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Ed Cooley is expecting big things from Villanova Basketball’s Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels

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Nova’s dynamic duo impressed their Team USA coach in Peru.

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Happy Wednesday Nova Nation! Yesterday, Providence head coach Ed Cooley was a guest on Andy Katz’s “March Madness 365” podcast to talk about coaching Team USA at the Pan Am Games. A big part of the conversation was about the bonds and insight the coach gained on all of the Big East players he coached. Not surprisingly, the coach had great things to say about the two Villanova players on the team.

On Collin Gillespie, Cooley was very impressed with his toughness. “Just a winner, communicator. You can easily see how Jay loves him, just on his ability to compete and follow instruction.” Of course it wasn’t all basketball, Cooley also spoke on getting to know Villanova’s point guard. “Not a big personality, but a fun young man. He just was a ‘go get it done’ guy.” Gillespie led Team USA in scoring with 24 points in the bronze medal game, and also gave us this touching moment that really spoke to the respect he had for Coach Cooley.

On Jermaine Samuels, Cooley thought he had a “really good tournament”. “He shoots the ball way better than I anticipated. We played him at two positions because we needed a stretch guy.” He went on to talk about two of Samuels clutch shots late in games, and how he expects big things from him this season.

But the most telling part of the Cooley’s assessment of the Wildcats he got to coach was how well they represented their coach and their university. “Those two guys will have a great year for Villanova. You can easily see Jay’s culture come out of them with toughness, togetherness, and unselfishness. They were a lot of fun to be around.”

You can listen to the podcast to hear Cooley talk to his experience in Peru and break down the rest of the Big East players on Team USA. But at a minimum, Villanova fans can come away knowing that Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels are already showing the poise and leadership qualities they’ll need to lead the Wildcats this season.

In other “news”, Villanova Athletics sets new Big East record for academics, Wildcat Football is picked as a darkhorse to win the Colonial, and Rollie Massimino’s grandson is close to qualifying for US Amateurs. Enjoy!

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Andy Katz talks about the NCAA's amended rule on agent representation, and Providence Head Coach Ed Cooley gives his thoughts on the Pan Am Games. Cooley also breaks down what he expects this upcoming season from each of the players he coached, including Villanova's Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels.

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