Written by: Ben Brown – Staff Writing Intern (@TheBigShalom)
Villanova has always been that team that everyone pegged to get upset early in the tournament. Last year they were primed for early exit having tough tests in Iowa, Miami and Kansas. They handled all of them and as we know now, the Wildcats went on to win the national championship on a buzzer beater. Coach Jay Wright lost Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu. However, he gets back Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins and Jalen Brunson. Incoming freshmen Omari Spellman was poised to make a big impact on the team this season, but he couldn’t get cleared by the NCAA.
I look for Jalen Brunson to break out this season. Brunson average just under 10 ppg during his freshmen season. To be honest, it was a pretty disappointing season for the McDonalds All American. I don’t want to take away from the great talent from the rest of the team, but there needs to be a player to step up and make this team a championship contender again and I think that player is Jalen Brunson.
Villanova only has to worry about Xavier and maybe Creighton this year in the Big East. I think Nova should be able to handle them and go on to win the Big East this season. With the Big East being so weak, I think the best Nova could do is a 2 seed. I’m high on this Villanova team and look for them to return to the final four this year. This team should be able to run with any team in the country and I expect them to remain in the top 10 all year.