Off a season where the Villanova Wildcats won the Big East regular season and conference tournament the team was the unanimous pick to win the 2015-16 season in the preseason coaches poll. Villanova got all nine votes available (coaches cannot vote for their own team) for a total of 81 points.
The Wildcats were the preseason favorite last season. They justified the faith of the league earning a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Georgetown Hoyas were the second selection, much like last season. Following were Butler, Xavier, Providence, Marquette, Seton Hall, DePaul, Creighton, and St. John’s. Villanova and Georgetown will meet on January 16 in Washington. The match in Philadelphia will be on March 5, the regular season finale.
The Wildcats return two starters from last year’s squad. Ryan Arcidiacono readies himself for his senior year. Arcidiacono averaged 20.2 points per game and was second in the league in assist to turnover ratio at 2.7. The senior guard was a selection to the Big East preseason first team.
Also returning is center Daniel Ochefu who scored an average of 9.2 points per game and pulled down an average of 8.5 rebounds. Ochefu shot 64.4% from the floor. He was named preseason second team.
A key reserve from the last campaign is guard Josh Hart who averaged 10.1 points per game. He was named the conference Sixth Man of the Year and won the Dave Gavitt Trophy as the Most Outstanding Player in the Big East Tournament.
Freshman guard Jalen Brunson was named the Preseason Rookie of the Year.
Villanova begins the season on November 2 with a home game against Fairleigh Dickinson. The Big East opener is schedule for New Year’s Eve, a home game vs. Xavier. The games against Butler will be January 10 in Indianapolis with the return visit on February 20.
The Big Five games will be on December 1 at Saint Joseph’s, followed by a December 13 game hosting La Salle. The Wildcats will host Penn on December 28. The team travels to North Broad Street for a February 17 game at Temple.