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Villanova Basketball 2019-20 Player Preview: Collin Gillespie

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As the main engine of the offense, the Wildcats are hoping their lead guard can make another jump in his junior season.

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 23 Div I Men’s Championship - Second Round - Villanova v Purdue Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

VUHoops continues our coverage of Villanova Basketball’s 100th Season by previewing the entire Wildcat roster. Be sure to check out all of our coverage including Ten Top 10’s, event coverage, and schedule previews. Check back over the coming weeks as we begin the celebration of 100 years of Villanova Basketball!


Collin Gillespie (Junior)

Hometown: Warminster, PA

High School: Archbishop Wood High School

Height: 6-3

Weight: 183

Collin Gillespie 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
2018-19 35 35 29.4 3.3 8.0 40.9% 1.1 2.4 47.6% 2.1 5.6 37.9% 2.2 2.7 83.9% 0.3 2.0 2.4 2.8 1.1 0.1 1.5 2.7 10.9

Player Preview

There’s a lot to like about Collin Gillespie’s development in a Villanova uniform so far. Despite being only a three star recruit out of high school, Gillespie earned minutes as a freshman on a loaded roster and became the third scoring option as a sophomore. Now as a junior, Gillespie will be asked to be the primary ballhandler and initiator for the Wildcats offense. Villanova’s ceiling as a team will rely heavily on Gillespie’s ability to take another step forward.

Gillespie got a taste of lead guard duties this summer, playing significant minutes with the USA team at the Pan Am Games. Gillespie nominally played the point, but struggled overall in the tournament, scoring 8.8 points per game on 39.5% shooting while adding 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. The VU guard closed the tournament on a high note though, leading his team in scoring with 25 in their bronze medal win.

Gillespie is already a tremendous scorer from the outside, but he will need to add another element to his game to elevate to the next level. Gillespie shot 37.9% from three last season on 5.6 attempts per game and demonstrated the ability to shoot off the dribble. Beyond that skill, Gillespie has yet to develop much of a mid-range or dribble-drive aspect to his game. As a sophomore, the VU guard took only 18.3% of his shots at the rim, converting just 56.0% of those takes. If Gillespie is able to add a penetration threat, it will open up more opportunities for him, both as a play-maker and a shooter.

Best Case Scenario

If Collin Gillespie can maintain his efficient scoring numbers with the coming bump in usage, it’s entirely possible Gillespie earns First Team All-Big East honors and contends for BE Player of the Year. Villanova’s junior guard stands to inherit three to four more shots per game in addition to more responsibility to create plays. He’s shown in his first two years he can score from the outside, but as a junior Gillespie adds the threat of the drive, making him a more complete offensive player.

Worst Case Scenario

Villanova’s lead guard struggles as the primary option, and without adding another element, remains a one-dimensional threat. His shooting percentages dip despite the rise in raw scoring, and he doesn’t make the leap the Wildcats anticipated.

The Wisdom of the Crowds

We are pleased to bring back our Wisdom of Crowds experiment for the 2019-20 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 scholarship player on the roster we score in the upcoming season.

Poll

How many points will Collin Gillespie average this season?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    8.0 or less
    (8 votes)
  • 22%
    8.1-11.0
    (115 votes)
  • 60%
    11.1-14.0
    (311 votes)
  • 15%
    14.0 or more
    (82 votes)
516 votes total Vote Now