Player: Dante Cunningham
2007-2008 Key Stats: 30.0 minutes, 10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 0.9 blocks, 54.4 FG%
2007-2008 Review: Last season Dante Cunningham led the team in rebounds and blocks and was the second leading scorer, but somehow he is underrated. He is “the rock” of the team because he is so steady and consistent. He quietly does what he needs to do to help the team win. Cunningham usually isn’t the go-to option on offense. He only scored 20+ points once last season, but he always scored right around 10 points a game. He also led the team with five double-doubles. Despite his modest reputation, Dante was the star on several occasions last season because of his knack for making game-winning shots. Dante had what should have been the game-winning put-back with 2.2 seconds left against NC State in the Old Spice Classic. Of course everyone remembers Dante’s put-back off of Malcolm Grant’s miss with 5.9 seconds left to seal the epic comeback victory over LSU. He sank the game-winning free throws against Pitt with 10 seconds left. Finally, despite missing a free throw with 4.9 seconds left against UConn, Dante got his own offensive rebound to save the game.
2008-2009 Preview: This year I expect more of the same from Dante “the rock” Cunningham. He is entering his final year at Villanova and is the most experienced player on the team. Last year Cunningham added a mid-range jumper to his repertoire, but he struggled to make it consistently. I’m sure he has been using the offseason to perfect that shot. The best thing about Dante is that you know what you're going to get from him every night. He will average close to a double-double, have a high field goal percentage, and play hard on defense. Not only is Dante the second-leading scorer and anchor on defense, he will also have the responsibility of guiding the young Wildcat forwards. Let's hope Dante makes the most of his last year in Villanova blue and white.