There have been 40 Villanova players who have made it to the NBA. And more still who have played on one of Villanova’s four Final Four teams, or contributed to one of the college basketball powerhouse’s better teams throughout the years.
One of the most noteworthy things about the 2015-16 Wildcats is they really don’t have a superstar. Josh Hart is an All-American, Daniel Ochefu is a standout big man and Ryan Arcidiaconois a fantastic leader and NCAA Tournamentguard. Do any of these three, as they prepare to face Oklahoma Saturday in the Final Four,crack the top 5 of all-time Wildcat greats?
1. Kerry Kittles (1992-1996)
Kittlesis Nova’s all-time leading scorer (with just 23 more points than Scottie Reynolds). He’s tops on our list not only because of his unparalleled scoring ability when playing on the Main Line, but also for his solid NBA career. In a seven-year career after being taken as the eighth overall pick he averaged over 14 points per game, the second highest career NBA average for a Wildcat.
2. Paul Arizin (1947-1950)
A Philadelphia lifer, Arizin was born and raised in Philly and had a successful career for the WIldcats in the late 40s but appeared in just 82 games. He did average 20.1 points per game however, the fourth most in team history. In an 11-year playing career with the Philadelphia Warriors Arizin did enough to earn enshrinement in the NBA Hall of Fame (he was inducted in 1978). He averaged 21.9 points per game as a pro and won the 1956 NBA Championship.
3. Scottie Reynolds (2006-2010)
Reynolds never made it as a pro, but his success in Wildcat blue cannot be overlooked. The guard led the Wildcats to their previous Final Four trip in 2009 and is second all-time in scoring at the school. Twice Reynolds scored 40 points in Big East conference games and is in the top-8 on the school’s all-time assists list.
4. Ed Pinckney (1981-1985)
As the catalyst for what many callthe biggest NCAA Tournament upsetof all-time, Pinckney was the most outstanding player during Nova’s 1985 title win over the heavily favored Georgetown Hoyas. The forward had a solid 13-year NBA career darting between seven teams, and also has put together a solid coaching career including a stintat his alma mater and his current position as an assistant coach in Denver for the Nuggets.
5. Keith Herron (1974-1978)
When he retired, Herron was Villanova’s all-time scoring leader. He won numerous awards with the Cats during his time as the team’s leader in the mid 1970s. He was drafted and had a brief NBA career averaging just shy of 10 points per game over five seasons. In Metro’s estimation, a National Title win for the Wildcats would boost Arcidiacono to fifth on our list.
The next five:Harold Pressley (1982-1986), Kyle Lowry (2004-2006), Wali Jones (1961-1964), Bob Schafer (1951-1955), RyanArcidiacono(2013-2016)