With Kris Jenkins’ return, Villanova’s roster will be loaded next season

With Kris Jenkins’ return, Villanova’s roster will be loaded next season
Getty Images

As of one week ago, the NCAA champion Villanova WIldcats had an 8-1 chance (according to Westgate Las Vegas Sportsbook) to go back-to-back and win the tournament for a second straight year.

Jay Wright’s Cats will no doubt get a huge boost as they welcome back Kris Jenkins, who contemplated a jump to the professional ranks after his junior season but decided to return to Radnor for his final year of elligiblity.

“It was a good experience going through this process but I’m looking forward to focusing on graduating next year and becoming a great leader,” Jenkins tweeted.

He is, of coursebest known — and will forever be known — for drilling the game-winning 3-pointer to beat UNC a month ago to clinch the school’s second national title.

Another junior, Josh Hart, is expected to participate in the NBA Combine prior to the draft. He will have a 10-day grace period to decide whether to return to the Main Line or take his chances in the draft this June.

If thetwo come back, they will join a loaded line up, with odds third to Kentucky and Duke to win it all once again. Several underclassman will return looking to improve on excellent performances in Nova’s record-setting year — along with two top recruits.

Here’s a way-too-early and very brief look at the Wildcats’ 2016-17 roster:

Kris Jenkins, F, SR: He will be the team’s emotional and on-court leader, and his star power will only grow as he plays for one more season in blue and white.

Josh Hart, G, SR: If he comes back, the Cats’ 1-2 punch will be deadly. Hart led the Wildcats with 15.5 points per game last year.

Darryl Reynolds, F, SR: Reynold’s will probably be a back up once again, but he’scapable of filling the role of veteran role player.

Phil Booth, G, JR: Booth hit some BIG shots in the Final Four, and he will become a big scoring threat once again in 2016-17.

Jalen Brunson, SO, G: He was pretty fantastic as a freshman, and will take a step forward as a scorer and defender as a sophomore.

Eric Paschall, SO, F: A transfer from Fordham, Paschall could be a key contributor to the Cats next year.

​Mikal Bridges, SO, G: Bridges was an important asset during stretches in March and will compete for a starting guard spot.

Omari Spellman, FR, C: Spellman is a five-star recruit and the best high school prospect picked up by the Wildcats in six years. He’s big, at 6-foot-9, 287 pounds but will be a bit raw early in 2016-17.

Dylan Painter, FR, C: Another big boy, at 6-foot-10, the Hershey native was a three-star recruit and will help the Cats pick up much-needed size after Daniel Ochefu graduated.

More from our Sister Sites