Despite how simple Hubert Davis made it look in his first year at North Carolina, it’s not easy to replace a legend.
Villanova saw how difficult it is this past season.
The Wildcats struggled in their first season since legendary head coach Jay Wright decided to retire.
Despite the change in coach and difficult season, the program is still a draw for top players in the transfer portal.
Today, star Washington State guard TJ Bamba told ESPN that he would be transferring to Villanova.
NEWS: Former Washington State guard TJ Bamba, one of college basketball's top transfer targets, has committed to play at Villanova, he told ESPN.
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) April 14, 2023
Bamba told Givony that he believes playing at Villanova gives him the best chance to play in the NBA.
“This gives me the best chance to reach my ultimate goal of playing in the NBA. Players in my mold like Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo have gotten drafted from Villanova and proven to be valuable pieces. My hope is to follow in their footsteps.”
Losing TJ Bamba to the transfer portal is a big blow for the Washington State Cougars. He led the team in scoring at 15.8 points per game and was a reliable threat from the outside as he knocked down 37.2% of his looks from 3.
His production was a big reason why Washington State was able to outperform expectations and earn the 5-seed in the PAC-12 tournament.
Villanova had a tough 2022-23 season. The Wildcats struggled right out of the gate, posting a 6-5 record in non-conference play while suffering bad losses against Portland and Temple.
They didn’t fare much better early on in the Big East as they started conference play with a 4-8 record before finally turning things around to win 6 of their last 8. That run helped them earn a spot in the NIT, where they were eliminated in the first round by Liberty.
Kyle Neptune will be hoping for better results in his second year and with Bamba joining a Wildcats roster that should be healthy next season, Villanova could once again be a team to watch in the Big East.