Jay Wright 2016-17 Wildcats held an open practice this morning at the Pavilion following a Villanova Athletic Fund, All Access event highlighted by breakfast, an autograph session, and a Q&A with AD, Mark Jackson and 'Nova Head Coach, Jay Wright.
Here are some player observations from the practice session:
Darryl Reynolds Reynolds looks to be in great physical shape. He plays with aggression and shows a combination of hops and power around the rim. Reynolds has the touch to knock in the mid-range jumper. Understands what Coach Wright wants from him and generally executes with efficiency.
Josh Hart He is in fabulous shape - has bounce, a quick first step and plenty of strength. His motor has always been off the charts - he now has the experience and confidence to put it all together.
Kris Jenkins Shot the ball superbly all practice. Put a gorgeous rotation on it - when he is square from beyond the arc, it generally goes in. Jenkins is oozing confidence too.
Phil Booth It is readily apparent that Booth is in better health than he was down the stretch last season. There was one particular play where he went up for a rebound and just hung in the air while contending for the ball. Booth shot the ball well and, other than a play where he was stripped and dunked on by Bridges, handled the ball well while running the offense. His Junior year figures to be a strong one.
Eric Paschall Paschall elevates effortlessly when he jumps - he finished a number of dunks that were powerful and high-flying. That said, he did not stand out during the half-court action as a player who was going to command a lot of touches on offense. He scored opportunity baskets around the rim and showed he can slash/drive it to the cup and post guys up ... but his face-the-basket game did not stand out this morning.
Mikal Bridges Shot the deep ball well and was crafty and effective getting to the rim. Expect him to pick up where he left off - and more. Bridges is cerebral and skilled ... and has the athleticism to exert his will on both ends of the floor.
Jalen Brunson Brunson's shooting stroke looked great, he handled the ball very effectively and, perhaps most importantly, he used his strength to finish consistently on his drives to the rim. Brunson looks to be stronger than a year ago and willing to use that strength to his advantage.
Donte Divincenzo His handle looks to be improved over a year ago - tighter to the body and more efficient. His shooting stroke is also more compact - resulting in his misses being more in the short/long direction than the left/right direction. DiVincenzo knocked down a couple deep ones. His strength and athleticism will allow him to defend multiple positions and rebound the ball effectively - given the number of scoring options on the floor for the Cats, it is defense and rebounding that are going to earn DiVincenzo minutes this season.
Dylan Painter He has transformed his body considerably over the past 12 months. He has toned his upper body and become smoother athletically because of improved definition and strength. He challenges at the rim, gets after rebounds and doesn't back down to anyone in the lane. He will be able to contribute 5-10 minutes at the 5 off the pine.
Tim Delaney Did not practice. He has been back to practice over the past few months but did not practice today. Delaney's arms look huge - he has been hitting the weight room with ferocity.
Omari Spellman Bummer he can't play - he can shoot it out to three-point range and battle in the paint. Good rebounder - with some hot-blocking instincts as well (even though that is not his forte). His mission this season is to learn the system, get into the best shape of his life and to be an absolute force in practice - pounding Reynolds and Painter on a daily basis to get them as good as they can be.