In an earlier article, I wrote about some of the X-factors for Villanova Basketball this upcoming season. Three of these X-factors: Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, and Mikal Bridges are key returning players. They will all need to take on a bigger role this season with the departures of Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins. Let’s take a look at last year’s statistics for each of these players and how these statistics may look this upcoming season.
Jalen Brunson averaged 14.7 points per game, 2.6 rebounds per game, 4.1 assists per game, 0.9 steals per game and no blocks per game in 2016-17. He had the second leading scoring average, behind Hart, and the team leader in assists average. He was also tied for second in minutes per game, behind Hart and tied with Jenkins. It seems likely he will become the leader in minutes played this upcoming season. Brunson should see slight increases in his rebounds and assists and should average significantly more points per game with the absence of Hart and Jenkins.
Prediction: 17.5 points per game, 3.0 rebounds per game, 4.7 assists per game, 1.2 steals per game, 0.2 blocks per game
Donte DiVincenzo averaged 8.8 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, 1.7 assists per game, 0.9 steals per game, and 0.3 blocks per game last season. He received the fifth highest amount of playing time per game and had the fifth highest averages in scoring and rebounding. He is likely to take Jenkins’ starting shooting guard role so his minutes will increase. I expect to see DiVincenzo’s points per game, rebounds per game, and defensive averages all go up with more playing time. I also believe his assists average will go up with another season and offseason to improve his ball handling.
Prediction: 14.1 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game, 1.6 steals per game, 0.7 blocks per game
Last, but certainly not least, is Mikal Bridges. The multi-talented forward averaged 9.8 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game, 2.0 assists per game, 1.7 steals per game, and 0.9 blocks per game in 29.8 minutes per game. He led last year’s team in steals per game, tied for the lead in blocks per game, and was fourth in points per game. He was also fourth in minutes per game. Again, his minutes played will likely go up as he is expected to be a key leader on this year’s team. Bridges points per game will slightly improve, but I think the main improvements will be seen in his rebounding and defensive statistics.
Prediction: 10.2 points per game, 6.7 rebounds per game, 2.2 assists per game, 2.2 steals per game, 1.5 blocks per game.