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Edison Insider

Villanova expects to bounce back this season

Villanova+expects+to+bounce+back+this+season

After coming off of one of the most disappointing in recent history for the Villanova Wildcats, they look to reload. Many people are questioning whether they can have a season like they did in 2016, 2018, and most recently 2022. In these years they made it to the Final Four which is the top achievement teams set their eyes on in the preseason. Many people believe that a big part of the reason they were good was because of Hall of Fame coach, Jay Wright. Also, a lot of people have no belief in current coach Kyle Neptune as in one offseason they went from a Final Four team to a 17-17 team in his first year. However, I have 100% confidence in this team going back to what they were in recent years. 

Although many people believe that Kyle Neptune is not top-tier and can’t lead this Villanova team to a national championship, this is not correct. Many people believe that because of one disappointing season, he cannot be a good coach. But, people don’t take into consideration the fact that this Villanova roster was nothing like their past teams. First, Villanova always has a true leader and this past year they did not have a leader as starting point guard Justin Moore was injured the whole year. Also, projected lottery pick Cam Whitmore was unable to play almost half of the season.  Many other role players were injured too, including Jordan Longino. Lastly, when their team was at full strength they were able to put together some great games and a great end to the season beating two top 25 teams. They also started to win games that they should’ve been winning the entire season. “There are signs of life, courtesy of a two-game winning streak against DePaul and Seton Hall, but they are negligible gains for a fan base that has forgotten what it is to struggle” (The Athletic). Although Kyle Neptune made some questionable decisions as a coach, he has plenty of experience and will bounce back and be a good coach this season.  

Villanova’s offseason was undoubtedly one of the best out of all teams in college basketball. They added top transfers in the country who had great careers where they previously played. The best part is that all of them are very experienced which is very important to be a winning team in college basketball. But, not only are the transfers experienced,  most of the team is experienced which can help them later in the year in big situations. Jon Rosthein reports, “Creighton’s Greg McDermott tells me that people are sleeping on Villanova entering the 2023-24 season. McDermott on Villanova: “They’ve got seven seniors. How many bad teams out there exist with seven seniors in today’s day and age?”’ This proves that one of their rival coaches is even talking about how good of a team they can be this year which is a very good look for them.

The depth of Villanova is also going to be a strength this year. They have at least 9 guys that can come in and be great for them. This is usually one of the problems for them late in the year. For example, in 2022 Justin Moore got injured in the elite eight and they were left with not many good players left for the most important game of the season. Luckily, they have a ton of depth this season and should never be low on players, even if a few are injured: “After missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012, Kyle Neptune and his staff had to hit the ground running with some impactful pickups in the portal. The way things have trended, don’t be surprised if you see Villanova with a number next to its name next season, and the Wildcats back as a contender in the Big East” (Fox Sports). This proves that college basketball specialists are confident in them and they have added many additions to help their depth.

Last year, there were many problems with the team. Some of these problems were a new coach, not enough depth, and not enough experience. This season they look to have fixed all of their problems from last year, by adding four experienced transfers for depth and experience and now the only question mark is coaching. But now, they have a second-year coach vs a first-year coach which will make a big difference. Villanova has all the tools to go back to a team they were just a few years ago. 

 

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About the Contributor
Luke Ehrlich, Writer
Luke loves to play basketball and baseball. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf and hanging out with friends. If you could not tell, he loves sports and his favorite teams to watch are the Villanova Wildcats, The New York Mets and The New York Giants. He loves to listen to music and his favorite artist is Drake. He has a younger brother in the sixth grade who he likes to spend time with. He is excited to write for the Edison Insider this year.

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