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Villanova Basketball 2020 Player Recap: Cole Swider

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Swider received more opportunities as a sophomore.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Swider’s Career Stats

SEASON GP GS MIN FG FG% 3PT 3P% FT FT% OR DR REB AST BLK STL PF TO PTS
SEASON GP GS MIN FG FG% 3PT 3P% FT FT% OR DR REB AST BLK STL PF TO PTS
2018-19 21 0 9.5 1.1-3.0 37.5 0.6-2.2 28.3 0.6-0.9 63.2 0.5 0.8 1.2 0.6 0 0.1 1.2 0.4 3.5
2019-20 31 14 18.5 2.3-5.3 44.2 1.2-3.5 35.2 0.2-0.3 66.7 0.7 2.2 2.9 0.6 0.3 0.2 1.7 0.8 6.1

The Breakdown

After seeing limited action as a freshman last season, Cole Swider became one of the big players in the 2019-20 rotation.

This past season was a step in the right direction for Swider, who demonstrated the sharpshooting ability he had been known for in high school, and it was present very early in the year.

He enjoyed solid three-point shooting games against Army (Nov. 5) and Ohio State (Nov. 13), but the pinnacle was clearly in the Myrtle Beach Invitational contest against Middle Tennessee State (Nov. 21).

Swider was at the forefront of the lopsided victory over the Blue Raiders, cashing in on six 3-pointers en route to a career-high 26-point game.

He was also the only Wildcat to get it going in a loss at Marquette, where he tied with a team-high 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

After coming off of the bench for the first six games of the year, Swider was promoted to a starting role against La Salle on Dec. 1, with head coach Jay Wright opting for his experience as a second-year player over freshman Justin Moore. Swider would remain in the starting five for the next 15 games, before Moore reclaimed his spot in the lineup.

Despite being moved to the bench, Swider remained a big part of the rotation, where he saw a good amount of minutes and was leaned on to provide reserve scoring.

While he had a stronger shooting numbers in the first half of the year, Swider finished the season in the top 20 out of all Big East players, when it came to three-point shooting percentage (35.2 percent).

In the first 12 games of the season, Swider shot a blistering 45.8 percent from long range.

After New Year’s his performance from beyond the arc dipped to just 26.7 percent over the final 19 games to finish out the 2019-20 campaign.

Consistency will be key for Swider moving forward, but there’s no denying that it was an improved year for him. After all, he shot just 28.3 percent from three-point range as a freshman.

He still has two years to go, and while his shot can be a little streaky, it’s evident that when he’s on, he’s on. It was a good season for him to accrue playing time and starting experience, and now, we will see what comes in 2020-21.

Looking Ahead

It was great to see some growth out of Swider this season. As someone who didn’t get to play much last year, we weren’t sure how he’d fill in or step into a much bigger role.

Early on, he showed an improved three-point shot and the ability to contribute. Although there are some things for him to work on (shooting consistency, on-ball defense), Swider showed glimpses of a bright future, particularly on the scoring end.

He should still be a key player in the rotation, no matter if he is a starter or a player that comes off the bench. Although Caleb Daniels will be available next year and Bryan Antoine seems poised to light the court on fire, the Wildcats needed that scoring boost off the bench this season.

Depending on what the roster and lineup will look like next year, there will still be a place for Swider and the more weapons, the merrier.