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Villanova Basketball 2023-24 player preview: Mark Armstrong

NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at Villanova Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Armstrong’s Career Stats

2022-23 34 7 20 2.1-5.2 40.1 0.5-2.0 24.6 0.6-0.7 87.5 0.2 1.8 2 1 0.1 0.8 1.7 1 5.3

Mark Armstrong player preview:

After looking at one sophomore who’s ready to take a big leap in Year 2 as a Villanova Wildcat, it’s time to look at another guard who’s looking to do the same.

So far, it’s looking good for Mark Armstrong, who just repeated as Villanova Hoops Mania Slam Dunk Contest champion.

It was a nice way to end the offseason for Armstrong, who also got to spend some time as a member of the U-19 Team USA, as it competed at the 2023 FIBA Men’s U-19 World Cup in Hungary. Armstrong was one of the key players for the fourth-place finishing Americans, who ended 5-2 as a unit. He averaged 12.4 points and 2.6 assists per game.

Now, with the regular season looming, Armstrong is looking to have some of that success carry over.

As a freshman last season, he played in 34 games and impressed enough to work his way into the starting lineup for seven games.

The bounce of the Wildcats’ slam dunk king is unquestioned, and he has great quickness, speed and explosiveness on the court to complement his vertical skills. He provided some much-needed athleticism in the backcourt while Justin Moore was still rehabbing and working to make a return following his Achilles injury.

Armstrong averaged 5.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 0.8 steals last season. He shot 40.1% overall and 87.5% from the free throw line, but struggled with consistency from long range, only cashing in on 24.6% of his long-range takes.

He’s certainly capable of taking and making the three, going 3-for-5 from deep during a 13-point, seven-rebound outing against Boston College on Dec. 10.

Armstrong also had strong showings with season-high 14-point performances in both regular season Georgetown meetings.

He also played a key role in giving the Wildcats a much-needed second-half spark against Delaware State, alongside Hausen, as the then first-year guards, gave Villanova a big bench boost.

He might have only had seven points and one rebound in that early-season Nov. 14 game, but he hit big back-to-back shots to give the ‘Cats their first lead of that night after a slow-shooting first half against the Hornets.

A lot has changed since then for Armstrong and the Wildcats, but now with a full year within the program, he’s been working to level up his game to prepare for a sophomore leap.

“Last year he did a great job, you know, just kind of threw him out in the fire and he had to react in those moments and I think he did a good job,” Kyle Neptune told VU Hoops at Villanova Media Day. “This year I think he’s gotten that under his belt and I think he’s primed to have a big time year.”

His head coach was not the only one taking notice of Armstrong’s commitment.

“Mark’s been in here every single day, we shoot together every single day,” said teammate Brendan Hausen. “I’m looking for him to be a floor general that I know he can be.”

With Villanova’s influx of transfers and new talent, it’s hard to project how or what exactly the Wildcats’ starting five will look like, and unsurprisingly, Neptune has kept his cards close to his chest on that.

However, like Hausen and his three-point shooting, Armstrong is simply too valuable and provides a skill set that needs to be utilized in games. Maybe it’s in the starting five or perhaps the sixth man or bench role, but expect him to thrive in whatever his responsibilities are.

Best-case scenario: Mark Armstrong impresses enough to be a full-time starter in the backcourt, or he thrives in a sixth man role. He shows flashes of improvement in all facets of the game, between being more aggressive and capable of filling up buckets on a consistent basis, or grow as a passer and decision-maker.

Worst-case scenario: It’s probably not likely, but the worst case would be that he regresses or stagnates. However, he still finds a way onto the court as a rotational piece, and we’ll have to wait until next year for a sizable jump.


Given Villanova’s new-look roster and his strong offseason, will Mark Armstrong spend a majority of the season as a starter, sixth man, or a rotational piece off the bench?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    (205 votes)
  • 42%
    Sixth man
    (161 votes)
  • 4%
    Rotational player off the bench
    (17 votes)
383 votes total Vote Now