Villanova is the Big East’s best claim to being a true Power-6 conference, having won two of the past four national championships. And in Collin Gillespie, the Wildcats have one of the best returning guards in the conference. He tied for 10th in the Big East in scoring with 15.1 points per game, and he was fifth in assists (4.5 apg). He’s been a strong contributor for Villanova for three years, increasing his points, assists, and rebound total in every season, while shooting over 80% from the free throw line each year. Consistency was a huge part of Gillespie’s game, as he scored less than ten points on just four occasions all season.
Gillespie showed out on several occasions as well, putting up huge performances while playing alongside projected first round pick Saddiq Bey. He put himself on the radar with a 18-point, 9-assist effort in a tight non-conference victory over Mississippi State, followed with a 27-point, 6-assist performance against Baylor, ranked 24th at the time. As the Wildcats progressed through another dominant conference season, tying for a three-way share of the conference lead with a 13-5 record, Gillespie consistently torched opposing Big East defenses. He notched 24-point efforts against Xavier and Creighton, followed by a 21-point a double-double at St. Johns, before delivering his best performance of the year against #19 Butler. Playing the Bulldogs on the road, Gillespie shot 9-19 from the field and 7-10 from the charity stripe to collect 28 points, while dishing out six assists.
Gillespie stayed consistent throughout the year, impacting the game in various ways, even when his scoring touch was off. That consistency was a relief to Villanova fans, who watched their star guard virtually disappear in the 2019 postseason, averaging just 5.5 points per game in their final four playoff clashes. Gillespie has virtually eliminated those hiccups, becoming a high-impact player for the Wildcats in almost every game. Set to receive the lion’s shares of shots and scoring opportunities next season, Gillespie should continue to boost his numbers, continuing his upwards trajectory in his final collegiate season.