Much like a fine wine, JayVaughn Pinskton seems to get better with age. And if that trend continues, he could help power one of the best offenses in all of college basketball next season.
Pinkston came to Villanova as a highly regarded recruit, ranked 73rd nationally in 2010 and a McDonald's All-American, and it was clear, throughout the process that he had Big East written all over him. A native of Brooklyn, New York, five of the six teams in the bidding war for him (figuratively, Mark Emmert) were in the Big East Conference at that point in time.
From the moment he stepped on campus, it was evident that Pinkston would be a reliable scoring threat. He began his career averaging a shade under 10 points in his first season, and each season he's gotten better and better in that category, averaging 13.3 points as a sophomore and 14.1 as a junior.
Beyond that, he has also upped his shooting percentage and free throw percentage every year as well.
Last season seemed to be the clicking point for Pinkston. He came out on fire, and it seemed as if he would carry the Wildcats offense on his back. But in the second half of the season, he seemed to fade and instead of putting up consistent 20-point performances, he would put up consistent scoring marks in the lower teens. Much of this can be attributed to the late season scoring proficiency of both James Bell and Darrun Hilliard.
Nonetheless, Pinkston still finished the season with the aforementioned career high in points (14.1 PPG), shooting percentage (52.1%) and free throw percentage (74%).
The funny thing is that there was a point in which whether or not he would play last season was up in the air, due to an offseason battle with MRSA.
Now this season, with Bell gone due to graduation, it's up to both Pinkston and Hilliard to pick up the offense that Bell takes with him. Look for Pinkston to really play off of Hilliard, as the scoring ability of the guards and subsequent spacing will drastically improve the room he has in the paint. This should allow his numbers to only bump up once again, and the possible offensive development from fellow big man Daniel Ochefu should also help to take some of the pressure off of Pinkston when it comes to offensive production and possible double teams from opposing bigs.
If these numbers increase, it will only be another positive for the already stacked Villanova Wildcats offense, as they make a push for a second straight regular season conference title.