Connect with us


Villanova Knicks or New York Wildcats?

Josh Hart Knicks
(Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Villanova Knicks or New York Wildcats?

A few days ago, the New York Knicks signed Ryan Arcidiacono, who makes the fourth player on the Knicks to attend Villanova University. The other three former Wildcats on the Knicks are Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and the off-season signing of Donte DiVincenzo. That makes 27% of the Knicks roster went to Villanova.

Villanova Brotherhood Continuing to Grow?

27% of the roster is not good enough for Knicks wing Hart. He has been constantly tweeting at Mikal Bridges, telling him to call him back and to come to New York. Bridges is currently on the cross-town rival Brooklyn Nets and is locked up until 2026. The Knicks could trade for him, but it will most likely cost a lot as Bridges is coming off a career year averaging 26 points, and he is only 27 years old.

The Knicks have a lot of draft capital and a young roster. A trade package for Bridges would have to start with at least RJ Barrett and two or three first-round picks. However, are the Nets even willing to trade Bridges, as they already denied a trade for him? They seem to be committed to retooling with Bridges and Cameron Johnson at the forefront.

It is nice and cool to be teammates again with their college friends. However, this could be a little too much. Arcidiacano and Hart each won the National Championship in 2015-16 at Villanova. In addition to the 2015-16 championship, Brunson, DiVincenzo, and Bridges won a second national championship in 2017-2018.

Even though each of them won at least one national championship at the collegiate level, there is no guarantee they can win one in the NBA. Each of those players are different now and going up against bigger and better competition. They would already have chemistry established, which is good, but who knows if they can win an NBA Championship together.

Jalen Brunson Expanded Role

In his first season with the Knicks, Brunson took over, was dominant, and was also the best point guard the Knicks have had in over a decade. He had career highs in points (24), three-point percentage (41.6%), assists (6.2), and steals (0.9). He also played a huge role in the Knicks winning a playoff series for the first time since 2013.

After that career year, Brunson was somehow robbed of both being an all-star and all-NBA player. Brunson needs to continue that success and then some to earn those accolades and prove to the doubters that was not a one year wonder. It is possible Brunson could improve to average 27 or 28 points per game this upcoming season.

What Will A Full Season For Hart Look Like?

Hart, in just 25 games with the Knicks, had career-highs in field goal percentage (58.6), three-point percentage (51.9), and steals (1.4). Now, in a full season, how will Hart play? He will most likely not shoot that well, as that was a small percentage, but Hart will still be an effective player off the bench. Hart will still average double-digits off the bench as most likely the seventh option and continue to provide that defense and tenacity.

Due to the Knicks loss of Obi Toppin and not signing a backup power forward to replace him, he will most likely be the backup power forward. Head coach Tom Thibodeau at media day said Hart can play anywhere from the 2-4 position.

How Does DiVincenzo Fit?

The DiVincenzo signing was definitely not the signing Knicks fans wanted, as they were hoping for a superstar. However, he quietly fits the needs on this team, which are three-point shooting and perimeter defense. He shot a career-high 39.7 from three while also averaging 1.3 steals.

The new Knicks wing will play both the shooting guard and small forward position coming off the bench. His three-point shooting and defense should improve the Knicks in their most significant weaknesses that were exploited in the second round against the Miami Heat.

What Is Arcidiacono’s Role?

Arcidiacono is returning for his second stint with the Knicks. In two seasons, he has played a total of 21 games. He will not play unless there are injuries or earning garbage time minutes. However, he is an extra body in practice and is a good guy to have in the locker room and cheering on his teammates during the game.

Villanova Knicks Debut Coming Soon

DiVincenzo and the reunited college teammates make their regular season debut October 25 against the Boston Celtics.

Latest Basketball Article

To check out my latest basketball article, click here.


Brian Ramos is a contributor on Back Sports Page. Along with receiving his B.A. in Sports Communications, he has over a year of experience in the sports industry and has interviewed a variety of people in the sports industry, such as Mac McClungJulius RandleBobby Portis, Don La Greca, Adam Schefter, and others. In addition to writing, Ramos has called women’s lacrosse and baseball on ESPN+. Ramos has a podcast on YouTube called Cut The Nets, along with his co-host Jeremy Gretzer. You can find Brian on Instagram at @Brian.ramos0219 and Twitter at @brianramos0219.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Articles

Featured Writers

More in Features