Collin Gillespie Villanova Wildcats

Villanova got some great news for its 2021-22 roster on Monday when seniors Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels announced they will return for another season. Although leading scorer Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has declared for the NBA Draft and signed with an agent, the returns of Gillespie and Samuels ensure the Wildcats will have an elite core of veterans.

Gillespie missed the final five games of the 2020-21 season with a torn ligament in his left knee, and the Wildcats struggled without him before conjuring up a couple of NCAA Tournament victories and bowing out with a loss to No. 1 seed Baylor in the Sweet 16. 

"Since my injury and over the last few months supporting my teammates from the sidelines, I have had much time to think about my future," Gillespie wrote. "I have received valuable feedback and have had many conversations with my family and he coaching staff allowing me to make a confident decision regarding this upcoming season.

"With that being said, I am going to take advantage of this extra year and come back to Villanova."

Gillespie was averaging 14 points and 4.6 assists per game before his injury.

Samuels, a 6-foot-7 forward, averaged a career-best 12 points per game and improved as a 3-point shooter during his senior season. Both Gillespie and Samuels were contributing freshmen on the program's national title team in 2018. With fellow starters Justin Moore and Caleb Daniels expected back as well, the Wildcats will be among the group of early favorites to win the title in 2022.