The Villanova basketball program is one that is rich in tradition, success, and one that has had its fair share of exceptional players and coaches. As a result of this, it has been one of the more successful programs in college basketball.
Most prominent college basketball programs see at least one of their players get drafted to the NBA every year. For Villanova, this has not been the case, as they have not had a player drafted since 2010 when Dontae Cunningham was drafted by the Portland Trailblazers. However, the Wildcats have had several players that were not drafted but were able to make an NBA roster as a rookie free agent like Kyle Lowry and Randy Foye have recently been able to do.
Many people, including myself at one point or another, have wondered why Villanova has not had more players drafted to the NBA. Historically, Villanova has not been a school known to have players drafted in the NBA, as they have only had 40 players appear in the NBA over a 47-year period. The Wildcats have always had great college basketball players that usually do not project well in the NBA because of their game or their size.
Former Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds for example had terrific career at Villanova, being named a consensus first team All-American after his senior season. Despite his outstanding numbers, Reynolds went undrafted in the NBA. Like many other former Villanova players have come accustom to, Reynolds has bounced around to seven different professional franchises in four years internationally. He has yet to appear in an NBA game, but hopes he will be able to make a NBA roster at some point.
Looking forward to next season there are two players I could potentially see getting drafted in next year’s NBA draft.
Darrun Hilliard is the player I think has the best chance on being drafted from Villanova based on the style of game he has. Hilliard is a great athlete, an excellent 3-point shooter, and an above average defender. He has the ability to play multiple positions which is something that NBA coaches look for in players. Hilliard has proven that he is not phased when all eyes are on him in late game situations as he has helped the Wildcats to several dramatic late game victories. I see Hilliard going in the mid second round of next June’s draft.
JayVaughn Pinkston is the other player who has a chance of being drafted. At this point, Pinkston is a longshot to get drafted because of his size. Pinkston is listed at 6 foot 7 and 240 pounds. He simply would be undersized trying to guard guys who are three to four inches bigger than him. Most guys who are Pinkston’s size play either shooting guard or small forward in the NBA. In order for him to make the switch to small forward in the NBA he would have to lose 15 to 2o pounds and get experience playing the position this year which I do not see happening.
Pinkston is an exceptional college basketball player, however, great college players do not always pan out in the NBA. The only way I see Pinkston making it to the NBA is if he goes undrafted and signs with a team as a rookie free agent.
Will Villanova have a player drafted next year for the first time in five years? Time will tell.