Villanova's Donte DiVincenzo, the Final Four Most Outstanding Player, staying in the NBA Draft
DiVincenzo's impressive showing at the NBA combine solidified him, in the eyes on many, as a first-round pick
DiVincenzo announced he will leave Villanova and stay in the 2018 NBA Draft.
I want to thank Nova Nation for an amazing season this year and the unbelievable amount of support throughout. The Villanova Community has done nothing but support and motivate me to become the best player and person I can be. I love everything about college and Villanova including the amazing people from the professors, staff members, and all the fans across the country. I want to thank my teammates and coaches for helping me get to this point. My teammates are my brothers and will share a bond forever. I thank Coach Wright for challenging me day in and day out all while loving me like a son. I would not be in the position I am today if it was not for him and the Villanova Basketball program. After gathering all of the information possible, my decision is to keep my name in the NBA draft and plan to hire an agent. I thank everyone who has helped me reach this decision because it was not easy. I strive to get better as a person and a player everyday, everything that Villanova has instilled in me will allow me to reach all goals I have in mind. Thank you everyone who has supported me and the continuous support going forward. Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat. I love you Nova Nation. \\\///
The news is not surprising, not after DiVincenzo performed particularly well at the combine. But if you told DiVincenzo, or perhaps anyone affiliated with Villanova back in, say, January that he'd be off to the NBA in mere months?
That would have been a shock.
This turn of events is the latest example of how success and opportunistic performance in March Madness can take the stock of certain players and vault it off a trampoline. DiVincenzo became a national name overnight when he propelled Villanova to a second national title in three years back in early April. His 31 points off the bench in the national title game were the most points in a championship tilt in nearly 30 years and the most points by a non-starter in Final Four history.
Now he's a school legend, and instead of returning to college basketball as arguably the most well-known player in the sport, he's seizing his NBA chance.
Most expect him to be taken in the 20-30 range.
DiVincenzo's 34.5-inch standing vertical leap was the best at this year's combine. His 42-inch max vertical leap tied with Georgia Tech's Josh Okogie for the highest jump. Plus, he checked in at 5 percent body fat -- very good. He played well in five-on-five competition, too. His lasting impression from the NCAA Tournament combined with grading out well at the combine made this decision inevitable.
The Wildcats got 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game from DiVincenzo last season. He shot 40.1 percent from 3-point range. He's considered on the short list of the best athletes in this year's draft crop.
Villanova loses DiVincenzo but returns critical veterans Phil Booth and Eric Paschall. Previously, Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges declared their permanent intentions to go pro. Nova redshirt freshman Omari Spellman has until Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. ET to decide if he will stay or go.
The Wildcats are nonetheless still highly ranked --. Thanks to one of the strongest incoming freshmen classes in school history, , Jay Wright's team is still projected to be the best in the Big East. But 2018-19 will also be the first time Wright's coached a team that lost three underclassmen to the NBA Draft in one year.
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