After starting the year 2-0, the Villanova Wildcats were handed their first loss of the season on Saturday by Virginia Tech. Following Villanova’s OT loss, here are the player grades from Saturday’s game.
Collin Gillespie: A
After he struggled to score in their first two games, Collin Gillespie found his shooting touch against Virginia Tech, leading the way with 25 points on 8/14 from the field and 4/7 from deep. Gillespie once again has proven to be the leader of this team. When the Wildcats need a score, Jay Wright can trust that Gillespie will create a shot for himself and get a bucket.
He only gets an ‘A’ as opposed to an A+ because of his performance on the defensive end. While he had two steals, Gillespie struggled to guard the perimeter down the stretch of this game. Nahiem Alleyne had the hot hand for the Hokies, and Gillespie did a poor job of closing out on him on the perimeter. Again, that’s me being picky, but it wasn’t enough to earn that A+ grade.
Caleb Daniels: A
If one thing is clear about this Villanova team through three games, it’s that Caleb Daniels is the real deal! Daniels continued to show off his ability to score as he contributed 17 points on 7/14 from the field while knocking down a pair of threes. Once Bryan Antoine returns, Daniels should continue to start the game for Jay Wright. Not to mention, many reporters have said Daniels is one of the nicest guys in college basketball.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl: C-
Not a great game for Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. Yes, he had a few buckets down the stretch, but overall, he has to play better. It’s pretty evident that when JRE doesn’t play well, Villanova’s chances of winning drop considerably. After putting up 28 points against Arizona State, JRE struggled to find his touch, recording 14 points on a poor 5/15 from the field. He’ll look to rebound Tuesday against Hartford University.
Jermaine Samuels: F
Unfortunately for Villanova, Jermaine Samuels looks completely lost out there to start his senior season. His jump shot has always been somewhat broken, but this year it seems even worse. It doesn’t seem like Samuels knows what he wants to do when he gets the ball, and he shot 1/6 from the field against Virginia Tech. He’s gotten himself into foul trouble in all three of Villanova’s games as well. Samuels needs to play better going forward, or he may see Cole Swider take his spot in the starting lineup.
Justin Moore: C
Justin Moore was the toughest player to give a grade to tonight. On the one hand, Moore did draw a foul and hit a pair of free throws to force overtime. However, he also missed a critical free throw on a one-and-one in the prior possession that allowed the Hokies to take the lead. In overtime, Moore made two costly defensive mistakes that resulted in Virginia Tech three-pointers. All of this came after he was nearly invisible for the first 39 minutes of the game, so he earns a ‘C’ grade for his performance.
Cole Swider: B+
After a rough shooting night against Arizona State, Cole Swider was able to rebound with a solid outing against Virginia Tech. Swider knocked down a pair of threes while also grabbing five rebounds and blocking one shot. Ideally, he fits in well as the sixth man, but if Samuels continues to struggle, Swider could see an increase in minutes.
Brandon Slater: C
Brandon Slater played for the third straight game but failed to do anything memorable on either end of the floor. In total, he played four minutes and recorded a block and two personal fouls.
Eric Dixon: C+
Eric Dixon only played two minutes in this game. However, he did have one block on the defensive end and was the inbounder on the play that set up Justin Moore’s game-tying free throws.
After their game against Saint Joseph’s was canceled, Villanova will return Tuesday night to face Hartford University on ESPN2 in Bubbleville!
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