For Villanova, their worst fears were confirmed the morning of Jan. 24th, starting guard Phil Booth had broken his right hand and his season was over.
Though not a death-blow to the No.1 Wildcats, when you have a legitimate chance to win a national title, having to make changes to your starting five is not something you want to do.
Booth was Villanova’s fourth-leading scorer (11.6 PPG), second in assists (3.2 PG) and grabbed 3.3 rebounds a contest while averaging over 28 minutes per contest. Coach Jay Wright only had glowing things to say about his junior guard.
“All of us are disappointed for Phil,” Wright said in a statement. “He is one of our captains and the respect for him among his teammates is off the charts. Phil is as mentally tough a player as we have had in our program. We know he’ll come back better and stronger from this.”
As talented as Villanova is with a 19-1 record (14-6 ATS), this is not a deep team, regularly going about eight-deep when not blowing opponents out. Where does Nova go from here?