Donte DiVincenzo became a household name with his star-turn during the final of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. He led Villanova to its second title in three years with a jaw-dropping 31-point performance. He proceeded to put his name in the NBA draft pool, and on Thursday he absolutely lit up the scouting combine.
DiVincenzo measured in at 6’3.5″ inches without shoes, with a 6’6″ wingspan and he weighed in at 200.6 pounds, with just five percent body fat. But that’s not where he scored big.
During athletic testing, the man known as “The Big Ragu,” busted out a combine-best standing vertical leap of 34.5 inches, and tied for the best max vertical leap at 42 inches. Those are huge numbers for DiVincenzo and much better than expected. He also finished fifth in the lane agility drill (10.72 seconds), was 11th in the shuttle run (3.11 seconds) and ninth in the three-quarter sprint (3.11 seconds). Those are all fantastic results for him.
Though he’s a bit small for an NBA shooting guard, DiVincenzo’s physical measurements aren’t terrible. He actually lines up pretty well with Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris. His 6’6″ wingspan and insane athleticism should help him deal with facing bigger players on both ends of the floor.
While many — including myself — expected DiVincenzo to go through the draft process then return to Villanova for his redshirt junior year, I now think he should stay in the 2018 NBA Draft. His test results from Thursday have vaulted him squarely into the first round.
When you look at his numbers last year, DiVincenzo was clearly on a path to being Nova’s best player in 2018-19. He averaged 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, while hitting 48.1 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from deep. He’d be a household name and likely a preseason All-America pick if he went back to school. But he’ll likely never top what he did during the national title game or his testing results from Thursday.
All eligible players have until June 11 to remove their names from the draft, but DiVincenzo should opt to stay in. He almost certainly won’t improve his stock much by coming back to college.
If DiVincenzo goes back to Villanova, it should be because he truly loves school. If he feels he’s ready to move on, staying in the draft is the smart move.