Villanova star swingman Mikal Bridges will bypass his senior season and enter the NBA draft, the redshirt junior told ESPN Tuesday morning.
Bridges, who stands at 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, will likely be a lottery pick. He'll intrigue NBA teams as a three-and-D guy who can defend multiple positions.
"My success has been because of a lot of hard work and a lot of patience," Bridges said. "My first year in college, that was the longest time I ever sat out. Villanova and the coaches helped me to build a really strong work ethic. I didn't have as much of an ethic my freshman year, but I was pushed a lot by my coaches and that helped get me to become the player that I am."
He's expected to go around pick No. 10. That should intrigue Sixers fans since the Lakers' pick — which should finally convey this season — is likely to land around there. We outlined how Bridges would be a perfect fit alongside Joel Embiid and company last week (see story).
Along with being crowned as a national champion, Bridges was awarded the Julius Erving Award as the nation's top small forward. He was also named third team All-American and first team All-Big East.
“Mikal has been an exemplary student-athlete during his four years with us at Villanova,” Jay Wright said in a statement. “His work ethic and willingness to accept coaching have helped him grow steadily in his time here. He’s a great teammate and leader. I’m confident he will enjoy a very successful professional career.”
Bridges averaged 17.7 points and 5.3 rebounds and shot 44 percent from three during his junior season. He'll receive his degree in May.