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Andy Wittry | | January 15, 2020

The 11 best Villanova men's basketball players of the 2010s

Villanova won two national titles last decade, which was tied with Duke and UConn for the most of the 2010s. Winning one title, let alone multiple, requires an immense amount of talent and coach Jay Wright has added both immediate-impact players and players who need a redshirt year or a few years in his system to flourish.

The Wildcats have also dominated the Big East since the conference restructured starting in the 2013-14 season, winning five regular season championships and four Big East Tournament titles, including the last three.

I went through every Villanova roster from last decade and picked out the 11 best Wildcats players, starting with the beginning of the decade (conference play in the 2010 season) to the end (non-conference play this season). These are my picks only.

BEST OF THE DECADE: Top 11 Duke players of the decade | Kentucky's all-decade team

I strictly examined a player's college career — not his high school or NBA accomplishments — and only the games played between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2019, with a special emphasis on All-America and Big East honors, per-game and advanced statistics, and NCAA tournament success.

This is more than just raw talent; this is also about legacy, awards and season-long sustained excellence.

Essentially, I tried to ask the question: At each player's best, how good was he and how good was Villanova?

Players who didn't play a full season in the decade were evaluated accordingly.

11. Eric Paschall (2016-19)

A transfer from Fordham, Paschall redshirted during Villanova's 2016 national championship season, then helped the Wildcats win another one two years later as a starter and double-figure scorer.

In the 2017-18 season, Paschall started at the "four" next to Omari Spellman in Villanova's frontcourt and he posted a ridiculous 122.5 offensive rating (79th nationally), largely because of his 64 percent shooting inside the arc and 81 percent free-throw shooting. He was the team's second-best offensive rebounder (7.7 offensive rebounding percentage) and he had the best free-throw rate among the team's starters (35.6%).

Paschall scored in double figures 24 times during Villanova's 2018 national championship season, including his only double-double of the season coming against Texas Tech in the Elite Eight and scoring a season-high 24 points against Kansas in the Final Four.

Last season, when Paschall and Phil Booth were the leaders of Villanova, Paschall earned First Team All-Big East honors after he averaged 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, while shooting almost 35 percent from three on 5.6 attempts per game.

10. Omari Spellman (2017-18)

Spellman played an integral role in helping Villanova win its second national title last decade. After redshirting during the 2017 season, he stepped in as the team's center in 2018, earning Big East Freshman of the Year in the process.

He averaged 10.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 43 percent from three on 150 attempts on the season. So he was tied for the highest three-point percentage on the team (along with Mikal Bridges), while posting a team-high 5.5 percent block rate.

Spellman's 121.0 offensive rating ranked 123rd nationally, his 23 percent defensive rebounding rate was in the top 100 nationally and he took great care of the ball (11.4% turnover rate) for a freshman.

9. Kris Jenkins (2013-17)

Jenkins is most known for his game-winning, buzzer-beating three-pointer to beat North Carolina in the 2016 national championship game, which is a heckuva thing to be known for, and he was the Wildcats' second-leading scorer during that championship season at 13.6 points per game, along with 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

He was the fourth-most efficient scorer in Big East play that season as low-turnover, accurate three-point shooter at the power forward position. He shot 37 percent from three for his career, including 38.6 percent on 6.5 attempts per game during Villanova's national title season.

Jenkins scored at least 12 points in each of Villanova's six NCAA Tournament wins (for a total of 93 points) as part of a stretch in which he scored in double figures in the Wildcats' last 15 games, and 23 of their last 24, that season.

As a senior, Jenkins received honorable mention All-Big East honors after averaging 13.1 points and 4.1 rebounds.

8. Donte DiVincenzo (2015-18)

Despite being Villanova's sixth man in 2018 (and being named Big East Sixth Man of the Year), DiVincenzo was the Wildcats' third-leading scorer at 13.4 points per game when they won their second title in three years.

Despite his status as a reserve (he started just 12 times in 85 games), he was a major reason why Villanova won its second title last decade as he was named the 2018 Final Four Most Outstanding Player after exploding for 31 points off the bench against Michigan in the national title game. He finished with 90 points during Villanova's tournament run.

DiVincenzo's scoring ability wasn't some revelation because he scored in double figures 16 games in a row in the middle of the 2018 season, capped off by a 30-point performance against Butler.

He was a member of the Big East All-Freshman Team in 2017 after taking a medical redshirt during the 2015-16 season after playing in just nine games.

In the 2018 season, DiVincenzo shot 40 percent from three, 57 percent on twos and 71 percent from the free throw line, allowing him to have one of the best offensive ratings in the country at 119.5. He also recorded the second-highest assist rate on the team, 20 percent, so he was more than just a scorer — he was also a creator.

7. Phil Booth (2014-19)

Booth helped Villanova win two national championships — he was the team's sixth man in 2016 and a starter on the 2018 team. In 2016, he came up huge off the bench in the Wildcats' national championship game victory over North Carolina, when he scored a team-high 20 points off the bench on 6-of-7 shooting.

He scored a total of just 37 points during Villanova's six-game national title run in 2018 but the following year, he showed what he could do as a primary scoring threat. He averaged a team-high 18.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game on a Villanova team that swept the Big East regular season and tournament titles.

Booth was named to the All-Big East First Team in 2019.

6. Darrun Hilliard (2011-15)

Hilliard led Villanova in scoring as a senior, averaging 14.3 points per game to go along with 3.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game. That's what allowed him to earn Second Team All-American honors, according to Sporting News, and honorable mention accolades from the Associated Press. He was also named to the All-Big East First Team.

The Wildcats went 33-3 that season, winning the Big East regular season title by four games, taking the Big East Tournament crown and earning a No. 1 seed.

He also averaged 14.3 points per game as a junior, when he was named Co-Big East Most Improved Player.

As a senior, Hilliard posted an impressive 117.2 offensive rating thanks to his 38.7 percent three-point shooting, 50 percent two-point shooting and 80 percent free-throw shooting.

5. Ryan Arcidiacono (2012-16)

Arcidiacono started every game but one for Villanova's 2016 national championship team, when he led the team in assists (4.5 apg) and was third in scoring (12.5 ppg).

He was a sharp-shooter, making 39.4 percent of his three-point attempts, half of his twos and 83 percent of his free throws, which allowed him to have a nationally ranked offensive rating of 119.9. Arcidiacono's assist rate (24.1%) was 10 percent higher than his turnover rate (14.1%).

Defensively, he had the second-highest steal rate on the team (2.5%).

As a junior, Arcidiacono was named Co-Big East Player of the Year, an AP honorable mention All-American honoree and a First Team All-Big East selection. He was a Second Team All-Big East pick as a sophomore and senior.

During Villanova's 2016 national championship run, he scored at least 13 points in every game for a total of 95 points in six games.

4. Scottie Reynolds (2006-10)

Reynolds only played for Villanova one season last decade but it was his best season of college, which means he deserves one of the top spots on this list. He was a consensus First Team All-American in 2010, when he averaged a team-high 18.2 points, 3.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds for a 25-win Villanova team.

He shot 38.5 percent from three on 5.4 attempts per game, made 51.6 percent of his two-point field goals and shot almost 84 percent from the free-throw line, which gave him an offensive rating of 117.6 (104th nationally).

Despite being one of the best scorers in recent Villanova history, he was just a combined 4-of-26 from the field in the Wildcats' two NCAA Tournament games in 2010.

3. Mikal Bridges (2015-18)

Bridges was the second-highest scoring player on Villanova's 2018 national title team as a 17.7 point-per-game scorer, in addition to 5.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. A versatile 6-7 wing, Bridges was a true "three-and-D" threat, earning Co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2017, but he was so much more. He was a Third Team All-American as a redshirt junior.

He finished sixth in's national player-of-the-year standings after finishing with the 12th-highest offensive rating in the country (130.1) despite having the second-highest shot rate on the team (24.5%). Bridges shot 43.5 percent from three on six attempts per game, 59.3 percent inside the arc and 85 percent from the free throw line as he nearly joined the elusive 50/40/90 club.

Bridges took incredible care of the ball (just a 10.9% turnover rate) and he was an active defender with a 3.5 percent block rate and 2.7 percent steal rate.

2. Josh Hart (2013-17)

Hart was the leading scorer on Villanova's 2016 national championship team, when he averaged 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game, which earned him Third Team All-American honors from the NABC and AP honorable mention accolades, plus First Team All-Big East honors for the first time in two consecutive seasons.

He got even better as a senior, when he was a consensus First Team All-American, Julius Erving Award winner (which is awarded to the best small forward in the country), Senior CLASS Award winner and Big East Player of the Year after averaging 18.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Hart finished first in's national player-of-the year standings as a senior, thanks to his 40 percent three-point shooting, 122.3 offensive rating (81st nationally) and nationally-ranked defensive rebounding and assist rates.

Hart was named the Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 2015 and 2017, plus he was the Big East Sixth Man of the Year as a sophomore and Co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 2017. As a sophomore, his 46.4 three-point percentage ranked 18th nationally and his 125.3 offensive rating was 27th in the country.

During Villanova's 2016 national championship run, Hart scored 90 points with 34 rebounds, including 23 and eight against Oklahoma in the Final Four, and 12 and eight in the national title game. Hart scored in double figures in every game as a senior, highlighted by a 37-point, 11-rebound, four-assist game against Notre Dame.

Villanova's offense ranked fourth, third and third nationally in efficiency during Hart's sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

1. Jalen Brunson (2015-18)

You can make the case that Brunson is one of the most decorated college basketball players in the history of the sport, especially on a per-year basis when you consider that he won two national championships in three years of college.

He was the consensus National Player of the Year in 2018, when he led Villanova to its second national championship in three seasons, and he was also a consensus First Team All-American, the Big East Player of the Year, the Bob Cousy Award winner (given to the country's best point guard) and a First Team All-Big East selection — an honor he earned as a sophomore and junior.

He averaged a team-high 18.9 points, 4.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game for the 36-4 Wildcats, which posted the second-highest offensive efficiency rating (127.8) in the history of, which dates back to the 2001-02 season.

Brunson finished second in the national player-of-the-year standings after posting the 17th-best offensive rating (128.5) while being the highest-usage player on the team (26 percent usage rate). He shot 40.8 percent from three, almost 60 percent inside the arc, which is incredible for a point guard, and 80 percent from the line. Brunson assisted on more than a quarter of Villanova's made baskets when he was on the floor.

He scored 69 points in three Big East Tournament games as a junior, then scored 97 points with 24 assists and 17 rebounds during Villanova's national title run. The only game all season when Brunson didn't reach double figures was in the national title game, when he had nine points.

As a freshman, Brunson started 39 of 40 games, while averaging 9.6 points, 2.5 assists and 1.8 rebounds for the 2016 national champion Wildcats.

Also considered: JayVaughn Pinkston, James Bell, Corey Stokes, Corey Fisher, Daniel Ochefu, Maalik Wayns

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