Jay Wright on guard battle: ‘Pretty cool to watch’

Phil Booth, Josh Hart and Ryan Arcidiacono all return to the conference's top backcourt.
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Villanova could have the Big East's best backcourt with Ryan Arcidiacono, the co-Big East Player of the Year from a season ago, and prized recruit Jalen Brunson.

While the two point guards will share the floor together during the 2015-16 season, head coach Jay Wright forced the two to go head-to-head during the team's first day of practice. Wight called the battle between the guards, “Pretty cool to watch,” according to a story early this week from Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Brunson enters the program as one of most coveted guards in the Class of 2015. This summer offered a preview of what he can do at the next level, as he earned MVP honors at the FIBA U19 World Championships in Greece. Brunson averaged 14.0 points and 5.6 assists per game. He joins a backcourt that doesn't just return Arcidiacono, but also Phil Booth, a key reserve last year as a freshman.

“Knowing I can have Jalen or Phil bring the ball up and give me a little break on the ball, it's not really a big adjustment,” Arcidiacono told Jensen. “We've been doing it in practice. Last year, whenever Phil came in the games, he would bring it up.”

The daily battles during practice should only help the Wildcats prepare for conference matchups with the likes of Providence's Kris Dunn, Georgetown's D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and the experienced guard play at Butler.

Villanova begins the 2015-16 season on Nov. 13 against Fairleigh Dickinson.