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2018-2019 Villanova Basketball Player Preview: Collin Gillespie

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With more opportunity for playing time, expect Collin Gillespie to build on a strong freshman campaign.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

VUHoops will be kicking off the 2018-19 Villanova Basketball season with an entire month of team coverage. Check in every day for new player previews, schedule breakdowns, team analysis, event recaps, and season predictions as we get closer to the first tip-off of the year!


Collin Gillespie played 16 minutes in the NCAA Championship game. That sentence isn’t so strange to read today, but a year ago it would have been unthinkable.

Gillespie, the number 200 recruit according to 247 Sports, was the somewhat surprising final piece of Jay Wright’s 2017 class. Not much was expected of the point guard from Archbishop Wood, but Gillespie earned his minutes with tough defense, solid shooting, and steady stewardship. When his time came in the NCAA Tournament Championship game, he did not disappoint, pitching in four points, five rebounds, an assist, a steal, and no turnovers.

Profile and Stats: Collin Gillespie (SO)

Hometown: Warminster, PA | High School: Archbishop Wood | Height: 6’3” | Weight: 190

Collin Gillespie 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
2017-18 32 1 14.4 1.3 2.9 45.2% 0.4 0.7 63.6% 0.9 2.2 39.4% 0.8 0.9 80.0% 0.1 1.2 1.3 1.1 0.6 0.1 0.4 1.4 4.3

Player Preview

Indulge me, as I’d like to revisit Gillespie’s performance in Villanova’s 79-62 Championship victory. The stats don’t jump off the page, but it felt like each time the then-freshman point guard entered the game he seemed to give the Wildcats positive minutes. The numbers back up that feeling.

In his first five appearances in the game, a total of 14 minutes, 23 seconds, Gillespie was an eye-watering +23 in on-court plus/minus. He was all over any Michigan player he switched onto defensively, even forcing a shot clock violation against Charles Matthews in isolation. He gave the Wildcats huge minutes on the biggest stage, and if it’s any sign of what’s to come, Gillespie has the potential to be the next great four year point guard on the main line.

Best Case Scenario

All the talk is about the incoming talent, but Gillespie showed that he deserves minutes and he projects to share the point guard duties with Jahvon Quinerly. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the sophomore guard even started and, if he plays well, he could see as many as 25 minutes per game.

If the shooting splits - 45.2% from the field, 39.4% from three, 80.0% from the line - Stay there or even improve, Gillespie could see a major uptick in his counting stats and usage rate. With that kind of efficiency and his knack for defense, Gillespie could find himself closing out games for the Wildcats.

Worst Case Scenario

There’s no guarantee the offensive efficiency from this past season is replicated. If Gillespie comes out of the gates struggling, Jay Wright may opt to give Phil Booth some of his minutes running the offense. The sophomore guard will find his way onto the floor in this scenario, but may only play the 15 minutes per game he averaged last season.

Wisdom of the Crowds

We are pleased to bring back our Wisdom of Crowds experiment for the 2018-2019 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 player on the roster we score in the upcoming season.

Poll

How many points will Collins Gillespie average this season?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    0-5
    (32 votes)
  • 46%
    5-8
    (457 votes)
  • 43%
    8-11
    (428 votes)
  • 6%
    11+
    (69 votes)
986 votes total Vote Now