Villanova Basketball: Early 2015-16 Outlook
The Villanova Wildcats disappointingly fell out of the 2015 NCAA Tournament to the NC State Wolfpack but should take solace in the fact that North Carolina State — and their first round opponents, the LSU Tigers – were two of college basketball’s most underperforming teams. Villanova may have been a No. 1 seed, but they clearly had the hardest route to the National Championship.
The good news after last season’s disappointment, however, is that Jay Wright’s squad looks to be a legitimate national title contender once again in the 2015-16 season.
Any Wright coached team will be elite on the defensive end, meaning that the offense is where the Wildcats must produce.
Four of Nova’s top six scorers return, including last year’s freshman sensation, Josh Hart. He will be joined by Ryan Arcidiacono, Daniel Ochefu and JayVaughn Pinkston, who combined for 39.1 points per game last season. Ochefu also led the team in rebounding, so, despite the loss of leading scorer Darrun Hilliard II, this offense will be in good hands.
As if the returning players are not enough to get people excited about this Villanova squad, one of the top recruits in the country, Jalen Brunson, will be playing for the Wildcats next season. Brunson shined throughout his high school career and is highly deserving of his designation as the second best point guard in the 2015 recruiting class. Brunson is not the only highly-touted incoming recruit, as Wright continues to bring in four-star players like Tim Delaney and Donte DiVincenzo.
Several other Big East schools will take a step forward in the offseason, but Villanova should still win the conference in the regular season. Expect the Wildcats to show out next season and prove themselves as legitimate national title contenders from game one.