Associated Press #4 NCAA Men’s Basketball Villanova Wildcats
Big East, 18-7
It was a disappointing 2020-2021 season for a team that began the season ranked third in the country, and despite an upset overtime loss to Virginia Tech in their third game, they ran off nine consecutive victories to return to their preseason spot but ended up fading down the stretch, losing to the eventual national champions in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament.
They return again to the top five for the current season, and the Wildcats will be tested early, traveling to UCLA to take on the second-ranked Bruins on November 12th with a trip to Baylor a month later.
Covid-19 and key injuries dealt Villanova a blow late last season, but head coach Jay Wright is looking to bounce back and again contend for what would be their third national title in seven years.
They return eight of their top nine players from last year and have added a solid recruiting class to provide depth to an already solid lineup that is good enough to advance to the Final Four.
Guard Collin Gillespie, who averaged 14 points and led the team with 4.6 assists a game, suffered a torn MCL to end his season after 20 games and returned instead of testing the NBA because of his injury.
Justin Moore joins Gillespie in the backcourt after averaging 12.9 points and three assists in a lineup with four players who averaged in double figures.
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