There is no doubt that during the regular season the past two years the Villanova Wildcats have been as good as anybody. They have earned a No. 2 and No. 1 seed in back to back years. However one thing has also been clear, the Wildcats haven’t performed well in the NCAA Tournament.
A big reason for that is the Wildcats haven’t had the needed size and depth on the frontcourt. Some of that has been by design, as Jay Wright clearly prefers playing smaller and spreading the floor with shooters, especially at the power forward position.
While that works most of the time, for instance against NC State it became a problem. The Wildcats got overmatched by the Wolfpack on the glass and down low with their ability to score, and that led to Villanova’s early exit.
This is huge for Villanova as Painter brings the skill that they want in a player, but the size and length necessary to battle down low as well. While Painter won’t be an instant starter for the Wildcats like Spellman projects to be, he should clearly play a role and give them some versatility and depth on the frontline.
When you combine Painter with Spellman and a talented backcourt that projects to feature Jalen Brunson, Phil Booth, Eric Paschall, Josh Hart, and others, the Wildcats look as loaded for the future as nearly any team in the country.
Time will tell if Painter and Spellman can be the difference in getting the Wildcats back to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, but one thing is for sure, Wright and his staff have seen what has given them problems and they are trying to address the situation through a very talented class of 2016.