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Gillespie, Samuels to return to Villanova for 2021-22 season

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The senior tandem is running it back.

NCAA Basketball: Big East Tournament-Villanova vs Xavier Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels are running it back.

The senior tandem announced on Monday night that they won’t be hanging up their Villanova Wildcats jerseys just yet, and will be returning for the 2021-22 season.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA gave all basketball players a bonus year of eligibility last fall.

Gillespie and Samuels will be exercising that and return for a final season.

Gillespie averaged 14.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists, before going down with a season-ending MCL injury during the Wildcats’ game against Creighton in early March. He was named Co-Big East Player of the Year.

“Collin has made the decision to return to VU after receiving valuable feedback,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said in a statement. “He remains focused on his rehab process in preparation for next season. We’re excited to have one of our great leaders return to battle with us.”

As for Samuels, he averaged 12.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, and helped take the ‘Cats to the Sweet 16 in Gillespie’s absence. He was awarded an All-Big East Honorable Mention for his play this past season.

“We are blessed to have Jermaine’s character, leadership, and talent in our community for another season,” Wright said. “He will work hard to take his game to new heights and continue to lead our team.”

There is no word yet on whether classmate Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree will also be utilizing his bonus year of eligibility.