During his five-year tenure at Villanova, Gillespie built up an incredible portfolio of accomplishments on both a team and individual level. In 156 games played at Villanova, Gillespie scored a total of 1,858 points, had 482 assists, 449 rebounds and 154 steals, paving the way for one of the most distinguished players in program history.
But with his productivity came an invaluable consistency and experience developed under one of the greatest college basketball coaches we’ve seen. In his first season in 2018, Gillespie won a national title (Villanova’s second in three years), accumulating a firm feel and understanding of what it takes to succeed and persevere in basketball’s greatest tournament. university.
After being mostly a bench player in his freshman year, Gillespie really started to come into his own once he became a full-time starter in his sophomore season, where he averaged 10.9 points, 2.8 assists and 2.4 rebounds. The following year, Gillespie would take another big leap forward, posting 15.1 points per game with 4.5 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals, which led to him being named in the second All-Big East team at the end of the season.
The following year, Gillespie would be named to the All-Big East First Team and was also crowned Big East Player of the Year as a senior. However, Gillespie would miss a chance to play in the Big East Tournament and the Big Dance due to an MCL tear he suffered in early March this season.
Although he was lucky enough to enter the draft, Gillespie opted to go for a fifth season of eligibility, and my goodness, would he mark his legacy in the Villanova history books with a special season? . Averaging 15.6 points to go with a 41.5 shooting percentage from behind the arc (both career highs), Gillespie also had a career high 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists. He would not only be named First Team All-Big East for the second time and would receive the Big East Player of the Year award again. But Gillespie would also be selected to the All-American Third Team and also win the Bob Cousy Award, an honor given to the top male collegiate point guard of the season.