CHICAGO - Josh Hart has a huge decision looming. The good thing for him is there is an upside to both. Whether he stays in the NBA draft or returns to Villanova to defend the Wildcats' NCAA championship, each option could have a positive outcome.
"I'm definitely 50-50," Hart said Thursday at the NBA Draft Combine. "I'm torn between two good situations."
Hart is testing the NBA waters after a strong showing in the tournament. He scored 23 points with eight rebounds and four assists during the Final Four against Oklahoma while defending Buddy Hield.
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Hart finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in the title game. He has been asked about the dramatic victory over North Carolina during the combine. While Hart beams with pride over the championship, he wants to prove he can also win in the NBA.
"Obviously, being a winner helps," Hart said. "It's a great accomplishment, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change it for the world. But it's not something I want to hang my hat on. I want to be a winner, but I want to be a winner at the next level, also."
Hart averaged 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists last season. He is putting in work during the draft process to improve three-point shooting, which dropped from from 46.4 percent to 35.7 percent. He said he is focusing on his offense as he sees himself as a two-guard in the NBA.
To Hart, there is more to his game than just scoring. He compared himself to Tony Allen, Courtney Lee and Danny Green for other qualities.
"Guys like that - tough mentally, physically, hard-nosed," he said.
Villanova head coach Jay Wright advised Hart to be himself during the draft process, both on the court and in interviews. Hart has until May 25 to choose his next move. While receiving a first-round guarantee would be "awesome," his decision is not dependent on that as he says it can be difficult for teams to make that kind of commitment.
Becoming an NBA player is his ultimate goal, but playing for the Wildcats is very close to his heart.
"I love it there," Hart said of Villanova. "I love the program. I love the support. I love the players there. If that's my decision to go back, I'm going to love it."
Hart will begin workouts next week, including one with the Sixers. From there, he will gauge NBA interest and then make what he considers a win-win call.
"No pressure," Hart said. "I think either way, whatever my decision is, it's a good decision."