Villanova Suspension Of Pinkston Best Move For All InvolvedPosted by jstevrtc on December 6th, 2010
Villanova announced on Monday that freshman forward JayVaughn Pinkston is suspended from the school for the spring semester, meaning he isn’t permitted to attend classes, let alone play or practice with the basketball team. The suspension comes as a result of an off-campus fight in which Pinkston was involved on November 6th. He was charged with two counts of assault, but has attended classes and practiced with the team since then.
It’s never good when a kid faces assault charges and also has to miss out on a year of college because of mistakes like this, or rather, that they happen in the first place. Supporters of Villanova basketball certainly don’t like that their team will have to go a year without a 6’6 and 235-pound power forward ranked as one of the top 75 recruits in the nation last year as a high school senior. Consider this, though — it might not seem it at first, but there is still a lot of good that can come from this. It may even end up actually being the best thing for everybody right now.
The Wildcat scoring attack is obviously propelled by that potent guard trifecta of Corey Fisher (15.6 PPG), Corey Stokes (13.4), and Maalik Wayns (12.9), accounting for 61% of the squad’s point production. Underneath the basket, Jay Wright is getting outstanding early-season production from Antonio Pena (10.3 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.1 BPG) and Mouphtaou Yarou (9.9 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.1 BPG), who have earned the right to play the majority of minutes. 6’11 sophomore Maurice Sutton only plays an average of 16.2 minutes a contest, but contributes an admirable 6.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 1.3 BPG. Stokes (4.1 RPG) and reserve 6’6 guard Dominic Cheek (8.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG) also provide rebounding assistance from up top. The Wildcats’ collective efforts on the glass have them listed at 19th in the nation in rebounds per game and 43rd in rebound rate (the percentage of opponent’s shots that are rebounded successfully). Villanova is also currently holding their opponents to 36.2% shooting (11th in the country), which signals that even shots in the lane won’t come easy for their challengers. Sure, it’s early in the season, and it’s always good to have an extra body to employ during a long, tough Big East campaign, but these numbers illustrate the point that there might not have been many minutes for Pinkston to play, anyway. The guards do most of the scoring, the rebounding effort has been commendable, and the team defense has been exemplary so far. Were he in the lineup, Pinkston probably would have been just spelling more experienced players with minor minutes.
Pinkston would still have to sit out for a year if he decided to transfer, so that’s not likely, assuming he wants to stay at this level of basketball. He’ll still have four years of eligibility if he sticks around. Fisher, Stokes, and Pena will be gone next year, and Wayns is currently listed as a late first round pick at NBADraft.net. There will be more work available for Pinkston next season, especially if Waynspulls the trigger and goes into the draft. And most importantly, every day he’s not on that campus should serve as a reminder of his mistake, driving home the lesson that the school is attempting to teach him. If he can stay out of trouble — idle hands, you know — and spend the next 12 months adding length to his jumper, developing some one-on-one moves to the hoop, and sharpening his ball-handling skills, he’ll have a starting spot next season. How he chooses to use his year off, though, is obviously up to him, and it will tell us a lot about what this young man is made of.