The Villanova Wildcats are perhaps the best team in the nation right now. They’re #1 in the AP Poll, have won 17 straight games dating back to last March (with an NCAA Championship thrown in there, if you forgot.), and have won 43 straight games at The Pavilion.
As if things couldn’t get any better for the Wildcats, Josh Hart went from “Hey, he’s pretty good” to “Hey, he’s probably going to be the National Player of the Year this year.” Kris Jenkins has been great, Eric Paschall has been great, Jalen Brunson has been great, on and on and on and on.
In a way, shopping for Christmas gifts for Villanova, as a program, would be a lot like shopping for your dad. They both already have everything they could possibly want, so what’s left to get them?
Here’s my best guess at three items Villanova would ask Santa Claus for. You’re on your own shopping for your dad.
A Healthy Phil Booth
Quick bit of trivia for you. Who was Villanova’s leading scorer in the National Championship Game? Give up? Phil Booth. He had 20 points off the bench.
There were high hopes for Booth coming into the season, as it looked like he’d be a fixture in the starting lineup. He started in Villanova’s first three games, then Booth’s knee tendonitis flared up again. He hasn’t played since. Tendonitis is one of those tricky things that never really goes away, so the Wildcats just have to play it by ear with Booth.
They’re fine without him, obviously, but I highly doubt Jay Wright would complain about having too much talent if and when Booth does return this year.
This one isn’t going to happen, but who hasn’t put something absurd on their Christmas list with the slight hope that maybe it comes to pass.
The NCAA isn’t going to change course on Spellman, and the Wildcats have been just fine without him, but imagine how the Wildcats would look with Spellman in Darryl Reynolds’ spot. They’d be even more unbeatable than they already are.
This one would probably be on the list of all 351 teams across the nation, but it counts just the same. The Wildcats are a Josh Hart or Kris Jenkins freak injury away from being in some real trouble. Of course, you don’t plan on your players getting injured, nor do you like to think about it, but the Wildcats have to be hoping for continued health into the new year.
Like I said, Villanova is incredibly hard to buy for. This reads like the list of someone who was forced to make a Christmas list even though they don’t really want anything. The Wildcats are probably going to win the Big East again, be a one or two seed in the NCAA Tournament, and try to be the first team since the 2006-07 Florida Gators to repeat.
They have a pretty good shot at it, too. It’s tough to argue that Villanova matches up poorly against any team in the nation. Jay Wright and company have built a nearly perfect basketball program in every facet.