The Villanova Wildcats are losing the three winningest players in their storied history. Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins and Darryl Reynolds are all walking out the door, and leaving big gaps to fill in multiple facets of the game.
There are other questions to answer in the offseason, as well. Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges will likely test the NBA Draft waters. Phil Booth’s knee may need another surgery, too.
But all Villanova is losing, they’re going to be bringing in five players that they didn’t have available this season, and they are likely going to have the type roster depth that they didn’t have this season.
Villanova is going to be deep
Dylan Painter came on a bit late, but this was a 7-man rotation with some obvious gaps that were exploited. Next year Villanova could run 10-deep if they really wanted to. The lineup combinations are really fun, and will allow ‘Nova to dictate how they want to play on a given night.
If Phil Booth is back he’s going to provide another capable ball-handler and scoring option from the guard position, and I can see all three freshmen contributing. Jermaine Samuels looks ready-made to step in and contribute right away, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree’s defense can get him minutes and Collin Gillespie looks like a bulldog who’s going to force his way into action even if it’s not needed.
And then there’s 5-star Omari Spellman, who is getting the typical practice domination reports. Speaking of Spellman...
Omari Spellman looks like a double-double machine
Villanova should have had Spellman this season be it not for a non-sensical NCAA decision that clearly decided to railroad a kid who chose to not play for a Power 5 program.
One more time, screw you NCAA cronies.
But the ‘Cats get him next year, and he’s immedaitely going to become one of the best players on the team. He’ll provide that back-to-the-basket scoring options that ‘Nova didn’t have this season, defend the post with his size, and even fit seamlessly into 4 and 5-out looks on offense with his outside shooting.
It will be Brunson’s team, but Donte DiVincenzo looks like a star
Losing Josh Hart’s production is going to sting, but Villanova has several players capable of filling the void. Jalen Brunson is the most obvious choice, because he’s the best player on the team and he’s already shown he can shoulder the load.
Mikal Bridges has room for a big offensive step forward, as does Eric Paschall with the move back to his natural position on the wing. But I think I’m betting on Donte as of this moment.
The Big Ragu showed up late in the season when others faded, and looks like he has the right attitude to be ‘the guy’ when his team needs it. He’s still incredibly young and has work to do to clean up some mistakes, but the talent is clearly there and his offensive package is already built out to score at all three levels.