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A quick getting to know the newest Villanova Wildcats for the 2023-24 season

With the Blue-White Scrimmage set to tip off on Thursday night, it’ll be the first public glimpse of a new-look Villanova team that welcomed five new players.

NCAA Basketball: Creighton at Villanova Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

With Villanova set to open its doors Thursday night for the Blue-White Scrimmage, fans will get their first public look at the new-look Wildcats, who welcomed five new players for the 2023-24 season.

Villanova coach Kyle Neptune brought in his first high school recruit to the Main Line in Jordann Dumont, and he was even busier in the recruiting portal, where he secured four newcomers.

Maybe you were closely monitoring the recruiting and transfer portal scene over the last six months, or perhaps, you hit the pause button after the end of last season and are just getting caught up in time for preseason action.

Either way, here’s a quick rundown of the Wildcats’ newest acquisitions for the upcoming season, which tips off on Nov. 6 against American. They’ll give a sneak peek of what they can do at the Blue-White Scrimmage and informally make their introduction.

We’ll take a deeper look at each player and the rest of the team, as we count down to the start of the regular season with our annual player preview series, but here’s the skinny on the five newest Wildcats that’ll be reppin’ the blue and white this winter.

NCAA Basketball: California at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

T.J. Bamba

Villanova uniform number: No. 0
Height: 6-5
Weight: 215
Year: Senior (two years of eligibility remaining)
Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.
Previous school: Washington State

Stats/awards/noteworthy info:

  • Graduated from Washington State in just three years and arrives at Villanova with two years of eligibility — including a bonus year stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Played JV basketball as a sophomore in high school and has only drastically improved with each passing season since, culminating in a breakout year as a junior in 2022-23.
  • Played through a hand injury last season and still averaged career-highs in scoring (15.8 points per game), shooting percentages (42.6% overall, 37.2% from long range), rebounding (3.7 per game), assists (1.7 per game), and steals (0.9 per game).
  • Bamba scored in double figures in 24 of 31 games last season, en route to earning an All-Pac-12 honorable mention.


Villanova Athletics

Jordann Dumont

Villanova uniform number: No. 10
Height: 6-8
Weight: 200
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Montreal, Canada
Previous school: Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Tenn.)

Stats/awards/noteworthy info:

  • Kyle Neptune’s first high school commit since becoming head coach at Villanova and the lone true freshman on this year’s team.
  • Played his final two seasons of high school at Hamilton Heights Christian, after previously playing in Canada. Averaged 20.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.6 blocks through 26.4 minutes per game as a junior, at the time of his commitment. He finished his senior season with 19.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.6 blocks through 22.0 minutes per game in 2022-23.
  • Dumont helped Team Canada earn a bronze medal at the 2022 U-18 FIBA Americas Championship, averaging 8.5 points per game. He got another call to the Canadian national team at the U-19 FIBA World Cup, averaging 7.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 14.2 minutes per game in a run that ended with a seventh-place finish.


NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round-West Virginia vs Maryland Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Hakim Hart

Villanova uniform number: No. 13
Height: 6-8
Weight: 205
Year: Graduate student (final year of eligibility)
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.
Previous school: Maryland

Stats/awards/noteworthy info:

  • Played in 116 career games at Maryland, cracking the starting five as a sophomore and remaining a fixture in the Terrapins’ lineup for his play on both ends of the court.
  • Back in Pennsylvania for his final season of college basketball. The Philadelphia native was a star at Roman Catholic, where he was named PCL Player of the Year as a senior and a catalyst in capturing back-to-back Catholic League titles, en route to earning a wide-range of first-team honors from the league and city level, to first-team all-state.
  • Received an All-Big 10 honorable mention, and was among the Terrapins’ top performers in various statistical categories in his final two seasons at Maryland.
  • Last season, he averaged 11.4 points (tied for second-most), 4.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists (second-most), and 1.2 steals (second-most) per game, while shooting 47.9% overall, 80.4% from the free throw line and 33.3% from deep.


Syndication: The Courier-Journal Scott Utterback/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Lance Ware

Villanova uniform number: No. 14
Height: 6-9
Weight: 235
Year: Senior (two years of eligibility remaining)
Hometown: Burlington, N.J.
Previous school: Kentucky

Stats/awards/noteworthy info:

  • Former four-star, top 50-ranked recruit nationally coming out of high school.
  • Appeared in 77 games for Kentucky throughout his three seasons there, also earning starting nods in nine games. He was one of the Wildcats’ go-to players off the bench, and was a leader in his role, providing an athletic, physical, and imposing presence down low but also a positive example in the locker room.
  • Last season, as a junior, Ware averaged 2.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 0.4 blocks per game, while shooting a combined 25-of-38 (65.8%) for the 2022-23 campaign. He played in 28 games and had six starts last season.
  • Ceiling remains pretty high with a fresh start, and helps beef up the Wildcats’ frontcourt.


NCAA Basketball: Empire Classic-Syracuse at Richmond Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Burton

Villanova uniform number: No. 23
Height: 6-7
Weight: 215
Year: Graduate student (final year of eligibility)
Hometown: Uxbridge, Mass.
Previous school: Richmond

Stats/awards/noteworthy info:

  • A two-time All-Atlantic 10 second team selection, earning the honor in each of his last two seasons. Appeared in 123 games, and started in every contest over his last three years there.
  • As a sophomore in 2020-21, he was named the Atlantic 10’s Most Improved Player, and became the first player in Richmond history to win the award.
  • Left Richmond after an impressive four seasons there, finishing 11th on the Spiders’ all-time leading scorers list (1,634 career points) and sixth on the all-time rebounding list (819). Burton also finished sixth in program history with 395 made foul shots (77.8% career free throw-percentage). He was also only the third player in Richmond history to finish with at least 1,500 career points and 750 career rebounds.
  • Last season, he averaged a team-high 19.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. Burton also logged 1.5 assists per game and shot 44.9% overall and just 29.3% from deep.