- Last Season: 36-4, National Champions
- Notable Losses: Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, Donte DiVincenzo, Omari Spellman
- Notable Additions: Jahvon Quinerly, Cole Swider, Brandon Slater, Joe Cremo (transfer)
The defending national champion Villanova Wildcats obviously are going to look much different than they did a season ago. With their core of Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman, a group that combined to average 60.9 points per game last season, now in the NBA, this could be a group that takes a dramatic step back. However, that likely won’t entirely be the case, even if Jay Wright’s team doesn’t win another title.
With those critical departures for the Wildcats, what we’re first going to see for this Villanova team is senior point guard Phil Booth and senior forward Erich Paschall, both of whom averaged double-digits in scoring last season. They have experience and have shown the talent to step up and take the mantle from their predecessors as leaders of Wright’s team.
Obviously, there will also be eyes on the likes of Collin Gillispie and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, two bench players from last season that will see their roles dramatically increase this season. Though they weren’t all that productive in more limited roles last season, we should see them do much more this season.
More than returning players, however, Villanova will rely on a strong corps of freshman to contribute in a big way, most notably point guard Jahvon Quinerly and forward Cole Swider, both of whom have the potential to make big instant impacts. Throw in Joe Cremo, a transfer from Albany that averaged 17.8 points per game there, and this team will be much different, but perhaps just as dangerous in 2018-19.