Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo introduced himself to a national audience on Monday night in the first half of the national championship game. The redshirt sophomore guard exploded for 18 points off the bench in the first 20 minutes, nearly half of his team’s 37 points.
He doesn’t even start for Villanova
The Wildcats have formidable depth at guard, so DiVincenzo usually finds himself on the bench to start each game while junior Phil Booth gets the start. But DiVincenzo is the first guy off the bench and a crucial part of the Villanova rotation. He was third on the team this season with 13.0 points per game. He was, of course, the Big East Sixth Man of the Year.
He’s known as “The Big Ragu” and “The Michael Jordan of Delaware”
The first nickname might not make much sense for a guard, but the second—bestowed on him by Villanova coach Jay Wright—has stuck. Duke’s Trevon Duval, another Delaware native, might have something to say about that, though.
DiVincenzo attended Salesianum School, a private Catholic school in Wilmington, and won consecutive Delaware state tournament championships.
Wait, let’s go back to that “Big Ragu” thing
The nickname is the work of Fox broadcaster Gus Johnson, who calls Villanova games on a regular basis.
“I'm assuming because I'm an Italian with red hair,” DiVincenzo explained after the Wildcats’ win over Alabama.
Any self-respecting cook in DiVincenzo’s family probably isn’t happy his nickname is derived from jarred sauce, but that’s what Johnson went with. “Big Bolognese” would have at least been alliterative.
He’s an explosive athlete
Look at this LeBron-style chase-down block!
He’s likely going to be playing in the NBA soon
DiVincenzo might not start for the Wildcats, but he still has a future as a pro player. Though It’s a long shot that he’ll declare for the draft after this season, he still has two more years of college eligibility.