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Villanova’s Phil Booth is up to the task in increased offensive role

Booth is averaging a team-leading 18.4 points for the Wildcats, who will have a key Big East game Wednesday night against Marquette.

Phil Booth (right), here colliding with Drew Edwards of Providence, has compiled quite a resume in his years at Villanova.
Phil Booth (right), here colliding with Drew Edwards of Providence, has compiled quite a resume in his years at Villanova.Read moreCHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

Villanova guard Phil Booth has provided plenty of big plays during his career. Most noted for scoring 20 points in the Wildcats’ win over North Carolina in the 2016 NCAA title game, Booth has been counted on, along with forward Eric Paschall, to carry the Wildcats’ offense this season.

Booth, a redshirt senior who never averaged more than 10 points before this season, is averaging 18.4 in 34.6 minutes per game for the Wildcats, who will look to snap a three-game losing streak when they host first-place Marquette in a Big East matchup Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-3. 194-pound Booth will play professionally after this season, but at what level remains the question.

“He has had a strong season,” one NBA scout said. “I think he is a player who will likely have to start in the G League.”

Another NBA scout said there are plenty of positives: “I like him a lot. Even physically, he doesn’t bowl you over, but he is very consistent and has a great resume."

The second scout said he could see Booth in the NBA, but agreed that the G League might be a more immediate route.

This season, Booth has had to score more, so his offensive game has had to expand.

What will serve Booth well is that he can create his own three-point shot off the dribble. He is shooting 36.6 percent from three-point range this season and 37.2 percent for his career.

And Booth has been a major part of two national championship teams. “He’s a winner,” one scout said. “He has had a key role on championship teams, and that is something you always like to see in a player.”