Villanova basketball has finalized its 2017-18 coaching staff, with three staffers assuming new roles.
George Halcovage, who has been with the team since 2008 and spent last season as the director of basketball operations, is now an Assistant Coach to Jay Wright. Halcovage assumes the role left open by Baker Dunleavy, who is now the head coach at Quinnipiac University.
“George is a longtime member of our staff who has been ready for this position for a long time,” Wright said. “We are excited about him taking the next step in his career at Villanova.”
Former Wildcats guard Mike Nardi will take Halcovage's spot as the director of basketball operations for the upcoming season. Nardi served as a video coordinator last season and was the director of player development during Villanova's championship run in 2015-16.
“It’s great to have a player of Mike’s caliber working his way up on our staff,” Wright said. “He is a talented coach with a bright future in our business.”
Finally, Mike Clark, who spent the past two seasons as a graduate manager is the program's new video coordinator.
“Mike has been in our program for six years and continues to impress everyone on our staff,” Wright stated. “Mike is extremely creative in his field of branding, marketing and video and we have already benefitted from his skill in those areas.”
Another Villanova star is moving on ... maybe.
Donte DiVincenzo has declared for the NBA draft but will not hire an agent, meaning he can test the draft waters but will maintain his college eligibility should he chose to return to school.
The redshirt sophomore was voted the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player after scoring a career-high 31 points in Villanova' national title win over Michigan.
“Donte has consistently improved in his time at Villanova through dedication and a commitment to our core values,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said. “His play this season has created a unique opportunity for him to receive feedback from NBA teams in the draft process. We support Donte fully and our staff will work together with him and his family to help him assess the next step in his basketball career.”
DiVincenzo averaged 13.4 points and 3.5 assists while shooting 48.1 percent from the field. His numbers jumped to 15 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists 54.7 percent shooting during the NCAA Tournament.
He must decide by May 30 if he will enter the draft or return to school.
DiVincenzo is the latest Wildcat to declare for the draft, as the mass exodus of stars continues for Villanova.
Mikael Bridges and Jalen Brunson have declared and hired agents, marking the end of their collegiate careers, while redshirt freshman Omari Spellman will also test the waters.
On the bright side, Phil Booth and Eric Paschall announced they will both return for next season.
Villanova might be losing yet another star player.
This time, redshirt freshman Omari Spellman is entering his name for the 2018 NBA draft process. But unlike Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges, Spellman won’t hire an agent. That’s an important distinction.
Basically, this will allow Spellman to test the waters of the draft with the option of pulling his name and returning to Villanova for another season. He would need to withdraw from the draft by May 30 to maintain his eligibility.
“Omari’s intelligence and willingness to be coached allowed him to make great strides last season,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in a statement. “His development as a complete Villanova Basketball player was instrumental to our team’s success. We look forward to working together with Omari and his family in the coming weeks as they go through the process of evaluating the next step in his basketball career.”
During the 2017-18 season, Spellman was the Big East and Big 5 Rookie of the Year. He started all but one game during the season, averaging 10.9 points and 8.0 rebounds. He also led the Wildcats with 59 blocked shots. In addition to his big-man skills — Spellman is 6-9, 245 — he also hit over 43 percent of his shots from three.
While we’ve heard from Spellman, Brunson and Bridges, still no word from Donte DiVincenzo or Eric Paschall about their future. The deadline for early entry to the draft is at 11:59 p.m. on April 22.