Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore are both game-time decisions for Tuesday night’s game at St. John’s, Villanova announced on Monday night.
Both players sustained recent ankle injuries. Moore was hurt in the second half of last Wednesday’s Milwaukee game and missed the UConn game on Saturday. Meanwhile, Gillespie was injured during the game against the Huskies, and didn’t return.
“Collin has no fracture, but a severe sprain,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said, referring to Gillespie’s x-ray and diagnosis on Sunday. “Neither one of them practiced today, so it’s literally going to be how they feel tomorrow. They’ll go through their treatment tonight and see how they do. Even if they play, I don’t expect them to be 100%.”
Wright mentioned there’s a chance Moore makes a return on Tuesday night, but it’s very much up in the air.
“Since Justin’s been out longer, maybe we get a better shot at Justin (playing tomorrow), but we practiced today like we weren’t going to have either one of them,” Wright said.
Both Gillespie and Moore are the Wildcats’ two leading scorers this season and are the only ones averaging in double figures. Gillespie leads the way with 17.2 points per game, while Moore is right behind with 15.1 points per game.
“We’ve been in this situation before, especially even last year,” Villanova forward Jermaine Samuels said. “We lost Justin for a period of time when Collin was out towards the end of the year. We have a lot of guys that have been working hard all year and are ready to step up.”
According to Wright, Chris Arcidiacono would get the starting nod if either Gillespie or Moore are unable to play.
Arcidiacono tied a season-high 26 minutes against UConn on Saturday, making both of his shot attempts and all four of his free throws en route to a nine-point performance off the bench. He also had two boards, one assist, two steals and four turnovers.
“We don’t want to put that in one guy’s responsibility,” Wright said of spreading out ball-handling duties by committee if Moore and Gillespie are out. “Even if we could, Archie can’t play 40 minutes, so we have to spread that out.”
Villanova is currently 17-6 overall and 10-3 in Big East play. The Wildcats will play St. John’s on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.