Villanova should be a top 15 team to start the season.
The Wildcats will be picked to win the Big East at media day next month in New York.
But Butler may be Jay Wright’s pick for the team to beat.
“Butler will be really good,’’ said Wright on the latest edition of the NCAA.com podcast March Madness 365. “I’d put Butler first. Marquette will be really good. Georgetown and St. John’s will be really good. I think they’ll be up there. Any one of the rest of us could be up there. DePaul will be good this year. We may not have the defined top teams like we’ve had. We’re going to have incredible parity this year."
Of course, he added, he’s the “worst guy” at making predictions.
Butler does have Kamar Baldwin back, and he could be the top guard, or one of the top guards in the league.
But the Wildcats still have Phil Booth, Eric Paschall and highly-touted newcomers Cole Swider and Jahvon Quinerly to make up for some of the major losses that hit the Wildcats. The Wildcats will be deep but not as experienced in Jay Wright’s style of basketball. The addition of Albany transfer guard Joe Cremo is a huge boost for the Wildcats, and he was recruited because Wright and his staff believe he will fit right into the Villanova way of doing things.
“It takes time to understand the culture and what we’re all about,’’ said Wright. “(Cremo) has all the qualities of a Villanova basketball player before he got here.’’
Wright said all of the younger players look “really good so far. No one has separated himself but no one has struggled either.’’
Wright went into detail about the difference in the offseason after winning the title in 2016 - when it was the first for a Philadelphia sports team in decades - as opposed to 2018 where the Wildcats’ title has been overshadowed by the Eagles Super Bowl win.
Wright also said there hasn’t been an invitation to visit the White House. He stopped short of saying there wouldn’t be an invitation but “at this point right now, we haven’t been invited. If we do, there would be some logistical problems to get everybody together (from the 2018 team).’’