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2019 Villanova Basketball Player Recap: Saddiq Bey

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The late commit made had the strongest impact.

NCAA Basketball: Big East Tournament Final-Villanova vs Seton Hall Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Saddiq Bey 2019 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
2018-19 36 29 1064 109 238 0.458 60 107 0.561 49 131 0.374 29 45 0.644 74 109 183 46 31 12 28 78 296

Saddiq Bey committed to the Villanova Wildcats and Jay Wright on June 15th, 2018 when most seniors had long ago decided on their next step. Bey was originally committed to North Carolina State, but de-committed on May 16th, possibly because the Wolfpack decided to bring in Kentucky transfer Sacha Killeya-Jones, who left the program in February. After a month experiencing the recruiting trail again, Bey decided to head to the Main Line just as summer practices were getting underway.

The addition of Bey concluded Villanova’s recruiting class of 2018 at 9th in the country, but Bey was the lowest ranked at #138. Despite his lower rankings, he undoubtedly was the most impactful freshman. While the usage and performance of the other three freshmen was being debated, Bey was playing like a senior.

Did Saddiq Bey meet or exceed expectations in 2018-19?

Saddiq Bey unquestionably blew any and all expectations out of the water. As we wrote back in October not much was expected out of the 6’7” forward, a redshirt even seemed likely. Bey earned whatever the opposite of a redshirt is, playing in all of the Wildcats 36 games and starting in 29.

Production wise, Bey averaged 8.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists on 37.4% shooting from three. The majority of people in Wisdom of the Crowds believed Bey would average between 0-4 points, with only 17% correctly predicting between 7-10 points.

A lot of what Bey did this year surprised people, but the three point shooting is the most glaring. It took a few games to get used to the form, which still is not absolutely perfect, but it improved during the year and kept falling the entire time. After all was said and done, Bey ended up as the 2nd best three point shooter this season, only behind Collin Gillespie.

Bey’s defense was another revelation. Locking up Myles Powell, Markus Howard, and Shamorie Ponds (among others) is tough to do, but Bey contributed to solid efforts against all three guys on multiple occasions. His combination of size, length, quickness, and smarts will make him a very dangerous defender next year.

Speaking of 2019-20, Saddiq Bey will have a major role for the Wildcats next season. As one of three returning starters, Bey’s role is expected to increase, though the #3 ranked 2019 class could change things. Bey will likely not be a casualty of any freshmen excellence, however. He averaged 29.6 minutes this season, and another off season with Shack and Jay will likely only raise that number.

The rising juniors will be the elder statesmen and likely captains, but Bey will also have a chance to lead this team to the top of the Big East again and back to the later rounds of the NCAA tournament.