Among the returning players, Matt Licata is poised to take on a more central role. His previous season’s statistics are promising. His individual efficiency rated a 56 on our 100-point Madden-style scale. He took 12% of the team’s shots and recorded 14% of their assists. The question is whether he’s able to maintain those efficiency numbers as he steps into a larger role with the extra defensive attention that will bring. Incoming transfer Thomas McIntire (Holy Cross) is another guy who you’d expect to play a role this year. Although his efficiency last season was moderate (47th percentile), his experience should help bolster the team’s offensive unit.
On the defensive end, particularly at goalie, Villanova is essentially starting from scratch with the departure of Will Vitton, who was a cornerstone of their defense last season. The introduction of transfer Garrett Fitzsimons offers some solace. His experience with Bates could be something that they build around. Freshman Spencer Day is also joining the ranks, and while his collegiate level performance is yet to be seen, his addition adds depth to the goalie position that is without last year’s starter.
The void left by the departure of Matt Campbell cannot be overstated. As Villanova’s premier offensive player last year, he took 23% of the team’s shots and recorded 24% of their assists. Despite his individual efficiency rating being in the 46th percentile, his role as a primary offensive force was undeniable. Filling his shoes will require a collective step-up from the current roster, and perhaps a different approach to the offense that leverages the existing talents more effectively.
In the coming season, Villanova’s reliance on the transfer portal and incoming freshmen is not just a strategy but a necessity. With such significant losses in production, the integration of new players with what’s leftover from last year will be a defining factor for the team’s success or struggles. It will be interesting to see how the coaching staff molds this mix of new talent and existing players into a cohesive unit on the field. As the Wildcats embark on this transition, all eyes will be on how these changes play out within the context of this offense.
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P.S. What did I miss? Data-centric analyses like this can miss things that don’t show up in the stats (i.e. injuries/coaching changes). If you can help explain any of the above, put it in the comments.