College Basketball: 3 Sophomores in the Big East Ready to Breakout in 2020

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Bryan Antoine, SG/SF – Villanova:

Much like fellow top-10 recruit and high school teammate Scottie Lewis, Antoine’s freshman season didn’t go as expected. Before the season started, Villanova’s staff revealed a shoulder injury more damaged than initially believed when he arrived on campus. Respectably the team took his rehab slowly and in the best interest of the athlete, but the time missed placed him behind the 8-ball in the rotation and fellow freshman Justin Moore.

Despite an immense amount of proven talent and the odds stacked against Antoine to vastly improve on his numbers in 2020, starting wing Saddiq Bey has entered the NBA Draft and is receiving consideration in the mid-to-late first round. If that evaluation holds, Antoine would receive strong consideration for the starting position in a lineup known for spreading the ball around and letting it fly much like NBA teams do. Even if Bey returns, Antoine would likely be the team’s 6th man and brings an overarching athletic ability not seen frequently on Villanova teams.

BA’s shot selection last year was not the best for someone who missed a ton of in-game action and adjustment to Power-6 level basketball. He was extremely efficient shooting inside the 3-point line, but Antoine took perimeter shots 65.2% of the time and converted on only 13.3% (2-15) with a 8.7% FT-attempt rate. With an extra summer to heal and adjust to the level of play, he should feel more comfortable playing in this team’s system and against the speed of D1 play. Villanova’s had at least 5 players average 9.0+ PPG in four of the last six seasons, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see 2020 finish as the third in the last seven seasons that at least 6 averaged 10+. 

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