Villanova Basketball: Toughest Lineup Decisions for Jay Wright in 2013-14
The Villanova Wildcats are just a month-and-a-half away from their November 8 opener against Lafayette, and as the season rapidly approaches, head coach Jay Wright has plenty of decisions to make in regards to his lineup.
This season, Wright will have a plethora of guards to work with, but he does not have a ton of depth in the paint.
By keeping those factors involved, Wright will have to make a few difficult decisions when his team takes the court.
Here are the four toughest lineup decisions for Wright's Wildcats heading into the 2013-14 season.
How Many Guards Should Be on the Court?
A typical college basketball team sees two or three guards line up at the same time on the court.
For Jay Wright's Villanova team, they could easily put out a four-guard lineup on a consistent basis this season.
As mentioned in the opening slide, depth in the front court is an issue for the Wildcats, and with a plethora of talented guards on the roster, it would be smart of Wright to use four guards at certain times during the season.
It is likely that Ryan Arcidiacono will man the point for most of the season while Darrun Hilliard and Dylan Ennis will most likely occupy the shooting guard position.
If the play in the paint becomes ineffective for Wright, he could use Arcidiacono, Hilliard and Ennis in the same backcourt with senior James Bell in the lineup in the power forward slot.
Which Freshmen Will Get Playing Time?
When the new season opens, Villanova will have three incoming freshmen on their roster in Kris Jenkins, Josh Hart and Darryl Reynolds.
Of the three players, Jenkins is the player who should get the most amount of playing time.
Jenkins will most likely compete with JayVaughn Pinkston at the power forward position, and he has the most potential of the three newcomers to play a consistent amount of minutes this season.
Hart will face a ton of competition at the guard position with Arcidiacono, Hilliard, Bell, Ennis and Tony Chennault.
With that being said, Hart may be relegated to the bench for most of the season unless of one the starters gets injured.
Center Darryl Reynolds has a chance to earn some playing time inside, but that all depends on how well Daniel Ochefu performs.
Who Will Back Up Daniel Ochefu?
As of right now it looks as though Daniel Ochefu will be the starting center for the Wildcats on November 8 against Lafayette.
What we do not know is who will backup Ochefu on the Wildcats depth chart.
Wright has two options on how to spell the big man if he gets fatigued or finds himself in foul trouble.
The first option is to go with a small lineup and plug JayVaughn Pinkston into the hole in the frontcourt for a few minutes to give Ochefu a breather.
The second option would be to insert Reynolds into the lineup and see what the freshman is made of in his first collegiate season.
Both of those lineup choices contain risks, but with opposing defenses occupied with a potentially stingy four-guard attack, those risks could easily be overshadowed.
What Is the Best Guard Combination?
The Wildcats currently have six guards on their roster, and they could all easily contribute to the team's cause this season.
With those six guards in the mix, Wright will have plenty of important decisions to make in regards to finding the right combination that will succeed in the backcourt.
The likely starters in the backcourt will be Arcidiacono and Hilliard with Bell on the wing, but all of that can change in a heartbeat if one of the other guards in the squad has a strong nonconference season.
The dark-horse candidate to earn a starting spot is local boy Tony Chennault, who after a summer of transfer contemplation, is back for his senior season on the Main Line.
Transfer Dylan Ennis is sure to get plenty of time off of the bench and freshman Josh Hart could be used in a number of roles off of the bench depending on how quick he adjusts to the collegiate game.
There is no doubt that Wright has a multitude of options to choose from in the backcourt, and we may not see his best duo at guard until conference play begins as he gets a feel for how his players work with each other.
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