Villanova junior All-American Mikal Bridges will bypass his final year of eligibility and enter the NBA draft where he’s projected to be a lottery pick, he told ESPN. Bridges, a two-time national champion and the 2018 Julius Erving Award winner as the top small forward in college basketball, is considered one of the elite two-way players in this draft class. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has Bridges 10th overall in his most recent mock draft.
“I bring winning to your team,” Bridges told ESPN. “I learned about that at Villanova, what is a winning, championship atmosphere and what you’ve got to do to achieve it. You have to always be locked in. Two championships in three years — not a lot of people have done that.”
Bridges, 21, was the Big East Conference Tournament Player of the Year and a cornerstone force behind Villanova winning its second national title in three seasons. Villanova defeated Michigan for the NCAA championship this month. “There’s space in the NBA on the floor, and there’s this move toward position-less basketball that I fit into,” Bridges told ESPN. “I can shoot the ball. I can defend. I can move without the ball. I’m progressing in my game, getting better through work every day.”