A pair of key seniors announced Monday night that they aren’t finished with their Villanova careers.
Point guard Collin Gillespie and forward Jermaine Samuels each opted to return for a fifth season with the Wildcats on Twitter.
Due to the pandemic, the NCAA has offered winter sport student-athletes the option of a fifth year of eligibility.
This wasn’t a huge surprise, considering how the last 13 months has gone for Gillespie. Last season’s NCAA Tournament was wiped out by COVID-19, after he helped lead the Wildcats to the Big East regular season title. And his 2020-21 season was cut short by a torn left MCL late in the regular season. He still was named co-Big East Player of the Year, and is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the country’s top collegiate point guard.
Samuels, a 6’7” forward from Franklin, MA, enjoyed his best season on the Main Line, setting new personal marks in points per game, rebounds per game, and assists. He helped the Wildcats make it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, and scored a team-high 16 in their season-ending loss to eventual national champion Baylor.
The two announcements were certainly welcome in the wake of the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, sophomore forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, announcing his decision to enter the 2021 NBA Draft.