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Can Villanova Basketball’s defense rebound from a down year?

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Despite having their youngest team ever under Jay Wright, will the Wildcats be able to course correct the defense after last season’s slip?

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Happy Tuesday Nova Nation! We’re just a few days away from the Villanova’s first exhibition game of the year as they’ll fly out to California tomorrow to play USC on Friday. There were certainly be a lot of differences between last year’s team and this year’s, but those all won’t necessarily be negatives. In fact one area the Wildcats are looking to improve is on defense.

Last season, Villanova finished 81st in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency rankings. Not only was that a huge drop off from the previous season, it was the first time the team had been ranked outside the Top 30 in seven years. In fact in the five previous years the Wildcats had never been ranked lower than 12th.

Bouncing back will be a tall order for a team with more than half of its players looking for their first serious court time, but there are some reasons to be optimistic. One of the reasons last year’s team struggled was their lack of depth. That certainly won’t be an issue this season, and while Wright likely doesn’t go with an 11 man rotation, there are enough guys who could hold their own to prevent the high minute totals players were seeing last year. This team is also more athletic top to bottom than it was a year ago, which typically helps in Jay Wright’s system that primarily plays man defense.

It may not look pretty early as the team suffers through some growing pains, but this team could end up pretty good defensively by the time Big East play rolls around. I leave it to you Nova Nation, where do you think Villanova’s defense will rank on KenPom.com this season?

Poll

Where will Villanova’s defense rank per KenPom at the end of this season?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Top 30
    (129 votes)
  • 54%
    31-60
    (233 votes)
  • 13%
    61-90
    (56 votes)
  • 1%
    91-120
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    121+
    (1 vote)
424 votes total Vote Now

In other news, Villanova Football falls to #7 in the rankings, lots of weekly awards across Villanova Athletics, and a few Big East teams have really upped their scheduling this season. Enjoy!

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