From winning a gold medal to being the starting point guard for a national championship team as a freshman, Jalen Brunson has done it all and has dealt with it all. He is as talented as any point guard that has come out since he stepped foot on a college floor. This season he enters his junior year and now he is player of the year candidate and destined for the NBA. You ask why he is a player of the year candidate? It’s simple, he is an ultimate winner, a leader on the floor, and is always one of the top players on the basketball court.
He has played against the best competition since high school where he played against now NBA players Jahlil Okafor, Jabari Parker, and Tyler Ulis. He won a gold medal at the FIBA World Championships in 2015 and was the MVP; he was also the USA basketball male athlete of the year in 2015. When a winner operates all he knows how to do is win, in 2016 Brunson accomplished what most freshman point guards dream of the 5 star point guard helped the Villanova wildcats win a national championship. Brunson didn’t show much scoring that year averaging only 9.6 points with 2.5 assists but shot good from the field with percentages of 45 percent from the field, 38 percent from long range, and 77 percent from the free throw line in his freshman season while being named to the Big East all-freshman team.
Last season was another great season, the wildcats went 31-3 overall and 15-3 in the Big East conference in which they finished the Big East champions and the no.1 overall team in the country. This time ,Brunson didn’t have to share point guard duties with Ryan Arcidiacono, he had the keys to the backcourt. Brunson had big games last season, Scoring 27 points with 5 assists and 4 rebounds in win vs Creighton, 17 points 7 assists and 4 rebounds vs Xavier, and 22 points 10 assists and 4 rebounds vs Seton Hall. Last season Brunson averaged 14.1 points 2.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists, he shot an amazing 54 percent from the field, 37 percent from long range, and 87 percent from the free throw line, his shot attempts also increased. The tough play of Brunson kept Villanova in games; he stays calm and never folds under pressure. The way Brunson plays personifies the way Villanova basketball is supposed to be played.
This season is as big as any. Brunson is the 42nd rated 2018 NBA draft prospect by nbadraftroom.com and as the season goes on his stock could raise. With Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins off to the NBA, Brunson will have the green light to do what he wants with the ball. Expect Brunson to score around 20 points per game this season and average more assists with more weapons this year. Villanova is still a top 5 team that has the chance to win the title this year. Brunson is destined for a big season and he could rise to a mid-first or lottery pick. If Villanova is going to win the national championship for the second time in three years it all starts with Jalen Brunson.