Donte DiVincenzo is a name you know if you’re a Villanova fan or from Delaware. But that’s about it.
Even if you’re a Villanova fan you might not know his name entirely, but rather as “that blonde kid in the suit.” If it wasn’t for the injuries to his foot, you might’ve heard his name a bit more.
The 6-foot-4 guard was a high school stud at the Salesianum School in Wilmington. He single-handedly brought the Sallies to consecutive Delaware state championships his junior and senior years. His averages of 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists per game over the course of that season earned him the title of Player of the Year by the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association. As his future college coach, Jay Wright, would put it, "[he] is one of the most heralded players to come out of Delaware in a long time.”
To many, DiVincenzo was seen as a secondary piece in his freshman class behind Jalen Brunson. The fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone didn’t help much, either. The wound held DiVincenzo from action from early December until the end of the season. “I know he will be better because of this,” Wright said on Villanova.com following the news’ release. It was a disappointment, definitely, but a deep playoff run and an entire offseason to recover has helped recuperate the guard and put him in a position to be a consistent contributor this season.
With only 13 games under his belt as a college athlete, five of them from this season, DiVincenzo has some growth still to come. His time on court is limited, sensibly. Averaging 18 minutes on the hardwood through five games is a solid plan for coach Wright. ‘Nova seems to turn out guards year after year, so there is not a rush to push DiVincenzo into the rotation this early in the season.
While on the court, DiVincenzo has been active, scoring about 8 points per game, collecting about 3 rebounds, and 1 assist. A humble stat line for a sophomore coming off of injury.
The skillset is definitely there with DiVincenzo. There isn’t a worry about production down the line because he is at full health and these early games are good for testing matchups and offensive sets. As BigEastCoastBias.com noted, [he] also has accurate range from downtown, which fits perfectly into Wright’s system of solid shooting and guard dominated lineups. It is safe to say that if you are a guard in the Villanova system and are a solid shooter that you will thrive.”
They also mentioned his ability to play the other end of the floor exceedingly well, saying, “If the Wildcats want to play small with three guards on the floor at one time, DiVincenzo can battle with taller players and hold his own defensively. His athleticism is great too and the new Wildcat can play above the basket.”
Unfortunately for the ‘Cats, Phil Booth is out with a left knee issue that coach Wright calls “not serious,” but that leaves the door open for DiVincenzo to assume a larger role minutes-wise. Upcoming for Villanova is three straight Big 5 contests against Penn, Saint Joseph’s, and Temple.
An intriguing battle to look out for is December 3 against St. Joe’s. DiVincenzo against Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble at the guard position is a Philadelphia-area dream matchup. The two come from prestigious high school programs (Kimble a Neumann-Goretti graduate and Philadelphia resident) and take part in a regional rivalry second-to-none. If you didn’t know DiVincenzo’s name before, you will soon.
Villanova face the University of Pennsylvania Quakers on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at the Palestra.
Photo: Matt Gregory | VU Hoops
-(1) Villanova defeats (3) Michigan in the National Championship