6’5” 205 LBS G
36 G | 33.1 MPG | 18.7 PPG | 51.0 FG% | 40.4 3FG% | 74 3FG | 74.7 FT% | 6.4 RPG | 2.9 APG | 1.5 SPG
• Carrying the banner for Big 5 basketball among this year’s draft candidates, Hart narrowly missed out on capping his memorable four-year career on the Main Line with National Player of the Year honors. Instead, he had to settle for being named a First-Team All-American. Following his senior campaign, Hart garnered a substantial hardware haul. He was tabbed Big East Player of the Year, won the Julius Erving Award (given to the top small forward in the country), and emerged as a finalist for the Naismith, USBWA Player of the Year, and Wooden Awards. The Capital Beltway native boosted his scoring by roughly 3.0 points per 40 minutes compared to his breakout junior season, which culminated with Villanova’s second national championship.
• Whether in the half court or transition, against man or zone defensive sets, or as a weapon in spot-up or pick-and-roll situations, Hart’s offensive efficiency this past season was mostly superb, as he generated 1.10 points per possession, according to Synergy Sports. To simply box the Sidwell Friends product in as a scorer, however, would be a disservice to his jack-of-all-trades skill set. Over the course of his time with the Wildcats, Hart evolved into an increasingly prolific facilitator – his assist rate went up by 2.0 per 40 minutes from his freshman to senior seasons. He also established himself as a reliable 3-point threat, burying 207 total triples on 38.9 percent shooting as a collegian. Year-in and year-out, Hart provided the Wildcats with a sound rebounding presence, especially for his position. He ranked among the Big East’s top 10 in steals each of the last two seasons, too.
Hart manufactured five double-doubles and one triple-double last year.
• Around this time a year ago, on the heels of his junior season, Hart strongly considered turning pro, after taking part not only in the combine, but private team workouts as well (the Sixers were one of those teams). Ultimately, he opted to return to Villanova for one final go-round. As for the areas in which Hart felt he grew the most over the last 12 months, he said at this year’s combine, “I think I’m mature physically and mentally. I’m a senior, I’m a four-year guy. I guess I’m an ‘old head’ compared to some of these guys. I think I’m able to come in and make an impact right away coming from that culture…just being polished.”
Did You Know?:
Via a poll of Division I coaches, Hart was voted the 2017 Senior CLASS Award recipient, bestowed each year to the “most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I men’s basketball.” The achievement is certainly noteworthy in its own right, but perhaps becomes that much more impressive when placed in the context of Hart’s academic past, which the Washington Post profiled in 2012.
Quote of Note:
“A lot of times, the draft isn’t about the best basketball player, just about who has the best potential,” he said. “You can’t knock that, because guys athletically, physically are freaks, long, crazy wing spans, tall, and their potential and ceiling is through the roof, and that’s no knock on them. When it comes to playing this game, and knowing how to impact the team offensively and defensively, that’s what four year guys are. You can go down the list with so many four-year guys able to go in and make an impact right away. It’s not, ‘Ok, we’ll groom him for two, three years to see what happens.’ There’s no seeing what happens with a four-year guy. You know what you’re getting.” – Hart, NBA Draft Combine [5/11/2017]