Villanova Basketball

Villanova Basketball: What Each Projected 2014-15 Starter Brings to the Table

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2014

Villanova Basketball: What Each Projected 2014-15 Starter Brings to the Table

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    With less than 100 days left until the beginning of the 2014-15 college basketball season, it is time to start looking ahead to what the upcoming season will bring for the Villanova Wildcats.

    The Wildcats will head into the new campaign as the team to beat in the Big East Conference thanks to a deep, experienced roster and the departure of many stars from other teams.

    Here is a look at what each projected Villanova starter will bring to the table in the new season.

Ryan Arcidiacono: A Steady Hand at the Point and Experience

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    One of the most important things to a team's success in college basketball is an experienced hand at the point guard position.

    The Wildcats have just that in Ryan Arcidiacono, who will enter his third season as the main man at the point.

    Not only will Arcidiacono bring two years of knowledge from the collegiate level, but he will also bring a new perspective from the international level, as he is participating in the Italian national team camp this summer.

Darrun Hilliard: Senior Leadership

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    With James Bell leaving the program, Darrun Hilliard will be thrust into the senior leadership role for the Wildcats this season.

    Hilliard will be one of the few upperclassmen on the roster, which means he will have to bank on three previous years on the court for the Wildcats.

    The senior guard won't enter the season without any help in the leadership role because he has been taking the advice of players who came before him.

    Hilliard has used players such as Bell, Mouphtaou Yarou and others as a resource, which is something he disclosed to the team's official website in a recent interview:

    With James Bell, he would get down on himself at times but would always pick himself up. He was confident enough to be able to bounce back the next play. Guys like Mouph (Yarou), Maalik (Wayns) and (Dominic) Cheek kind of molded me. In their own way, each of them gave me a great lesson and I learned from that.

Josh Hart: An Extra Offensive Spark off the Wing

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    One of two rising sophomores who could end up filling the role left open by Bell is Josh Hart, who carries a slight edge over Kris Jenkins due to his offensive production.

    Hart came into his own toward the end of his freshman season, and because of that, he earned more minutes in crunch time for the Wildcats.

    The member of the 2013-14 Big East All-Rookie team averaged 7.8 points and three rebounds per game in his first collegiate season. Those numbers may not match the ones Bell put up in his senior season, but Hart will not be expected to contribute close to 15 points per game.

    Hart will be asked to provide an extra offensive threat off the wing when the likes of Arcidiacono and Hilliard struggle, which is something he is fully capable of doing based off last season.

JayVaughn Pinkston: A Versatile Scoring Threat

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    After being asked to drop further into the frontcourt last season, JayVaughn Pinkston will be able to move around the court with more freedom thanks to the growing skill set of Daniel Ochefu.

    By spreading out his game from the paint, Pinkston should hand the Villanova offense an extra dimension that opposing defenses will not enjoy much.

    Pinkston may not be a threat from beyond the arc, but he is capable of knocking down 10- to 12-foot jumpers in an attempt to take the attention away from Ochefu in the paint.

    With an extra facet to his game expected to grow more, Pinkston should be able to improve on his 14.1 points per game from last season.

Daniel Ochefu: Bruising Presence in the Paint

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    Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

    Daniel Ochefu's sophomore season was a right step in the development process, but now that his junior season is upon him, he will need to step up more and be the star big man his team needs.

    Ochefu averaged 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game down low for the Wildcats last season, which are numbers that he has to improve for Villanova to be a well-rounded team.

    Now that he does have a full season in the paint to himself, Ochefu will be able to assert his dominance in the paint against nine other conference opponents that may not have the big men to match up with him.

    If he can improve on his numbers from last season, Ochefu could develop into one of the most improved players in the Big East and the nation.

     

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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