NBA is as a 3-and-D rotation player who can come in and bring energy and impact off the bench.

Hart is currently projected to be taken 44th overall in the second round by the New York Knicks by DraftExpress.