Eric Paschall (Soph, 6-7, 250)
Paschall is wide-shouldered, athletic, and capable of playing "above his height". After being named A-10 Freshman of the Year, he transferred to Villanova and sat out last year. His remaining three years of eligibility begin now as he prepares to play the 5, 4, and perhaps the 3 at times in Jay Wright's system during the 2016-17 season. Don't be surprised to see Paschall play the 5 for as many as 20 minutes a game. The Cats are loaded with shooters and Paschall will be able to stretch defenses with his ability to shoot the three-ball - opposing bigs will have their hands full trying to contain Paschall. Though he can drain the deep ball, Paschall is most effective taking the ball strong to the hole on dribble-drive. His width and great leaping ability allow him to score around and over defenders.
Here is what Jay Wright told VUSports about Paschall's offense this summer: "Paschall reminds me of, and I have to be careful with this, a "poor-man's" Bernard King. He just scores. He violently scores. Remember how Bernard King would just get the ball and [pounding his fist into his opposite hand for emphasis] just dribble it hard, put his shoulder into you, elevate and BANG!, hit the jumper. Catch it, drive it hard, go by you, ... he just has that old school, New York feel for putting the ball in the basket. Shoot threes, drive, post up, good scorer."
This highlight video from his Fordham season includes some of what Coach Wright is talking about:
and here is a nice example of "violently scores":
Jalen Brunson spoke highly of Paschall during his conversation with VUSports at Villanova Media Day a couple weeks back: "Eric is an incredible athlete. He has so many tools to his game. He can do so many things. He can do so many things defensively with his athleticism. He can go up and block shots and get rebounds in crowds. I think Eric is really going to be someone that brings a dynamic presence when he comes into the game."
Here is what Kris Jenkins had to say about Paschall when he spoke with VUSports on BE Media Day: "He is great. He is a big body, very athletic, he plays hard, rebounds, plays defense. Eric is one of the more versatile players on our team. He is going to add a big piece to our upcoming year."
On the defensive end of the floor, Paschall has the physical tools to defend multiple positions.
When asked how Paschall was prepared to defend on the interior and chasing perimeter players on switched, Coach Jay Wright told VUSports "Paschall is average in both areas but has the potential to be both a good perimeter defender and a good post defender. Now, because he is young and inexperienced, he is just average at both but not poor at either."
Though an average post defender in Coach Wright's eyes, Paschall demonstrates here that his leaping ability allows him to do some rim protecting:
Paschall is going to be a big cog in Villanova's rotation this season. Though he is a very capable scorer, defense and rebounding are what the coaching staff have been hammering home to Eric in regards to what his primary focus on the court should be.
Tim Delaney (RS Frosh, 6-8.5, 230)
Delaney had a rough Freshman season last year and ended up as a medical redshirt after having multiple hip surgeries. He has a clean bill of health now and is back on the floor competing. Delaney provides quality depth and some versatility in that he can play either as a stretch-4 type of player or at the 5 if needed. He can shoot the ball out to three-point range. Delaney added a lot of upper-body strength during his red-shirt season and certainly has the body to bang in the paint in the Big East. He lacks the jumping ability and quickness to play above his height while staffing the low post position but he is a vocal and active defender. His lateral quickness was a positive trait prior to his injury and it will be interesting to observe how well this aspect of his game has held up through the injuries. If his lateral quickness is not up to snuff he may take awhile to progress to the point where he can guard well when he switches onto a perimeter player.
His teammate, Kris Jenkins broke down his game for us at Big East Media Day: "Tim is versatile too. He can stretch the floor. He plays extremely hard. He is going to be an important piece to our team too."
Darryl Reynolds also gave him a ringing endorsement: "Tim is a tough guy. He is one of those guys who doesn’t back down to anybody. He has a big build. Defensively, he is a problem. Tim will, just like everyone else, bring that much more toughness and that much more of an edge to our team. And, he can shoot the ball well. Anybody that can stretch the floor - that helps".
Earlier in the summer, VUSports spoke with Jay Wright about Delaney, and he had this to say about Tim's offense: "I think he can be a great three-point shooter too. When I say that, you have to think about who is guarding them - if a 4 or 5 is guarding Delaney, he can post up a 4 and he is crafty enough against a 5, but if a 5 has to get out on him on the perimeter because of his ability to pass and shoot, he will be better on the perimeter shooting threes than a five is going to be guarding him."
As far as what to expect from Delaney defensively, Coach Wright stated "Delaney, before he got hurt, he could defend on the perimeter and he could defend on the post. He had really good lateral mobility and strength defensively. That will be the question for him coming off two hip surgeries, "how does that effect his mobility?". He hasn't been able to go live yet so I don't know."
Expect Delaney to play a deep bench role. He is a real luxury for Coach Wright and his staff to have - a cerebral player with skill and the ability to play multiple positions there to answer the call.