By John Rader on March 18, 2014
Villanova sports one of the deepest teams in the NCAA Tournament. Eight of their players made an appearance in all 32 of their games and nine players average more than 11 minutes per game. Coach Jay Wright will continue to cycle through his team and use them as necessary. After winning the Big East regular season title for the first time since 1982, they were upset in the first round of the conference tournament.
Ryan Arcidiacono handles the majority of Villanova’s point guard duty, but on a team full of guards, the team moves the ball well as a unit. He has the knack for hitting the big three and has great touch from range. Somewhat surprisingly, Arcidiacono leads the Wildcats in minutes this season and only turned the ball over 44 times.
Daniel Ochefu is typically one of the first players off the bench and is the closest thing to a center Villanova has on their roster. They rebound very well as a team and have good length and size at guard, but they will need Ochefu’s presence in this tournament if they meet up with a team that likes to play in the paint. He is the team's most improved player and can be very effective down low offensively and defensively.
Darrun Hilliard had a great second half of a season and solidified himself as one of the top guards in the Big East. He leads Villanova, shooting .415 from three-point range and averages 14.3 points per game. Since Villanova typically runs with a small lineup, Hilliard at 6-foot-6 is often forced to match up against opposing forward’s and is able to hold his own.
JayVaughn Pinkston is usually the tallest Wildcat on the floor at tipoff even though he is only 6-foot-7. He has great length and is able to match up with centers, despite giving up 3-4 inches. Pinkston has developed a nice jump shot and forces opposing centers to play defense outside of the paint, extending defenses thin. He has a great spin move underneath the basket and shoots .753 percent from the free-throw line.
James Bell is the senior leader on this Villanova team and has had an up and down year. He has struggled to shoot the ball of late and most recently resulted in a loss to Seton Hall in the first round of the Big East Tournament. Bell averaged a team leading 14.5 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game. Villanova has to get him going early and will need him to shoot well and score if they’re going to make a run.
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