NCAA basketball rankings: Gonzaga, Villanova, Virginia headline Top 25

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self. (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images)
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self. (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

2. Villanova

Jay Wright goes into next season with one of the most experienced rosters he’s had. The Villanova Wildcats are only expected to lose Saddiq Bey from this past season’s roster. It will be hard to replace their second-best scorer, but it’s definitely not a death knell.

The Wildcats got good news when Jeremiah Robinson-Earl announced he was returning next season. He’s the reason the Wildcats are here. Robinson-Earl had one of the best freshman seasons of anyone last season, averaging over 10 points and nine rebounds per game. He has some work to do before he’s a finished product, but expect him to take a jump this season.

This whole Villanova team is rich with experience. There are at least three people on the bench who can replace Bey’s scoring contributions. They don’t need to rely on incoming freshmen, which could be important in a year without a normal offseason.

The second-leading scorer Collin Gillespie is expected to take over as the leading scorer. His 15 points per game are impressive, but one hopes he works on his efficiency in the offseason. He only shot just over 40 percent overall and 35 percent from 3. If he can push his shooting percentage up just slightly, he could be close to averaging 20 points per game.

The Wildcats don’t really have to rely on any incoming players, although they do finally get to see Tulane transfer, Caleb Daniels, on the court after he sat out a year. He will be an interesting addition to a team that knows what it is already.

Villanova’s experience, a topic hit on a lot here, will come in handy more this season than possibly any other before.