Dobbs Ferry native Eric Paschall earned the reputation of a scorer in high school and he lived up to it during his freshman season with Fordham in 2014.
Paschall had 31 points and 10 rebounds in his debut against New York Tech, setting a school record for most points by a freshman in his opening game, he was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week twice and led the team in scoring 15.9 points per game. He also averaged 5.5 rebounds and made a team-high 45 3-pointers.
The talented forward was also voted the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Year and was the Met Basketball Writers Association Co-Rookie of the Year, along with Seton Hall freshman Angel Delgado but when his head Tom Pecora was fired in March 2015, Paschall decided to transfer to Villanova.
Per NCAA rules, Paschall had to sit out the 2015-16 season but he used his redshirt year wisely, working on his body under strength and conditioning coach and nutritionist John Shackleton while watching Villanova win their first national championship under Jay Wright.
In 2016-17, Paschall was a complimentary player, averaging 7.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 21.7 minutes over 36 games (eight starts) and he was a key starter last season, when Villanova won another National Championship, averaging 10.6 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 35.6 from 3-point range and 81.3 from the free-throw line in 29.8 minutes over 38 games.
Villanova routed Kansas 95-79 in the Final Four and Paschall was nearly perfect, shooting 10-for-11 from the field for a game-high 24 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes.
A New Challenge Arrived
When the NBA Draft claimed starters Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson and Omari Spellman and key reserve Donte DiVincenzo, Paschall and fellow senior Phil Booth were tasked with carrying the team this season but it hasn’t been easy for Villanova, they suffered improbable losses to Furman and Penn to break their 25-game winning streak over Philadelphia Big Five opponents and they spent the rest of the season battling back.
Paschall has done his part, he’s second on the team with 16.5 points, he leads Villanova with 6.2 rebounds and he’s shooting 45.0 percent from the field and 35.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Villanova’s National Championship defense remains on course after they beat No. 11 seed Saint Mary’s 61-57 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last Thursday, behind 20 points and six assists from Phil Booth and 14 points and six rebounds from Eric Paschall.
Villanova battles Purdue in the second round of the NCAA Tournament tonight and Eric Paschall can be a difference-maker, he played in the last meeting between these two teams, a 79-76 Villanova win on November 14, 2016, when he scored 11 points in just nine minutes.
Eric Paschall is a key offensive threat along with Phil Booth and his rebounding skills can lead to another win. Purdue outrebounded Old Dominion 45-41 in their 61-48 win in the first round but they allowed 13 offensive rebounds in the process.
The Old Dominion frontcourt turned those second chances into just four points but Paschall can dominate the glass and give second chances to an already efficient Villanova offense.
READ NEXT: Celtics Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Hornets; Al Horford Status Update