Villanova Basketball: Wildcats' Best Situational Lineups in 2013-14

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2013

Villanova Basketball: Wildcats' Best Situational Lineups in 2013-14

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    The Villanova Wildcats have easily been one of the most pleasant surprises during the start of the 2013-14 college basketball season. 

    With the Wildcats beginning to steal some national attention away from the usual suspects, it is time to look at how exactly the team is built. 

    Head coach Jay Wright has eight players to choose from on a nightly basis who can contribute on a high level to the Wildcats' cause. 

    Here is a look at five different situational lineups that the Wildcats will utilize throughout the season. 

Starting 5

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    PG: Ryan Arcidiacono

    SG: Darrun Hilliard

    SF: James Bell

    PF: JayVaughn Pinkston

    C: Daniel Ochefu

    The Villanova starting five has been a very consistent one throughout the first nine games of the season, as it provides a good mesh of players. 

    Ryan Arcidiacono is the on-court general for the Wildcats, and with his presence at the point, Darrun Hilliard and James Bell are able to have more creativity in the scoring department. 

    Bell has exploded on offense by averaging 17.6 points per game, while Hilliard is third on the team in scoring with 13.8 points per game. 

    Hilliard and Bell also play stellar defense to partner with their excellent start to the season on the offensive end of the ball.

    To provide some height to the paint play of center Daniel Ochefu, JayVaughn Pinkston slots into the power forward position, but as you will see, his role is quite flexible depending on the situation. 

Defensive-Minded Setup

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    G: Hilliard

    G: Bell 

    G: Dylan Ennis

    F: Pinkston

    C: Ochefu

    If the Wildcats need to exert their defensive strengths in a game, Arcidiacono shifts out of the lineup in favor of Dylan Ennis. 

    Hilliard is a solid ball-handler and can get the job done with the sophomore point guard on the bench. 

    Before he broke out on the offensive end this season, Bell's trademark was his defense. That quality may get overshadowed if the senior continues to show up night after night as one of the team's leading scorers. 

    Ennis has a burst of speed that he can use to stay with any point guard remaining on the schedule, including his younger brother and Syracuse star, Tyler. 

    Pinkston and Ochefu provide two big bodies that can unsettle opposing players in the paint at any time, which is a trait that has led to Ochefu's 1.9 blocks per game and Pinkston's 0.7 average in the same category. 

If the Wildcats Face Foul Trouble...

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    G: Arcidiacono

    G: Ennis

    G: Josh Hart

    F: Kris Jenkins

    F: Pinkston 

    There will be games where some of the Villanova stars experience foul trouble, which means key contributions must be made by the bench players. 

    The players most likely to get into trouble with the referees based on their style of play and position are Hilliard, Bell and Ochefu. 

    Arcidiacono usually does not find himself in foul trouble, and if his two fellow starters in the backcourt do run into foul trouble, he will be paired with Ennis and freshman Josh Hart. 

    Pinkston has a big task in front of him if Ochefu is forced to sit on the bench because of fouls. 

    Villanova does lose a bit of size inside with Pinkston and Kris Jenkins out on the court, but neither player lacks heart, and they could end up being a pesky duo inside if they are called upon to play in this type of lineup. 

Preferred 5 Shooters

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    G: Arcidiacono

    G: Hilliard

    G: Bell

    G: Ennis

    F: Pinkston

    If the Wildcats find themselves in a situation where they are in need of points from beyond the arc or from the free-throw line, Wright should not be afraid to use a four-guard setup.

    Arcidiacono is capable of catching fire from beyond the arc at any time while Bell and Ennis are the team's two best free-throw shooters. 

    Hilliard is a consistent shooter from all parts of the court, but he is not the accurate free-throw shooter that the other guards in this lineup are. 

    Down low, Pinkston is a much better option to get points out of when it matters most than Ochefu. 

    Pinkston was the Wildcats' leading scorer last season, and he still holds that title this season with 17.8 points per game. 

Who Needs to Be on the Floor When It Matters Most

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    G: Arcidiacono

    G: Bell

    G: Hilliard

    F: Pinkston

    C: Ochefu

    With the game on the line, Wright should turn to his starting lineup and have the utmost confidence in them to get the job done. 

    Arcidiacono is the best ball-handler on the team, while Bell and Hilliard are the defensive wizards on the Villanova roster. 

    Since they are going to need some size down the stretch, Ochefu finds his way into this lineup alongside Pinkston.

    If Ochefu proves to be ineffective in the closing stages of games, Wright could opt to bring Ennis or Hart into the lineup to replace him and shift Pinkston further inside. 

     

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