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!
Last year’s Bench Mob graduated three Seniors that got to live the fantasy of riding off into the sunset as Champions in their final game with the team. With all those departures along with a number of new players joining the team, it was almost a given that the number of walk-ons was going to go down this season. In fact, it’s less of a mob now and more of a dynamic duo. But don’t count them out, this pair of seniors will be a ferocious 1-2 punch on the practice court.
Profile and Stats: Peyton Heck (SR) and Tim Saunders (SR)
Hometown: Wilmington, DE | High School: Archmere Academy | Height: 5’11” | Weight: 175
Peyton Heck Career Stats
Hometown: Del Mar, CA | High School: Torrey Pines | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 200
For the first time since 2012, Villanova’s bench will only feature two walk-ons. But what the Wildcat’s Bench Mob lacks in numbers, they surely make up for in quality and experience. Collectively, these two seniors have been with Wright’s program for both of the team’s National Championships. They’ve seen the combination of work ethic and talent that’s required to win at the highest level. Most importantly for this year’s walk-ons, they know how to teach the new guys what it means to play Villanova Basketball.
Peyton Heck returns to the active roster after he helped the Wildcats win a National Championship in his debut season. He was a member of the practice team for two seasons prior to that. Heck has been around the program forever, all the way back to 2003 when he was a Villanova ball-boy. He also comes from a great basketball linage as his father, Chris Heck, is a Villanova alumnus and current President of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Tim Saunders makes his debut on the active roster this season after playing with the practice squad during last year’s Championship run. Saunders also has Villanova connections, playing for former Villanova great John Olive at Torey Pines High School. As a 6’4” guard with a volleyball background, he should really challenge Villanova’s guards on the boards in practice.
As members of the graduating class of 2019 at Villanova, these two seniors are going to be asked to play an important leadership role on such a young team. While we won’t see their efforts often on game day, they help set the tone in practice, in the gym, and in the classroom. Only Phil Booth has spent more time at Villanova than these two, so head coach Jay Wright will expect them to set an example in the locker room.
Best Case Scenario: The young guys pick up Villanova’s system quickly and by mid-season they’re playing at a high level. The team has a few blow-outs at which point Jay feels he can keep the scholarship players off the court and let the walkons close out a few games. In their final season with the team, Heck and Saunders both score their first career points to the jubilation of both their teammates and the Nova Nation.
Worst Case Scenario: The young team struggles, and win or lose Wright feels he needs to use the end of blowout games as an opportunity to get the new players experience and take advantage of teachable moments. Heck and Saunders remain eternal optimists on the bench, cheering their team on no matter what. But because they put the team first, they sacrifice the short amount of court time they might have had.
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.
The Bench Mob is a special case though, so instead of per game we want to know how many TOTAL points they’ll score this season. In 2018, they totaled 7 points through 15 games, so how do you think they’ll fare this season?
How many total points will the Bench Mob score this season
This poll is closed
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