Villanova Basketball: 5 Bold Predictions for Wildcats' Incoming Freshmen

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2013

Villanova Basketball: 5 Bold Predictions for Wildcats' Incoming Freshmen

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    Hype is one word that is not associated with the three incoming freshmen at Villanova for the 2013-14 season. 

    With the lack of hype comes lower expectations and the ability to surprise many people during the course of the regular season.

    With that being said, Kris Jenkins, Josh Hart and Darryl Reynolds will play some type of role in the success of the Wildcats' basketball team next season. 

    What impact the trio will have is still unknown, but that is why I am here to make bold predictions about the freshmen that will call The Pavilion their home in the near future. 

One of the Three Players Will Be a Starter by End of Season

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    Villanova's starting lineup will be one that will see plenty of competition throughout the season. 

    With no true senior leaders on the roster, the plethora of underclassmen that Jay Wright has at his disposal should complete for starting spots with plenty of hunger. 

    All three of the incoming freshmen are forwards, which means they are filling a void on the depth chart for the Wildcats. 

    Center Mouphtaou Yarou has graduated and Daniel Ochefu is not exactly a proven prospect in the middle yet. 

    Power forwards Kris Jenkins and Darryl Reynolds should find themselves in the middle of a competition with Ochefu and JayVaughn Pinkston for the two paint positions, which could be theirs by the end of the regular season. 

Kris Jenkins Will Contend for Big East Sixth Man of the Year Award

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    Power forward Kris Jenkins has the most upside of the three incoming freshmen, and he is expected to play a key role off of the bench to start the season. 

    Jenkins should start the season on the bench, and he if thrives in the sixth man role, Jay Wright could be inclined to keep the youngster in that position.

    If Jenkins does not find his way into the starting lineup before conference play begins, ushering him into the rigorous Big East schedule as a sixth man would be ideal for the Wildcats. 

No One Will Burst on to College Scene Like Ryan Arcidiacono

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    Last season, as a freshman, Ryan Arcidiacono set opposing defenses on fire in his first five collegiate games. 

    Arcidiacono scored in double digits in those first five appearances, including a 25-point outburst against Marshall in the second game of the season. 

    As the nonconference schedule continued, Arcidiacono fell upon some growing pains, which is something the Wildcats will want to avoid at the start of the 2013-14 season. 

    Expect the trio of freshmen to be eased into the lineup, and if they succeed early on it will be seen as an added contribution while the Wildcats look to contend for championships by the time March rolls around. 

Entering the Physical Big East Will Be a Rude Awakening

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    The Big East is notorious for being a very physical league, and regardless of what teams are in the conference next season, that reputation is sure to be the same. 

    While the aggressive defenses of Louisville and Syracuse may be out of the conference now, the paint presence of the big men from Butler and Creighton will make their way into the 10-team league. 

    Having big men who are used to the physical nature of the Big East is imperative for any team, but that will not be the case for Villanova with Ochefu being the only returning big man. 

    At some point early on in the Big East season, Jenkins and Reynolds will get roughed up in the paint, and how they respond to the physicality will affect Villanova immensely. 

Josh Hart Will Fly Under the Radar

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    With all of the attention on Jenkins and Reynolds because of their height and Villanova's immediate need in the paint, small forward Josh Hart will not get the attention he deserves when the season starts.

    Hart will have to fight hard to earn playing time with five experienced players ahead of him on the depth chart at the moment.

    The usage of a three-guard lineup is also expected out of Jay Wright, a choice that could affect Hart's playing time as well. 

    If that does happen, Hart will get plenty of time to mature in practice and develop into a key role player as the season progresses. 

     

    Follow me on Twitter @JTansey90.