Friday, November 6, 2009

Fact's Player By Player Season Preview

Basketball Season is finally nearing it's start and if you're like me, it can not come soon enough. The 'Cats are looking to make a return trip to the final four for the first time in school history. Jay Wright and his staff are hoping that the blue chip recruiting class they hauled in will not only be able to offset the losses of Dante Cunningham and Dwayne Anderson but also take on increased responsibility early due to Reggie Redding being suspended for the beginning of the season as a result of his possession of a green leafy substance.

In this entry, I'll be giving my (uneducated) expectations for players on the team who have a chance to contribute (the players will be listed in approximately their spot in the rotation to start the season.)  Come January, I'll do a mid season edition that will be both a second half season preview and grades for the first
 half.

Starters
  • Scottie Reynolds- In three seasons on the Main Line, Scottie has already cemented his spot in Villanova history. His scoring output and NCAA tournament heroics already give him the case to be one of the greatest players ever to play on the corner of Lancaster and Ithan and this year Scottie can put himself on a plateau all by himself as he has a realistic chance of becoming Villanova's all time leading scorer in Men's basketball and an outside chance of becoming the school's all time leader among Men and Women combined. With 1620 points in his career heading into the season, Scottie is 380 points away from 2,000, 624 points away from breaking Kerry Kittles' Men's scoring record of 2,243 and 789 to break the combined mark of 2,408 points set by "Sister" Shelly Pennefather. My prediction for this season: 17-20 PPG 3.5-5 APG
  • Corey Fisher- To me, Fish is an enigma. When he's good, he can dominate a game, but sometimes he just makes mind blowingly shitty decisions. When Fisher sees a lane to the hoop he attacks it like a smaller, dumber Dwyane Wade. Fortunately for Fish, he has a better taste in women than D-Wade (and as far as I know, Fish doesn't have herpes Enough of that though.. I think Fish will score 11-13 points a game and dish out 4-6 assists a game. 
  • Corey Stokes- Stokes possesses the prettiest looking jump shot I've ever seen outside of Ray Allen but just because it's pretty doesn't mean that it's going to go in. Stokes' range and raw shooting ability are matched by few others but it varies from as cold as his brother Bizz's rhymes to as hot as The Voice's mother. If he keeps taking shots, the chances are he's going to make some but I'd like to develop some moves so he can get to the hoop because he's usually bigger than the guys who are guarding him.  This year, he'll have to take on an expanded defensive role during the early season until Reggie comes back and if he plays solid defense (he's been improving), it bodes well for his future. I'm thinking Stokes is good for 8-15 points a game (wide range because of how streaky he can be) and not much on the rebounding or assists fronts.
  • Antonio Pena- To be quite frank, when I heard about Reggie getting Busted for pot, my first thoughts were "why couldn't it have been Pena?" Antonio has been around for a couple of years and frankly I've lost patience. He's the typical "looks like Tarzan plays like Jane type of player." If he could translate any of his athletic ability to the basketball court, he might be good but I don't see any of the tendencies that a young Dante Cunningham showed (work ethic, intelligence, killer instinct.) I don't expect much from Tone and to be honest and I wouldn't doubt if he's buried on the bench for much of the year if Mouph comes out strong and Taylor King becomes too good to leave on the bench. That being said, I wouldn't mind in the least to be proven wrong.  I expect 6-8 points and 5-7 boards a game from Tone, hopefully he gives more than that.  
  • Mouphtaou Yarou- I can't lie, I love me some big men (no homo.)  When I was young, I wanted desperately to be a post man.  I worked on my post moves, practiced my "sky" hook, and took way too many (accidental) elbows to the face from much taller people.  I thought I was going to be the next Bill Walton (except the whole batshit crazy part.) In my opinion and the opinions of people who know way more about basketball than me, Mouph has the potential to be a pretty big deal and the hype is showing as there is already a secret society on campus of which he is the namesake. Villanova has not had a true big man since Malik Allen graduated a decade ago. The big man was the only thing lacking in both 2006 and last year's final four run. If Mouph, stays healthy and listens to Frank Tchuisi (about everything except basketball) he has the chance to be a special player, which is why Jay traveled all the way to Benin to meet his family. The original plan for Mouph was to start the season on the bench and then work him into the starting lineup during the lead-in to Big East conference play, but Cheech's Reggie's suspension will force him into the starting lineup earlier than anticipated. Let's hope that the early exposure in games helps his development rather than hampers it. Any offensive production would be nice, but what I really want is for him to control the glass as well as contest and block shots. Villanova hasn't had a shot blocker since Jason Lawson graduated in 1997.  6-8 points a game, 5-7 boards and about 1-1.5 blocked shots a game are what I expect from Mouph as a freshman.  
Reserves and others after the Jump

  Reserves
  • Taylor King- The wait is up, it's time to see what this big whitey can do on the court. Word from Jay is that Taylor is the best shooter he's ever coached. A big lefty with half court range, King also has adequate post moves for a guy his size which combined with lethal range is a deadly combination. What remains to be seen is if he can do anything off the dribble which was his achilles heel coming out of high school and may be why Coach K (whiny little bitch) decided to keep him on the bench at duke even though he flashed as a three point bomber. Jay will have three more years to mold King into the type of player he needs to be to be successful at Villanova. If he scores 10-12 points a game, consistently grabs 5 boards and has an occasional offensive explosion when needed I'll be very happy. 
  • Maalik Wayns- Maalik was the first commitment from our now vaunted class of 2013. A local kid from Roman Catholic High School in Center City who decided to stay close to home (thank god.)  Expect a lot of annoying Kyle Lowry comparisons from the mothership, but expect Maalik to be a better shooter and overall offensive threat than Kyle was.  Wayns finds himself in a crowded backcourt but Reggie's suspension should give him at least some chance to prove himself on the court during the early season against the cupcakes.  I expect Wayns to be the freshman that gets the second most time in the rotation behind Mouph, and with good play, his role will continue to grow.  His contribution on offense could vary depending on how much Jay is willing to go with four guards.  If four guards are used extensively (I have a hunch that this is not the case,) then we could see him scoring 8-12 points a gam and dishing out 3-5 assists but I have a feeling that 8-9 points a game and the assists about 4 assists will be about par for the course.  
  • Dominic Cheek- When I look at Dominic Cheek, I see Kerry Kittles.  They're about the same height, weight, skin complexion (no homo,) and possesses a similar skillset.  I do not foresee the type of production from Cheek (at least early on) that Kerry due to the logjam in front of him.  If Dom  is even 3/5s the player Kittles was, that bodes well for the future of Villanova's program.  6-9 Points a game and 2-4 boards is about what I'd expect early on as he works himself into the lineup but later on, I could see him becoming a force.  At this point though, he needs to add strength and frankly there is too much talent in front of him.
  • Maurice Sutton- After redshirting his first year, Maurice "Olive Oyl" Sutton hopes to become a part of the frontcourt rotation for The 'Cats this season.  He'll have an upfield battle ahead of him and it will be a victory for him if he can get five meaningful minutes a game.  The fact is, his arms are about the size of mine (girly arms) and he can't weigh more than 210 pounds.  He's about 30 pounds underweight in the most physical league in the country, so unless he has a killer mid range jump shot (he doesn't) and sweet post moves (doesn't have those either) he can't be a factor offensively.  The Official Website (which is one of the worst collegiate websites in America by the way, don't let the pleasing aesthetics fool you) says he has good "shot blocking instincts" which is about the same thing they said about Frank Tchuisi.. so i don't know what we can expect in the defensive area.  When he signed, I really didn't understand why he came to Villanova for any reasons other than academic, I honestly think his career could closely mirror that of Andrew Ott hopefully it doesn't though because he seems like a pretty good kid.  Hopefully we'll see Mo get 5-8 minutes a game without seeing a significant drop off in team production.
  • Jason Colenda- He gives and receives sweet chest bumps that's about all.  He's probably the least likable walk-on Villanova has had in my 14 years of going to games.  He wishes he was Ross Condon but a) He's not Jewish and b) He doesn't have a sweet buzz cut.  
  • Russell Wooten- Russell paid his dues on the practice squad and he's back on the squad for his second year.  Expect less from him than you do from Colenda (nothing) but take solace in the fact that he's not a dick.

Suspended
  • Reggie Redding- Reggie, Reggie, Reggie.. WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING! You were primed for the largest offensive role of your career and you fucked it up.  By the time you come back, the other guys might not even be looking in your direction.  I know you're not a bad guy and frankly if it were me, I'd blame it on Colenda, but you can't be smoking pot while you're still getting a free ride in college and if you're going to smoke pot, don't leave it in plain sight in your car, that's fair game for a cop.  I know, I know.. Marijuana is not a drug. but seriously, you're 21 just go to a bar and get fucked up.  Enough chastising, Reggie is the best lockdown defender on the team and that will be missed at the beginning of the season.  When he gets back expect about 7 points 5 boards 2 assists and a steal and a half a game. 

Likely To Redshirt
  • Isaiah Armwood- Word on the street is that Armwood is raw and that he'll redshirt.  It makes sense for the long term stability of the program, I just hope he doesn't become disenfranchised.  Armwood is blessed with great athleticism and a decent mid range game but he's not quite there to be banging in the paint with guys who weigh 30-70 pounds more than him.  So hopefully he puts on some muscle, develops his game some more then gives us four years of quality basketball.
  •  
    So there we go.. Your 2009-2010 Villanova Wildcats.  Only one week is left until the season opener against Fairleigh Dickinson.

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