Villanova Wildcats: After a monster game, NBA fans clamor for DiVincenzo

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

After putting up 31 in San Antonio in route to another Villanova Wildcats championship, NBA fans across the league are clamoring to draft Donte DiVincenzo.

In a game highlighted by flashy, NBA bound players like Jalen Brunson, Charles Matthews, and Mikal Bridges, the true star of the 2018 NCAA Championship game may have actually been Villanova Wildcats sixth-man Donte DiVincenzo.

That’s right, the player affectionately known as ‘The Michael Jordan of Delaware went off for 31 points, five rebounds and three assists to lead Jay Wrights squad to their second National Title in three seasons, and fans across the world took notice.

With professional athletes like Chris Long, Zach Ertz, and Blake Griffin all shouting out the 6-foot-5 sophomore from Wilmington on Twitter, NBA fans from seemingly all 32-teams fawned over DiVincenzo as a prospect.

But DiVincenzo wouldn’t leave Nova before he even became a full-time starter, would he?

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Well, while the idea of finally leading the Wildcats onto the court as the team’s unquestioned leader may be enticing, DiVincenzo’s draft stock may never be higher than it is right now, and it’s quite possible that he could parlay his 31 point performance against the Michigan Wolverines into a first-round selection in the 2018 NBA Draft.

I mean it wouldn’t be the first time an athletic bench scorer left school early and developed into a stud in the pros.

Want proof? Look no further than current Pheonix Suns star Devin Booker. A one-and-done player from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Booker didn’t start a single game at Kentucky but his outside production and all around scoring prowess caused his name to fly up draft boards, and ultimately made him the 13th overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft.

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Now no one is going to directly compare DiVincenzo to Booker, as the later just became the youngest player in NBA history to score 70 points in a single game, but the historical precedent does show that a player can become a star without being a starter in college.

Maybe DiVincenzo could be the next?

At 6-foot-5, 205 pounds, DiVincenzo has the makings of a classic NBA two-guard, and after averaging 13 points per game while shooting 39 percent from behind the arc in his third season on the Main Line, very few NBA scouts will struggle to find a fit for him on their team. Whether it be in their starting five, or coming off the bench, every NBA team could use more scorers, and one thing DiVincenzo can do without question is score.

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While we may never know if DiVincenzo will be able to emulate his college success at the professional level, one thing became crystal clear from his performance in the NCAA Championship game: DiVincenzo has a future in the NBA, the only question is when.