Villanova Basketball: Jay Wright Must Start JayVaughn Pinkston

Zack LessnerCorrespondent IIDecember 31, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 01:  JayVaughn Pinkston #22 of the Villanova Wildcats dribbles past James Siakam #35 of the Vanderbilt Commodores at Memorial Gym on December 1, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Jay Wright is making a huge mistake by using his best player as Villanova's sixth man. 

Throughout non-conference play, JayVaughn Pinkston has shown that Villanova's success runs through him.

Despite averaging just the fourth most minutes with 24.8 per game, Pinkston leads the team with 12.2 points. Pinkston is by far Villanova's most efficient scorer, with the second best field goal percentage on the team at 46.4 percent.

To put his scoring efficiency into perspective, Pinkston attempts the fourth most shots on the team, yet he leads the Wildcats in scoring.  

Not only is Pinkston a great scorer, but he is a workhorse in pretty much every other aspect of the game as well. 

No. 22 is also a great player on the glass. Despite being the fourth tallest player on the team, Pinkston leads the Wildcats in offensive rebounds at 2.1 per game and is tied for second in total rebounds at 4.9 per game.

Although Pinkston does not usually play guard, he is still second on the team with 1.8 assists per game. 

On top of all these positives, Pinkston's greatest skill is his ability to draw fouls and get to the free throw line. Pinkston averages 6.8 free throw attempts per game, 2.3 more than the second most on the team. 

Getting easy points is important, but so is getting the opposing team in foul trouble. Pinkston is superb at attacking the basket and forcing the other team to foul.

After getting to the line, Pinkston is an above-average free throw shooter at 71 percent.

JayVaughn Pinkston is also the most versatile player on the Wildcats because of his ability to play all five positions on the floor. 

With a frame of 6'7" and 260 pounds, Pinkston is strong enough to be a dominant post player and also quick enough to play in the backcourt. Out of his 7.5 shots per game, 1.5 of them are from beyond the arc, showing how extraordinary Pinkston's skill set is. 

Pinkston can guard any player on the opposing team regardless of their size or strength. He is also Villanova's best on ball defender, discouraging anyone from driving against him. 

During the times that the Wildcats have struggled this season, Pinkston has either been underutilized or underplayed. 

In Villanova's 18-point home loss to Columbia on November 20th, Pinkston played only 20 minutes compared to teammate Ryan Arcidiacono's 38 minutes and Darrun Hilliard's 36 minutes. 

November 25th's overtime loss to La Salle saw Pinkston score 19 points in 27 minutes while Arcidiacono scored only 6 points in a whopping 41 minutes. 

Pinkston only found the floor for 17 minutes on December 5th's home loss to Temple while Arch only saw the bench for four minutes.

Arch and Hilliard, who average 32.5 and 27.7 minutes per game respectively, only have field goal percentages of 33 percent and 37.3 percent. 

There seems to be a pretty obvious trend that Jay Wright is ignoring.

When JayVaughn Pinkston's potential minutes are being used by less efficient shooters such as Arcidiacono and Hilliard, Villanova is a worse team. 

The Wildcats won their best game of the year on December 11 against St. Joe's. In that game, Pinkston saw his minute total increase to 29. He did not disappoint, leading Villanova to a Holy War victory with 12 points.  

JayVaughn Pinkston does not disappoint when he steps onto the court. When Pinkston is playing, the Villanova Wildcats are a better team. 

Villanova is the only team in the country that does not start their best player.

If Jay Wright wants to survive in Big East play, he must give JayVaughn Pinkston the sufficient amount of playing time that he truly deserves.