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2018-19 Villanova Basketball Player Preview: Joe Cremo

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‘Nova won the Cremo sweepstakes, so what should we expect from the transfer?

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!


While Cremo was not a highly touted high school recruit (due in part to not playing on the AAU circuit), when he announced that he would be looking to transfer as a graduate student, thus being eligible to play immediately, a bevy of suitors emerged, including Kansas and Creighton. Ultimately, Jay scored his second victory in 6 weeks over the Jayhawks by bagging the sharpshooter as insurance against the probable exodus of players to the NBA.

Cremo the Crop

(I’m here all week, try the veal)

Before we take a look at what Cremo brings to the ‘Cats this year, let’s take a look at his career in Albany.

During his junior year at Albany, Cremo averaged 17.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.8 assists en route to being named First Team All-America East. He posted a blistering 45% average from deep (good for 28th overall in D-1), and a 120.0 ORtg rating. With a possession usage of 24%, Cremo was extremely efficient.

By the end of the season, Cremo’s true shooting percentage had risen to 60%. He has a quick release and can let it fly without much space. During his final season, the Great Danes went 22-10 before losing to Stony Brook in the America East Conference Tournament. The eventual winners of that tournament, the UMBC Retrievers, went on to do some things.

NCAA Basketball: America East Final-UAlbany vs Vermont Burlington Free Press-USA TODAY NETWORK

Aside from being a deep threat, Cremo is very much a facilitator. Cremo posted a 22% assist rate last season and loves to drive-and-kick, an integral part of Villanova’s offense.

Cremo’s weakness is definitely his defense. He’s not particularly fast and his opposing scouting reports note that he often struggles closing out on perimeter shooters and adjusting on pick-and-rolls. This seems to suggest that Cremo will struggle early adapting to Villanova’s defensive schemes, which rely heavily upon switching and rotations. It will not be surprising to see Cremo window shopping in November and December, forcing his teammates to pick up his assignments.

NCAA Basketball: Albany at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The reports from the Blue and White scrimmage were mostly inconclusive concerning any intel on Cremo as he was relatively quiet, especially from deep. That being said, Cremo has reportedly impressed during early practices, showing off a range that will provide Jay Wright with a number of options.

At the time of Cremo’s commitment, conventional wisdom suggested that, as a senior, Cremo could potentially start alongside Phil Booth, Eric Paschall, Jahvon Quinerly, and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree. However, with the starting five appearing to be in flux, Cremo could be looked to to provide instant offense off of the bench.

Best Case Scenario

The best case scenario for a Villanova team facing a number of unknowns this year is that Cremo is not one of them. He was brought in to hit threes, he is good at hitting threes, and we would like him to hit threes. Beyond that, his ability to facilitate and find passing lanes should fit in nicely with Villanova’s general offensive mission. There have been a number of tweets claiming that Cremo could potentially be the best pure shooter of the Jay Wright era, which I am willing to humbly accept as the best case scenario.

Worst Case Scenario

As I see it, the worst case scenario for Joe Cremo is not really that exciting. He will likely struggle on defense until he (hopefully) adjusts but the same can be said for nearly all of Villanova’s new additions. His shooting prowess alone suggests that it is unlikely he becomes a complete bust, especially with Jay’s “shoot out of a slump” philosophy. The worst case here is that he becomes a non-factor. He wasn’t brought in to eat minutes, he was brought in to help replace the apocalyptic losses suffered this summer.

The second worst case scenario is Gus Johnson calling him the “New Ragu.”

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 Joe Cremo average this season?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    4.0 - 6.0
    (80 votes)
  • 34%
    6.1 - 8.0
    (343 votes)
  • 43%
    8.9 - 11.0
    (426 votes)
  • 13%
    11.1+
    (134 votes)
983 votes total Vote Now