The beauty of the bond between social media and college basketball is what gets us a closer look at what’s going on within our favorite programs.

You get updates on birthday celebrations, what the team is doing away from the game and most of all, you get to see who’s closest to who. It makes us fans feel included, like how at the end of SuperBad, we all wondered if we were the McLovin of our friend group. We assume that the guys who are classmates are especially close and in the sense of Villanova’s three juniors, we would be absolutely right.

Collin Gillespie, Dhamir “Dha Dha” Cosby Roundtree and Jermaine Samuels are close as they get and for obvious reasons; winning a championship with some a guy can help bring y’all a little closer.

But, just like a year that ends in a win, when we go back to look at the full story…it’s not always pretty.

3 juniors 2At the start of their career, they found themselves on a team that would later send six guys to the NBA. They were expected to never get off the bench but due to injuries and large point margins, they saw a decent amount of playing time for freshman on a team loaded with upperclassmen. Their sophomore year was definitely a successful one, but a completely different look because they were grouped in with the upperclassmen. With Phil Booth, Tim Delaney and Eric Paschall being the only true upperclassmen, the three sophomores were thrust into leadership roles on a team that had has many high expectations as it did low ones.

The worst part about winning a ‘Chip is that before you even get to summer training, people are saying one of two things: “they’re going to repeat” or “they’re going to suck”. There is no in-between.

Last year, after a 30 point home loss against Michigan, a lot of people were saying the ladder, and after they ran off 10 straight to start Big East conference play, the momentum swung the other way. They also found individual success with Dha Dha winning the MVP of the Advocare Invitational, Jermaine Samuels exploding for several huge games including 29 points against Marquette and Collin Gillespie averaging 10+ points on the season and setting a new career-high with a 30 ball at Georgetown.

Ultimately, their preliminary round of leading ended with a Big East regular-season Championship, Big East Tournament Championship and a double-digit loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Purdue.

All of that is behind them, the good as much as the bad. Their prior success means nothing and their prior failures don’t shape the future. Now they’re about to start a year where there isn’t a single senior on a scholarship. Obviously, this group is as tight-knit as they are decorated but it’s their time to lead and anyone who isn’t Patrick Star is waiting to see how they do. I think it’s going to take patience because, at the end of the day, you can’t buy experience.

Imagine when this group, that knows what winning looks like learns to lead and go into their final season with one of the most talented rosters in the country. I know I’m biased, I own that, but the last time a ‘Nova team was led by a group of seniors who contributed as a freshman it made for am ill a** ending.

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