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2018 Villanova Basketball Season Recap: Mikal Bridges

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A look back on the growth of one of Villanova’s most decorated players

NCAA Basketball: Final Four Championship Game-Michigan vs Villanova Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Mikal Bridges Career Stats

Season G GS MP FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season G GS MP FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2015-16 40 0 20.3 2.2 4.1 0.521 1.6 2.2 0.716 0.6 1.9 0.299 1.5 1.9 0.787 0.9 2.3 3.2 0.9 1.1 0.7 0.6 2.2 6.4
2016-17 36 33 29.8 3.6 6.5 0.549 2.3 3.4 0.694 1.2 3.1 0.393 1.4 1.6 0.911 1.1 3.4 4.6 2 1.7 0.9 1.3 2.3 9.8
2017-18 40 40 32.1 6.1 11.9 0.514 3.5 5.9 0.593 2.6 6 0.435 2.9 3.4 0.851 1.4 3.9 5.3 1.9 1.5 1.1 1.4 2.2 17.7
Career 116 73 27.3 3.9 7.5 0.525 2.5 3.8 0.645 1.5 3.7 0.4 1.9 2.3 0.845 1.1 3.2 4.3 1.6 1.4 0.9 1.1 2.2 11.3

Mikal Bridges returned for his redshirt junior year and as a captain stepped up to fill the hole that graduating seniors Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins left on the wing. Bridges scored nearly 18 points per game after averaging single digits last year, and increased his 3P% for the third straight season, from 30% in 2015-16 to 39% in 2016-17 to 43.5% this season. Bridges often acted as a defensive stopper for the team as well, especially during Phil Booth’s absence with a broken hand. Bridges scored in double digits in all but 3 games, and in every game after their January 20th win at Connecticut. Bridges also scored 19 points in the national championship game against Michigan, ending his Wildcat career on high note in addition to two championships.

Did Mikal Bridges Meet or Exceed Expectations in 2017-18?

In my season preview for Mikal Bridges, as my best case scenario I wrote “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”.

Mikal Bridges won the Julius Erving award, made Big East first team and All American third team, and attempted 12 field goals a game on an elite slashline of 51/43/85. In the Wisdom of the Crowd Series, only 31% of voters nabbed Bridges to score 13 PPG or more, a number he blew out of the water. There was even a petition to name a group of bridges on Villanova’s campus after him! Considering all of this, I think it’s safe to say Bridges met that best-case scenario.