Brandon Slater’s Career Stats
Hometown: Centerville, Va.
High School: Paul VI Catholic
Brandon Slater player preview:
It’s a year of change for Villanova this upcoming season. Jay Wright is retired, Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels are trying their luck with the NBA, and Kyle Neptune is now heading the program. With all the turnover, that leaves forward Brandon Slater in an extremely pivotal role.
Returning for his fifth year at Villanova, Slater has put in more time as a Wildcat than anyone else on the current squad. Last season he stepped up in a big way, as he started every game and made major improvements to his play.
In particular, the defensive-minded Slater developed his three-point shot. During his first three years at ‘Nova, he made just 13 three-pointers. In his senior year he eclipsed that total with ease, hitting 34 triples and shooting 33.7% from deep. Slater also bettered his performance at the charity stripe. Before last year, he never cracked 60% from the free-throw line. Over the course of the 2021-22 season, he maintained an excellent free-throw percentage, shooting an accurate 88.1%.
As a graduate student and one of the older Wildcats, Slater will be expected to take another leap in his game: becoming a team leader.
With Justin Moore sidelined for a portion of the season, Slater is the next obvious choice as an on-court leader. Caleb Daniels has proven himself too, however as a transfer he hasn’t been around the program as long as Slater. With Wright gone and a new coach at the helm, Slater could be the familiar voice of the Wildcats this year.
In terms of actual play, Slater has the tools to develop his game even further. His defensive skill is unquestionable, as his size and length make him a formidable matchup for even the toughest Big East athletes. On offense, he can still bring his shooting percentages up and establish greater shooting and scoring consistency, which would make him an excellent two-way option for the ‘Cats.
Best case scenario: In a perfect world, Slater takes over as a leader for Villanova without hesitation. He helps the freshmen develop while maintaining his key starting role and serves as a defensive anchor for the ‘Cats. On the other side of the ball, Slater ideally takes his offense to another level. He shoots close to 40% from beyond the arc and really finds his stroke. If he can become a go-to option on offense in the absence of Moore, the Wildcats will make a lot of noise in the Big East. For Slater personally, an impressive performance as the leader of a nationally-respected Villanova program will attract the eyes of NBA scouts. At 6-foot-8, his size alone makes him a solid NBA prospect. Add on his defensive ability and an improved shot and Slater has a real opportunity to enter the NBA world either via the draft or time in the G-League.
Worst case scenario: In an imperfect world, Slater’s game regresses or stagnates. He doesn’t find his 3-point shot from last season and doesn’t make much of an offensive impact. Without Moore to lead the Wildcats’ scoring attack, stagnation from Slater could spell big trouble for Villanova. There are lots of changes happening in the program, and he needs to be a guy the team can rely on at all times. If he can’t put up more than six or seven points a game, the younger ‘Cats will have to step up quickly. While they are certainly capable of developing faster, the freshmen still need an elder player that can serve as an outlet in crunch time. Slater has been around the block, and he’ll have to show his experience this year in order for Villanova to thrive.
How many points per game will Slater average this season?
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15.1 or more