Bryan Antoine’s Career Stats
After his freshman season was marred by a shoulder injury, Bryan Antoine’s sophomore year started out as more of the same.
A freak accident at practice caused another shoulder ailment and cost Antoine time on the court.
Jay Wright and his staff opted to play it safe with Antoine, taking their time with his recovery.
He returned to practice in January, but he didn’t see any game action until a Feb. 10 blowout with Marquette. He played just five minutes and dished out one assist in the 96-64 win.
He had a bit more extended time against St. John’s, where he logged 11 minutes, scoring three points, grabbing three rebounds, and dishing out two assists.
However, Antoine played sparingly.
“You can’t believe how much he’s missed, how many practices in every possible way, but he’s starting to get comfortable with what we’re doing,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said about Antoine back on Feb. 23. “He’s starting to put practices together, and we’re just gonna try to keep banging on the wall.”
It wasn’t until Collin Gillespie went down that he started to have an increased amount of playing time, out of necessity.
With Gillespie sidelined for a MCL injury, there was some uncertainty and uneasiness surrounding the point guard position. Chris Arcidiacono was an unknown, and Bryan Antoine was still unproven.
However, both made the most of the moment in their own ways, and Antoine showed some flashes of promise.
He looked a bit rough in the two-point loss to Providence, and then the Big East Tournament quarterfinals with Georgetown, but he started to settle in during the NCAA Tournament.
Against Winthrop, he hit back-to-back threes and finished finished with a season-high eight points. He also grabbed two rebounds.
In the following round against North Texas, he added six points and a couple of steals.
He started to show some improvement as a defender in the last few weeks of the season, and seemed to play a bit more freely on the court and let his instincts take over.
It looked like Antoine started to find his place and grow confident within the system. The athleticism was always there, and he was starting to become comfortable.
At first, it looked like Antoine was primed for a big uptick in playing time.
However, with Gillespie back, what will his minutes look like now?
There’s not much roster turnover, but maybe now that he will be fully healthy, he’ll get more minutes anyway.
Don’t let the numbers fool you. Although he didn’t post eye-popping numbers when he started to find a groove in the NCAA Tournament, there were definite signs of growth and progress for Antoine, especially considering how his first two seasons went.
Ideally, Antoine would build off of this late season momentum and springboard into the offseason and continue his growth well into next year, and that he’ll finally get a chance to play a full season from start to finish.
It’s been a rough road, regarding injuries, but hopefully that will all finally be behind him and that the third year will be the charm.