The Villanova Wildcats turned in a solid performance during Feast Week, with wins over VCU, Michigan and Delaware.Let’s take a look at the individual performances of the week and how they stack up. Grades are for the year as a whole, while the analysis will focus more on each week’s performance.
Ryan Arcidiacono: Arch saw a dip in his numbers this week due to two factors, increased competition in the Legends Classic and limited minutes against Delaware who never put up much of a fight. Arch averaged 5 PPG, 4.3 APG and 1.6 Steals per game all while only turning the ball over twice all week. The turnover numbers are exceptional considering he was facing VCU’s HAVOC defense and some talented guards from Michigan. The most concerning statistic for Arch is undeniably his 27.7% FG shooting. He’s shooting less than ever before and now making even less of a share of those fewer shots. Just think how good ‘Nova will be if he and Hilliard heat up.
Dylan Ennis: Dylan Ennis is quickly emerging as one of the most talented guards in the Big East. The Brampton, Ontario native averaged 10 PPG, 4 RPG, 1.6 APG and 1.3 SPG, not to mention he picked up two impressive blocks in the Michigan game. Ennis’s athleticism and ability truly shone through in the Michigan matchup where he put up his best game of the young season with 15 points, 3 boards, 2 steals, 2 blocks and an assist in 30 minutes. Not a lot of negatives except he still forces a few questionable shots here and there. If he cleans up his efficiency a bit he could become a threat for Big East POY.
Darrun Hilliard: The senior wing’s transition from the 2 spot to the 3 spot has been rough. Perhaps this is why he’s slipping. Last year, the more athletic and explosive James Bell was usually covered by the opponent’s bigger, stronger 3-man. Now, Hilliard garners this attention. That being said, Hilliard had a good week, improving his shooting by about 15% over the last week from 29% to 44% going 11 for 25 from the field good. Darrun’s best game was against VCU where he dropped a stat line of 14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. He needs to keep up his defensive intensity and keep making 3 pointers, which he managed to do at a 40% clip last week.
JayVaughn Pinkston: How is JayVaughn doing so far? This says a lot about JVP’s week. Pinkston played big against both Michigan and VCU and was given some much needed rest against Delaware. Hopefully the rest pays dividends as Villanova heads into the Big 5 portion of its schedule. Pinkston averaged 12.5 points and 8 rebounds in Brooklyn to go with his big block against Zak Irvin. Funny enough, Pinkston admitted that he fouled up his coverage by allowing a pass into the middle on that play.
Daniel Ochefu: Chef continued to play well against stronger competition during Feast Week, continuing to show his dramatic improvement over last year. Ochefu has managed to grab rebounds, score effectively and play solid defense while staying out of trouble. The ability to avoid foul trouble something that will give Jay Wright a lot of room to play with the line-ups throughout the game in an effort to maximize mismatches. ‘Chef is shooting an extremely efficient 63% from the field and 73% from the line this season which represent huge jumps from a guy who came in as a freshman and shot 46% and 48% respectively. The biggest question remaining is whether he can keep up his efficiency against a big, talented and experienced frontcourt, which Villanova has yet to encounter.
Josh Hart: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: this kid hits the offensive boards for put backs as well as anybody in the country right now. A big week for Hart saw him average just under 9.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.6 APG and 1.3 STL. Hart’s motor does not stop, he provides versatility and immediate energy off the bench while getting starters minutes. Is there a better candidate for 6th man of the year at this point?
GRADE: B++ (The second plus is intentional.)
Kris Jenkins: Jenkins is heating up from behind the arc much the way every analyst out there thought he could. Jenkins turned in a solid week, dropping 10.3 PPG. The one question remaining is when is the 6’6, 240 combo forward going to start hitting the boards a little harder? He still plays solid defense on the wing while providing adequate coverage at the 4 on defense which will garner him his 17-22 minutes per game, but he could be great if he could come with a more complete game. Nonetheless, he is performing and seems cemented in the role of a scorer off the bench.
Daryl Reynolds: Reynolds continues to do a little bit of everything for the Wildcats in his 9 minutes per game. He certainly showed why there are high hopes for him in coming years with his 4 point, 3 board and 4 block performance against an outmatched Delaware.
Phil Booth: This kid can shoot. He will provide scoring, that’s for sure. Also, he’s a big 6’3. He again had three turnovers in 19 minutes against Delaware. This is the second time he’s received more than 13 minutes of playing time, both times he’s had 3 turnovers. He may be better suited to step into a wing or two guard position with Jalen Brunson coming on board next year. Did I mention this kid can shoot? He's at 68% from the field and 50% from 3PT. Not bad.
Bench Mob: Kevin Rafferty got another bucket while Patrick Farrell is still looking for his first career FG after 3 years with the Bench Mob. They bring the hype to the point where the refs in Brooklyn had to stop the game and tell them to chill out. Bridges is certainly headed for a redshirt unless something dire happens.
TEAM AS A WHOLE: Business has been taken care of so far. The Wildcats have been honored with a top 10 ranking that is well deserved at this point. It would have been nice to see them beat up on Michigan’s freshmen big men a bit more. It will be interesting to see if they can maintain momentum in the Big 5. We all know let downs and stunners are possible in the Philly hoops circuit.