Villanova Basketball: 5 Bold Predictions for the Big East Season
The Villanova Wildcats began Big East play on Wednesday with a win over St. John's.
Jay Wright's team has recovered from their slow start with six-game winning streak.
The further that Wright's Wildcats go into conference play, the further his young team will develop.
The main players who have developed into future stars with the Wildcats are freshman guard Ryan Arcidiacono and sophomore forward Jay'Vaughn Pinkston.
With the impending development of the Nova youngsters and the tough Big East schedule ahead, the Wildcats should be able to pull off a few surprises in 2013.
Here are five bold predictions for the Wildcats' Big East campaign.
The Wildcats Will Be Cast in the Role of the Underdog
It is not often when the Villanova Wildcats are considered an underdog going into conference play, but this season is the rare exception.
The Wildcats are at best a middle-of-the-pack Big East team this season and will come nowhere close to breaking into the AP Top 25.
Instead of getting down on themselves and trying too hard to become one of the Big East's elite programs, the Wildcats should embrace the role of the underdog and look to be the spoiler when they play against ranked teams like Syracuse and Cincinnati.
The Wildcats Will Upset at Least Two Ranked Teams
Currently, there are six ranked teams in the Big East and they are all prone to upsets at some point during conference play.
The Wildcats will play Syracuse and Pittsburgh twice, while taking on Louisville, Georgetown, Cincinnati and Notre Dame just once.
The best stretch of games for the Wildcats to pull off an upset over any of these teams comes in January when they host Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Louisville.
If the Wildcats are to pull off an upset, it will be on their home court, they also host Georgetown in the final game of the season on March 6.
Another potential upset could come against Marquette on February 23 against a Golden Eagles team that is horrible on the road.
Villanova Will Finish Above .500 in Big East Play
Going into the season, Villanova were not expected to contend for anything in the Big East.
Going into Big East play, the Wildcats have fixed some of their early-season problems and have turned themselves into a solid team.
During their 18-game Big East schedule, the Wildcats are expected to win games against DePaul, Providence, South Florida, Rutgers and Seton Hall.
If they win those games, the Wildcats would have seven wins, which means they would only need two more victories to finish at .500 during Big East play.
With at least one upset expected from the Wildcats and their win on Wednesday against St. John's, they would easily reach the nine wins that they need to finish at . 500.
JayVaughn Pinkston Will Contend for the All-Big East Team
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Since the beginning of the season, sophomore JayVaughn Pinkston has emerged as the star on the Villanova team.
In his first Big East game of the season against St. John's, Pinkston scored a season-high 25 points.
If Pinkston continues to play like he did on Wednesday for the rest of Big East play, he could find his way on to the postseason teams of the year.
He may not be a favorite to make the All-Big East first team, but with double-digit scoring totals in every game, Pinkston could make a good case to belong on the all-conference team.
Ryan Arcidiacono Will Develop into the Next Great Nova Point Guard
Ryan Arcidiacono has been handed the task of becoming the next star point guard for the Villanova Wildcats after Maalik Wayns left school a year early for the NBA.
In the first three games of the season, Arcidiacono played perfectly, but after the loss to Alabama in the 2K Sports Classic Final, the freshman began to struggle.
Arcidiacono struggled for most of December, but he finally broke out of his slump against St. John's on Wednesday with 32 points in the overtime win.
Arcidiacono does not have to score over 30 points each game; he just needs to orchestrate the Nova offense to perfection just like the point guards in the past under Jay Wright have done.
There will be growing pains in Arcidiacono's development as a player, but there is no doubt that he has the talent to lead Villanova to the promised land.