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2019 Villanova Basketball Player Recap: Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree

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Dada had a bigger role in year 2.

NCAA Basketball: Big East Tournament Final-Villanova vs Seton Hall Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

As a freshman, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree was the 8th man on a national championship team, averaging 11.3 minutes and playing with four future NBA players. Cosby-Roundtree was not asked to do much, but was hyper efficient in his minutes. After shooting 77.9% from the field and playing solid defense, the loss of Omari Spellman was going to force him into a larger role.

Roundtree undoubtedly played a larger role for Jay Wright and the Wildcats this season, seeing a jump in minutes to 20.6 per game. Almost all of Roundtree’s stats saw improvement, as he averaged 5.1 points on 64.8% shooting while grabbing 5.8 rebounds per game.

Did Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree meet or exceed expectations in 2018-19?

This is an interesting question, because expectations were all over the place for Dada. Most people expected him to start next to Paschall, but there was always the possibility of Paschall starting as the center next to Jermaine Samuels or even Cole Swider getting major minutes.

Roundtree ended up starting 16 games this season, almost all of them at the beginning of the season. Roundtree came out of the starting lineup after playing five minutes in the home win agaisnt St. John’s, and followed that up with only five minutes in the road win against Creighton. The decreased minutes in those two games was likely because of a leg injury, but after getting healthy again Wright decided to go with Samuels in the starting lineup, who would eventually have a break out.

For Roundtree, that meant consistent minutes off the bench. When it comes to expectations, 52% of you voted that he would average between 4-7 points, which is exactly where he hit.

Overall, Roundtree probably ended up right around where most people thought he would. Some were hoping he would come into this season with a jump shot, but he continued to defend, rebound, and score around the basket.

Before his injury, Roundtree was playing well, including being named the MVP of the Advocare Invitational in Florida in November. Roundtree scored a career high 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds against Canisius, including eight offensive rebounds. In the championship game against an athletic and big Florida State team who just lost in the Sweet 16, he shot 5-5 for 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds including four offensive, and had two blocks.

Roundtree struggled when he was injured and we saw improvement as he got healthy again, but he never quite got back to the level he did in Florida.

Defensively, Roundtree was pretty solid all year and finished with the best defensive rating of all rotation players at 98.7, per sportsreference.com. His 5.9 defensive box plus minus also led all rotation players this season.

Cosby-Roundtree will enter the 2019-2020 season as one of the leaders, as the rising junior class of himself, Samuels, and Collin Gillespie will be the old men on campus despite seeming like they just got there. What that means when it comes to the rotation will be interesting to see.

Wright obviously almost always heavily relies on his upperclassmen, but the incoming class and rising sophomores has a lot of talent when in the front court. Cole Swider will play the 4 or 5 in this offense and has the ability to space the floor, in addition to having some experience in the program. When it comes to the freshmen, Eric Dixon is 6’7”, 250 pounds, and also has the ability to stretch the defense.

That is all without mentioning the 15th ranked player in the 2019 class and McDonald’s All American, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. The Kansas native is 6’8”, 235 pounds, and has some ability to space the floor.

It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Cosby-Roundtree begin the season as the starting five due to experience and defense, but it also wouldn’t be shocking to see him continue his role off the bench as one of the younger guys gets the start. Regardless, Cosby-Roundtree will have an impact in his final two years in the Villanova program.