Collin Gillespie, who had little Division I interest and only Division II scholarships going into his senior year at Archbishop Wood, ignored all that and wrote his own script at Villanova. Saturday afternoon, Gillespie was named the winner of the Bob Cousy award, given annually to the top point guard in Division 1 men’s basketball.
Gillespie is the second Villanova point guard in five seasons to win the award, after Jalen Brunson won it in 2018.
Gillespie, a two-time Big East player of the year, averaged 15.6 points and 3.3 assists a game, but his performances were always more than the sum of his stats. His season-topping performances included a 33-point game at Providence and two game-clinching three-pointers in the Big East final against Creighton.
Gillespie, who was hurt the summer before his senior season which caused him to miss most of the travel-team season, mostly had D-II offers from locals such as Holy Family and eventually Jefferson, before schools such as Maine and Rider offered as his senior year began. A driving dunk against Abington High opened more eyes, and former Villanova assistant Ashley Howard sold Jay Wright on Gillespie after a number of Villanova prospective recruits chose other schools.
Villanova knew they would need guard depth for the following season, and Gillespie found minutes off the bench on the 2018 NCAA title team. His coaches just had no idea he would stick five seasons, and eventually be named the best at his position in the sport.