Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has returned to play his sophomore year for the Villanova Wildcats. What does the mean? It means Villanova is a certified top three team and once again a national title contender. Robinson-Earl possesses a rare combination of athleticism and basketball IQ for a 6-9 235 pound prospect. He averaged 10.5 points 9.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals. He only shot 45% from the field and 32% from long range but shot an impressive 81% from the free-throw line. He played center last season for Villanova but his natural position is power forward. If Villanova puts him back at his natural position he becomes the most talented power forward in the Big East.
Even though Robinson-Earl held his own, he ended up against bigger, stronger, and longer players. At power forward, Robinson-Earl is a mismatch. His ball-handling skills and ability to take defenders off the dribble from the perimeter make him a tough guard. Saddiq Bey played the same position and was a tough guard each night at just 6-8 216 with the same skills. Robinson-Earl brings a bigger and stronger talent to the position with the same athleticism, scary.
Putting Robinson-Earl at power forward would also allow him to display his great ball-handling skills and have the ball in his hands more. It would open up things for Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree in the post and Jermaine Samuels all around the floor. The move allowed Bey to go from averaging 1.3 assists to 2.4, Robinson-Earl averaged 1.9 assists his freshman season. Bey went from averaging 37% from long range to averaging 45% and from 45% to 47%. I expect Robinson-Earl to shoot a little over 38% from long range and 50% from the field. I see him averaging around 16 points 11 rebounds and almost 4 assists next season.
Jay Wright does the best job at developing players and putting them where they need to be to succeed. If Robinson-Earl doesn’t start at power forward he will definitely get time at the position. He won the Big East freshman of the year this past season and has the potential to be an all-American. Returning to Villanova to play his sophomore season puts him in the first round conversation for the 2021 NBA draft. Villanova basketball is in reach of another national championship. Saying Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is a key piece is an understatement.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports