Villanova forward Saddiq Bey could be destined for a breakout year in 2019

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Saddiq Bey has journeyed down a tough road. He de-committed from North Carolina State in May of 2018 only to commit to Villanova a month later. Since he first stepped on the basketball court for the Wildcats, Bey has made an impact.

Last season as a freshman, Bey displayed why he was so heavily pursued by Nova. In June of 2017, I got word that the Wildcats were interested in Bey. I kept in contact with him and he let me know at that time that the interest wasn’t overwhelming. In August of that same year, I heard him and his parents were on campus but it was just for a team camp.

In 2018, Villanova was in a battle for then graduate transfer Reid Travis, a 2014 5-star talent. It was another battle with Kentucky for a high-level recruit, that ultimately ended in a loss to Calipari. That same month after Travis chose Kentucky, Villanova gained the commitment of Saddiq Bey. Looking back at it now Villanova got the better acquisition.

In his first game, he scored 16 against Morgan State. He recorded his first double-double with 16 points 11 rebounds with three assist and two steals vs DePaul. In the Big East tournament against Seton Hall, Bey had 16 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. The Largo, Maryland native was the 137th ranked player in the country, 34th ranked small forward and the second-ranked prospect out the 2018 class by 247 sports. He was the lowest-ranked recruit in the 2018 Villanova basketball class but shined the most.

In his first game of 2019, Bey looked sharper, quicker, smarter and stronger. He had 22 points, 5 rebounds, and a pair of steals against Army. He displayed a more disciplined game with improved ball-handling and long-range game. This year, Bey looks to be a more complete player and one the wildcats can rely on. He was named to the Wooden Award preseason top 50 and if he continues to evolve will he will be hearing his name called in the 2020 NBA draft.

Wearing number 41, his mother’s old number when she played college ball., Bey is playing with a mamba mentality which he displays on both sides of the ball. With a talented and deep supporting cast, Bey is looking to lead Villanova to their third championship in six years.

Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

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