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Villanova Basketball 2020 Player Recap: Jermaine Samuels

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NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Temple Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Jermaine Samuels’ 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
2017-18 25 0 6.1 0.3-1.1 25 0.1-0.6 18.8 0.4-0.6 62.5 0.3 0.9 1.2 0.3 0.1 0 0.9 0.5 1.1
2018-19 35 22 22 2.1-4.7 44.8 0.9-2.7 34.7 1.3-2.1 62.2 1.7 3.7 5.4 1 0.8 0.4 1.9 1 6.4
2019-20 30 30 30.3 3.6-7.8 46.4 1.1-3.9 27.6 2.4-3.3 72.7 1.3 4.2 5.5 2 0.7 0.9 2.1 1.3 10.7

The Breakdown

After coming on strong in the second half of last season, an impressive stretch highlighted by a career-performance against Marquette at home, Samuels was named a captain for the 2019-20 season, alongside classmates Collin Gillespie and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree.

As the elder statesmen on a younger-than-usual Villanova team, they took on greater responsibilities. Individually, Samuels built on his sophomore season and was a full-time member of the starting lineup.

Although his three-point shooting percentage dipped (down to a subpar 27.6 percent clip, after shooting 34.7 percent from deep last season), Samuels saw increases in nearly every other statistical category.

He also delivered in big moments, most notably in the upset victory over Kansas in the penultimate non-conference game on Dec. 21, where Samuels drained a clutch, go-ahead three for the lead in the closing seconds of the game. He finished with 15 points in the Villanova Wildcats’ 56-55 victory over the Jayhawks.

While Samuels’ three-point shooting efficiency dropped overall, he excelled when it came to attacking the basket and crashing the boards.

He could occasionally take-and-make the three, but he seemed to be at his best when it came to driving inside or making off-ball cuts to the basket. This past season, he shot a career-best 64.7 percent inside the arc.

Samuels was one of five Wildcats to average in double figures when it came to scoring (10.7 points per game), and he grabbed the second-most rebounds—right behind Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.

The 6-foot-7 forward enjoyed a solid postseason run last year, and it was unfortunate that we didn’t get to see what he could have done this time around.

Looking Ahead

Overall, it was a positive season for Samuels.

Although some pundits criticize his passivity at times, when you play alongside a NBA Draft hopeful like Saddiq Bey and have three other teammates that are also averaging at least 10 points per game, it didn’t seem to be too big of an issue. Also, when called upon, Samuels made his mark.

Sure, the three-point shot could have been more consistent, but he didn’t seem to be passive when it came to lowering his shoulder to drive inside or when he would rise up to flush it down with a dunk.

Much like everyone else on this team, it’ll be exciting to see what Samuels will look like next season. He’ll likely reprise his role as captain and starter, and it’ll be fun to see what kind of junior to senior year jump he will take on the court.

We’ve only seen improvement with each passing season, but does he take an even bigger leap for his last hurrah?