clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What did we learn about Villanova in the preseason?

Blah Blah Blah, we’re the perfect basketball program, blah blah

2017 Naismith Awards Brunch Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

Let’s start the weekend with a look at what we have learned about Big East opponents as we get closer to the season.

Villanova was easily chosen to be the class of the league, the number one team, once again. It’s getting to be a bit like the eastern version of the Kansas Jayhawks - despite a good league, one team is always picked to be on top.

While other teams are shuffling through their players to find stars, schemes and consistency, Villanova just turns on the Machine again.

But there will be some differences from last year... in the names on the back of the jersey, but likely not in the consistency from the name on the front.

Our friends at VU Hoops point out that Phil Booth, the guard who missed most of last year, should be just fine despite sitting out the Midnight Madness scrimmage earlier this month.

"I’m all good—just had a little tendonitis, and just sat out as a precautionary thing,” Booth said. "They chose they didn’t need me there for that, but I’m in practice, working out, and all good now.”

Meanwhile, Donte DiVincenzo gets accolades for his natural athleticism and speed. Per John Nyatawa from Omaha World-Herald, the Wildcats have enough depth to play a bit faster.

“I think we’ll get back to more of an up-tempo style,” Wright said. “If we can get this depth going this year, I think you’ll definitely see possessions up, scoring up. And more aggressiveness defensively.”

We’ve scoured the quotes and there isn’t much new from the Main Line Machine. Omari Spellman’s talent and size will make a difference now that he’s down to 240 pounds. There are talented freshmen. Jalen Brunson is probably the best player in the league. He and fellow junior Mikal Bridges are patient about their pro futures. From Big East media day:

"I really don’t think about it, because that’s not going to help me or my team out,” said [Mikal] Bridges, about his NBA prospects. "I just feel like my job right now—i’m still in college, I’m not worrying about the NBA. I’m here to lead this team, keep winning, and playing as hard as we can.”

[Jalen Brunson] had been aiming to get his degree by the end of this year, finishing school early. Until then, he’s not giving the NBA too much thought.

"I expect to graduate most importantly,” Brunson said. "I talk to my mom and dad all the time, and obviously I want to play in the NBA—that’s my goal, but the NBA isn’t going anywhere. I just want to get my degree. I just want to fulfill that part first, before I try doing anything else."

Otherwise: Wright talked about how the league is tough competition, how he can’t get one-and-dones and other laments of a coach who has a team that churns out dominance in the Big East.

St. John’s faces Villanova at home on Saturday, January 13 at Madison Square Garden and again outside of Philadelphia on Wednesday, February 7th at Wells Fargo Center.

Big East Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images