Villanova Magazine - Playmakers and Record Breakers
The Wildcats took men’s basketball fans on a thrilling ride in 2016–17, following up their 2016 national championship season with another year of impressive victories and memorable moments.
The team added to the program’s legacy with a 32-4 record, a No. 1 national ranking for eight weeks, and Big East regular season and tournament championships.
Exceptional team play has always defined the Wildcats’ greatness, and this year’s seniors continued that tradition. Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins and Darryl Reynolds will graduate as the winningest class in Villanova Basketball history. Throughout four seasons with the program, the teams to which this trio belonged notched 129 victories and never lost two games in a row.
The Wildcats also stood tall in individual recognition. Hart was named Big East Player of the Year, won the Julius Irving Award as the nation’s top small forward and was a finalist for other national player-of-the-year awards. Sophomore Mikal Bridges and Hart shared Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors. Sophomore Jalen Brunson and Hart were also first team all-Big East selections.
There were many moments to celebrate throughout the season: Head Coach Jay Wright’s 500th career win, the final game played in the Pavilion before its full-scale renovation, and the remarkable achievements and winning records of graduating senior players. Wright, his returning players and fans around the country are already looking ahead to building on the program’s incredible momentum in seasons to come.