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Better Know a Freshman: Villanova Wildcats forward Dylan Painter

The Hershey, PA native has come a long way as he gets ready to join the defending National Champions.

NCAA Basketball: Final Four Championship Game-Villanova vs North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

While maybe the most unassuming new member of the VIllanova Wildcats, incoming freshman power forward Dylan Painter may have the highest upside of the three.

Painter is charted as a 3-star recruit and ranked as the number 140 recruit in the country according to 247Sports composite rankings. The 6’10, 230-pound big man out of Hershey, Pennsylvania has done a remarkable job of transforming both his game and his body in the couple of years. Since joining Team Final out of Philadelphia on the AAU circuit, he has added an aggressiveness and ferocity to his game that was lacking at the beginning of his high school career.

Early on, Painter was a raw big man with a rail thin frame and raw skill set. Many, myself included, doubted his ability to be a true high-major prospect. Over the course his junior and senior seasons though he worked to add a nice mid-range jumper to his game that would eventually translate to a solid stroke from behind-the-arc. Additionally, Painter was able to add around 30 pounds to his frame and became much more adept at establishing post position.

What really stuck out over the course of his time with Team Final is the growth in Painter’s confidence and aggressiveness. He showed much more of a willingness to take over games in his senior season with Hershey and far more of a vocal leader than he had been previously.

According to City of Basketball Love, Painter "has grown to the point where he’s a legitimate high-major prospect" and "should be a steady improving contributor."

Painter is still rather raw when it comes to playing against elite level talent and will likely redshirt next season for the Wildcats, but his progression is certainly something for ‘Nova fans to keep an eye on. If Painter continues to work to improve his body and skill set at the rate he has the last two years, Jay Wright will be more than pleased with his return on investment.