Hometown: Warrenton, Va.
High School: Highland High School
Angelo Brizzi player preview:
As the self-proclaimed conductor of the Angelo Brizzi hype train, I was planning to spend some time talking about how excited Villanova fans should be for the 6-foot 3 sharp-shooting lefty from Warrenton, Va. However, recent developments at Hoops Mania and the Blue & White scrimmage may have beaten me to the punch.
In the spring of 2020, I came across Angelo Brizzi’s junior year high school highlights and it could not be more apparent how perfectly he could translate into a great Villanova guard. A confident shooter with unlimited range, quickness to blow by defenders and finish at the rim, great vision, and … draw offensive charges? Yes, there are multiple charges he drew in a high school highlight tape which should speak volumes to the types of plays he takes pride in.
As we fast forward to the 2022-2023 season, there are only a few crumbs of data to use in his season outlook. Let’s dive into what we can:
Angelo Brizzi was a non-injury redshirt for the program’s recent Final Four run. Despite not seeing the court, Brizzi had the premier “internship” in college basketball this past season in shadowing Colin Gillespie — the recipient of Bob Cousy award for the nation’s top point guard. On top of practicing every day with the likes of Gillespie, Justin Moore, Caleb Daniels, and Chris Arcidiacono, he learned from a plethora of experienced Villanova guards.
Brizzi also falls in the center of a unique Villanova Basketball venn diagram.
- The non-injury development redshirt year has paid exorbitant dividends in the past with the likes of Mikal Bridges and Eric Dixon.***
- There has been a recent trend of Villanova point guards passing on the torch after a one-year mentorship. Ryan Arcidiacono -> Jalen Brunson -> Colin Gillespie. Is Angelo Brizzi next?
It’d be unfair to expect production on the level of anyone listed above before he plays a minute of Villanova basketball, but Brizzi is certainly in good company.
As we look at the early results of the “internship”, they’ve been exceedingly promising.
First — Brizzi prepped his body for the college game. The official roster lists him at 190 pounds this season, compared to 180 pounds last year. Coach Shack strikes once again.
Hoops Mania gave Nova Nation a true first taste of Brizzi’s play. We witnessed a lot of traits that flooded his earlier highlights – a quick and smooth release leading to a pair of three pointers, making smart decisions while driving to the rim, forcing turnovers on defense, and drawing a charge on Njoku.
The Blue & White scrimmage showed the glimpse at Hoops Mania was no fluke, as Brizzi was one of the standout performers for the defending Big East champions. He flashed his bucket acquiring skills in all facets – pulling up from deep, mid-range jump shots, and attacking the hoop. We also saw his ability to drive and kick out to an open man and deliver long range passes while pushing the tempo (something he did a lot of in high school). Finally, he was active defensively. Brizzi forced turnovers and held his own on some post ups. He led his team in scoring in two of the three scrimmages. The stellar play did not go unnoticed as VUHoops’ own Tommy Godin named him the MVP of the scrimmage.
While Brizzi has looked sharp in pre-season glimpses, there’s little clarity on how the rotation will take shape. Positions are a fluid exercise, but Brizzi is currently battling an electric freshman in Mark Armstrong and experienced program player with Chris Arcidiacono for time at the point guard position. The guard room continues with Caleb Daniels, Jordan Longino, Brendan Hausen, and we haven’t even mentioned Justin Moore yet. A lot of tough decisions for Neptune and staff…
Nova Nation should expect Brizzi to be a large part of the rotation given his impressive pre-season showings. Between injuries to Justin Moore and Cam Whitmore, an opening at the point guard position, along with Kyle Neptune’s comments about a deeper rotation – there will be a lot of minutes up for grabs. Brizzi’s shooting, vision, quickness will get him on the court, hopefully his learnings from the “internship” keep him there.
***Omari Spellman was not included in venn diagram as the redshirt year was not intentional and due to a NCAA conspiracy to prevent Villanova from achieving the first three-peat since UCLA in the 1970s but this is not the time or place for that conversation.
Best Case Scenario: Non-conference play ushers in a point guard by committee scheme, with Brizzi leading the charge. Angelo starts 10-15 games before bowing out for Justin Moore’s revenge tour. As the calendar shifts to conference play, a confident Brizzi becomes one of multiple instant impact subs on a deeeeep Villanova bench which results in a lot of meaningful minutes through late March and early April.
This scenario unfortunately comes with the inevitable comment from every analyst and twitter user saying, “I thought that Gillespie kid graduated?” or “Does Villanova make these kids in a lab?” But, hey, I’ll gladly take those “jokes” every day and twice on Selection Sunday.
Worst Case Scenario: The Villanova depth chart proves to be a blessing and a curse, with Brizzi scraping for minutes among the crowded group of guards through non-conference play. A healthy Justin Moore and Cam Whitmore push Brizzi down the depth chart as Big East play kicks off, cutting into his minutes. Neptune then adopts his mentor’s tight rotation approach as post season play rolls around with Brizzi being left cleaning up minutes for foul trouble and garbage time.
Finishing 2nd at the Hoops Mania Dunk Contest shouldn’t surprise anyone, he’s had that bounce for quite some time.
How many points per game will Brizzi average this season?
This poll is closed
9.1 or more