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Jalen Brunson leads Villanova's deep and talented roster

The Wildcats will sport a strong group of veteran players and youngsters.

Villanova’s Phil Booth missed most of last season.
Villanova’s Phil Booth missed most of last season.Read moreCLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer

Everything in Villanova's rotation starts with Jalen Brunson at the point, as it should. He should only be better. He'll have the ball in his hands even more and his scoring will go up and he'll defend better. Because they're among his goals. He's the leader, on a team that has several.

Phil Booth, after missing a year, should be a big help from the perimeter if he's healthy. Donte DiVincenzo has already made his presence felt and he's still young. So Jay Wright can play small, which he's done many times before.

Mikal Bridges has a wingspan that allows him to play bigger than 6-foot-7. But he can guard outside. There are few players who possess his kind of versatility. Eric Paschall, whether he starts or comes off the bench, is another guy who does a bunch of things that sometimes go relatively underappreciated.

Omari Spellman might be the best young post player Wright. But there will be growing pains. By the time March rolls around he could be a noticeably different commodity.

Of the freshmen, 6-5 Jermaine Samuels seems the most likely to crack the rotation. Collin Gillespie and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree could maybe see time, too. Tim Delaney is finally healthy, but he's been out for a while so questions remain. Dylan Painter, who was planning to sit out last season, played in 127 minutes in 27 games after Spellman became an academic redshirt.