Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Poll: What is Villanova's most likely outcome in 2011-2012?

The first five games of the 2011-2012 Villanova basketball season have been a mixed bag, and the losses have been undoubtedly disappointing. My question to the audience is this: What is the most likely postseason scenario for the Villanova basketball team?

Just vote in the poll in the upper right corner of the front page, and leave your comments on this post. Just remember that we're not trying to represent this as a scientific poll of any sort.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Deja Vu

Since the magical Final Four run during the 2009 season, it seems that every Villanova team has been exactly the same. There is no offensive organization, no defense of which to speak, and no scoring when the team has a small amount of time to do so. The offense seems to have one objective: find an open three pointer and shoot it. Such an offense is unacceptable when the best shooter on the team is streaky at best.

How do you go about changing this? Well, it should be a matter of developing a half court offense, but Jay Wright has demonstrated that his teams struggle to do so when they don't have prolific three point shooters. It seems that the only options are the burn, or the "catch and shoot" offense. Neither of those options work unless the players are exceptional, and the team also happens to play fantastic defense. Villanova does not have exceptional players at this point, and they definitely do not play fantastic defense.

My suggestions:
  1. Get boring- This team has a few very pronounced strengths, and perhaps the greatest of all of them is the ability of nearly all of the players on the floor to handle the ball, and make passes. That is the textbook of a motion offense, something that Jay Wright unquestionably knows a lot about given his tutelage under Rollie Massimino. The only problem is that the four out, one in motion seems to not fit the blueprint of this team, so some adjustment might be necessary.
  2. Find a rotation- Nothing about this team frustrates me more than the volume of substitutions that affect the rhythm of the game. This team would be much better off if they found a rotation of seven or eight players and stuck with it.
  3. Mouph- Get the ball to Mouphtaou Yarou please.
  4. Stop shooting threes, Maalik- Please, just stop. You hurt me.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

FIRE EVERYBODY


No excuse to lose to that team. Excuse me while I go to Philadelphia airport to throw eggs at the team.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Villanova beats UC Riverside 71-46


Maalik Wayns led Villanova with 23 points as they easily dispatched of UC Riverside in the first round of the 76 Classic. They moved a step closer to being ranked in the top 25 for the first time this season, and will play Saint Louis University in the second round of this tournament tomorrow.

Maalik Wayns Three Point Miss Counter:With his 0-4 performance tonight, Maalik Wayns has missed 15 three pointers on the season.

Happy Thanksgiving


Please accept our offering of smallpox and measles in keeping with the true spirit of Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sheila Reid repeats, women finish third

In what seems to be a scripted narrative by now, Sheila Reid outkicked Jordan Hasay of Oregon to win the NCAA championship by a very narrow margin. After some runner from SMU with a very hard to pronounce/spell name made a suicidal attack early, Reid and the pack reeled her in and the girl ended up a non-factor in the finish.

In the team race, the women weren't as lucky, finishing third behind Georgetown, who won their first national championship and Washington. Anyone who had been following this team all season could foresee that result, given the lack of a competitive fifth runner.

On the men's side, Villanova finished 13th, very respectable.

Villanova-Delaware highlights


It's a loss, but Jamal Abdur-Rahman makes me excited.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Villanova loses, ends a forgettable season


After beating Delaware five seasons in a row, everyone knew that Villanova's streak was bound to come to an end at some point, and if it had to happen, this season was perfect for it. Even though they lost, and there were some highly questionable calls by referees that led to that decision, I'm not upset because with 21 starters returning (including Jamal Abdur-Rahman <3,) I know that there is a foundation for success in the future. There were some things in this game that I would have done differently, but I can say one thing unequivocally: this team is light years better than the team that was on the field against Temple in the beginning of September, and in Chris Polony, they have a quarterback capable of doing some pretty big things.

Yes, when we look back on this season it will say that Villanova went 2-9, but they were a few breaks away from being 5-6, so it could be much, much worse. The 2012 season starts right now, and we have basketball season to hold us over until then.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Delaware transfer quarterbacks through the years: Pat Devlin


Quarterback at Delaware from 2009-2010
Originally attended Penn State

After the one season Rob Schoenhoft era was an unmitigated disaster, Delaware head coach K.C. Keeler decided against renewing Schoenhoft's scholarship and pursuing another transfer quarterback. Luckily for Keeler, there was a quarterback who was disgruntled with his situation at Penn State named Pat Devlin. When he was at Downingtown East High School, Devlin established himself as one of the most prolific high school quarterbacks in Pennsylvania history, breaking the state record for career record for passing yards in the state, and at the time he was considered the best quarterback to come out of Southeastern Pennsylvania in quite some time. When you consider Devlin was from the same county that produced future Pro Bowlers Matt Schaub and Matt Ryan you can realize that he was a big damn deal in high school.

Once he got to Delaware, Devlin seemed to be the real deal. While the team surrounding him his first season was garbage, Devlin still put up huge numbers and Delaware gave some very good teams runs for their money.  The next season, Devlin led the Blue Hens all the way to the national championship game, but they coughed up a comfortable lead in the second half to Eastern Washington and lost.

Pat Devlin was 0-2 against Villanova.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Look at the fear in Joe Flacco's face


It's beautiful. Go Nova, beat delaware.

Delaware transfer quarterbacks through the years: Rob Schoenhoft


Quarterback at Delaware in 2008
Originally attended Ohio State

After being moved to tight end by the Ohio State coaching staff, Rob Schoenhoft decided it would be a good decision to give KC Keeler a call, since Joe Flacco's departure left Delaware with a gaping hole at quarterback that needed filling. Needless to say, Schoenhoft did not fill that hole, and Delaware was forced to suffer by the single worst season in the proud history of the program, finishing 4-8. In fact, Schoenhoft and the Delaware offense were so inept at one point, that the coaches decided to incorporate a weird type of option offense using the tight end and a wide receiver at quarterback.

Schoenhoft was 0-1 in his career against Villanova.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Delaware transfer quarterbacks through the years: Joe Flacco

Quarterback at Delaware from 2006-2007
Originally attended Pittsburgh

If Dave Wannstedt were to look back at his career at Pitt, I think he would find that burying Joe Flacco behind Tyler Palko on the depth chart, which left Flacco disenfranchised and ultimately caused him to transfer to Delaware. In his two seasons at Delaware, Flacco made himself into a first round draft pick despite having crappy receivers and a very suspect offensive line during his entire time in college. In his senior season, Flacco led Delaware to a national championship game by winning two games on the road against Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois before eventually losing to Appalachian State in the national championship game.

Most importantly though, Flacco had an 0-2 record against Villanova.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Villanova takes its sweet time to beat La Salle

 

In a game where Villanova couldn't buy a basket for much of the game, they were able to overcome La Salle largely from the free throw line in a 76-69 victory. For much of the game, Maalik Wayns was absolutely excruciating to watch, but when things counted, he made some key shots, and he made all ten of the free throws that he took and he wound up leading Villanova with 22 points to go along with nine rebounds and four assists (three turnovers). Dominic Cheek added 18 points and eight rebounds, and James Bell (Who?) had 15 points and five rebounds. When he was in the game, Mouphtaou Yarou was an absolute monster on the boards, grabbing 14 rebounds to go along with his ten points, but for some reason, he was on the bench in the end of the second half and during much of overtime (he was not in foul trouble).

In other news, Friends Central senior Amile Jefferson was in the crowd

Maalik Wayns Three Point Miss Counter:
With his 2-7 performance tonight, Maalik Wayns has missed 7 three pointers this season.

Delaware transfer quarterbacks through the years: Sonny Riccio


Quarterback at Delaware from 2004-2005
Originally Attended Missouri

The success that was had at Delaware under Andy Hall, which included a national championship was bound to create a situation where his successor would have extremely high expectations from the start, but that didn't prepare Sonny Riccio (who is a legend to some) for the vitriol he would unfairly receive from Delaware fans, which included a Facebook group dedicated to their disdain toward him titled "Sonny Riccio Sucks".

Although he was from Western Pennsylvania, Riccio went with Gary Pinkel's staff to Missouri when Pinkel, who had originally recruited him to go to Toledo became the new head coach for the Tigers. Once he was in Columbia, playing time behind future NFL stud Brad Smith was few and far between, and he really only held kicks and saw mop up duty. Naturally, a  kid wants to play, and that's where K.C. Keeler came into the picture.

Riccio's two seasons at Delaware were largely unspectacular, but he was nowhere near as bad as Delaware fans said he was, and he had two more wins against Villanova than any Delaware quarterback since.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Delaware transfer quarterbacks through the years: Andy Hall


Played at Delaware from 2002-2003
Originally Attended Georgia Tech

After languishing on the bench for three years at Georgia Tech, Cheraw, South Carolina native Andy Hall decided to start a tradition and in 2002, he became the first transfer quarterback of the K.C. Keeler era. In his second season, Hall did something that no other Delaware transfer quarterback in the past decade has done: led the Blue Hens to a national championship with a blowout victory over Colgate in the 2003 national championship game.

After he graduated from Delaware, Hall was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the sixth round of the 2004 NFL draft, but he never played in an NFL regular season game, and ended up playing a bunch of arena football before eventually retiring.

Villanova-LaSalle primer


Aside from Villanova, the only Philadelphia school to have won an NCAA title is La Salle, but that was in the 1950's, and their basketball team has been dog shit for the last two decades, not having made a postseason tournament of any kind since an NCAA berth in 1992.

Tomorrow night, The Explorers will travel to The Pavilion to face a Villanova team that is fresh off of pounding Monmouth into the floor. Although the matchup between the two teams last season was a close one, La Salle lost Aaric Murray, their best player in a decade when he decided to transfer to West Virginia. He was a headcase anyway. In their first game this season, La Salle beat Lafayette by a sizable margin, but that was Lafayette. Anything less than a convincing Villanova win is unacceptable.

If Villanova Wins: They are 2-0
If Villanova Loses: I will jump off the Ben Franklin Bridge.
Maalik Wayns Three Point Miss Counter: Through one game this season, Maalik Wayns has missed two three pointers.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sheila Reid doesn't care if your race is 500 meters too long

Suck it Georgetown

In an apparent gaffe by the person driving the pace cart at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic cross country regional women's race, the course went about 500m long, only delaying the inevitable Sheila Reid kick and victory.

From Villanova's official website:

While the team scores were remarkably close the individual finishing times were a little higher than expected due to a re-route halfway through the race. Each of the 199 runners in the field ran 500 meters longer than the original 6,000 meter course would have entailed.
 How something like that happens is beyond me, but if Reid had somehow been outkicked with 50 meters to go (not likely) I an imagine that Gina Procaccio would have been pretty pissed. Anyways, Reid won, both the men and the women qualified for nationals, and all is right in the world. Hopefully we can see the women defend two titles next monday.

Battle of the Blue TV Promo


I've seen about five of these on TV in the past few days, so it's good to know that they're advertising this.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Harry Perretta wins his 600th game


My father graduated from Villanova in 1979. Earlier that year, Harry Perretta was just completing his first season as the head coach for the Villanova women's basketball team, a job that he began when he was a 22 year old recent college graduate, and women's basketball women's basketball wasn't even an NCAA sport.

Fast forward 33 seasons, and Perretta earned his 600th career victory when his team beat Iona 76-47 earlier today. That's a remarkable achievement for anyone, but especially for a coach in an extremely difficult conference at a school that can't pay fans to go to women's games. 

I'm not much of a fan of the women's game, but I am a fan of anything Villanova, and Harry Perretta has given as much of his life to Villanova as anybody else, and he deserves the respect of any Villanova fan for the tremendous work he does.

Villanova-Monmouth Highlights


The Dominic Cheek show.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Villanova beats Monmouth 106-70


Dominic Cheek led the way with 27 points, Mouphtaou Yarou kicked in 24 to go along with 10 boards, Maalik Wayns had 15 points and 5 assists (zero turnovers!) and Darrun Hilliard and JayVaughn Pinkston kicked in 9 apiece as The 'Cats handled Monmouth easily.

Maalik Wayns Three Point Miss Counter:
With his 3-5 performance tonight, Maalik Wayns has missed 2 three pointers this season.

New Villanova Basketball Highlight Video


Courtesy of Sean Donovan. It's basketball season!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Series: Delaware transfer quarterbacks through the years

Joe Flacco

In the week leading up to Villanova's game against Delaware, I will be profiling the ringers who have led Delaware to all of their success in the decade since KC Keeler took over as head coach.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

SOCCER!

 A preview will be coming tomorrow, in which I will address why you should go to the Big East semifinal at Red Bull Arena.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Villanova wins a meaningless exhibition by 33 points


So, Villanova beat NYIT 91-58 on the strength of 22 points from Maalik Wayns and 17 points from James Bell. That's about all, I might check back a little later with a new feature for this season: The Maalik Wayns three point miss counter.

With apologies to Chris Polony


Well, Chris Polony is proving me wrong. Six quarters does not a season make, but I am now confident that he is the quarterback that should start the Delaware game, and get the first snap next spring. I'm not willing to anoint him as the quarterback of the future yet, because I have still have some concerns, but I am willing to say that I have been pleasantly surprised with how he has done once he has taken the reigns full time.

At this point, Polony leads all Villanova quarterbacks in passing yards, pass efficiency, touchdown passes and interception percentage. So it's time to give credit where credit is due, and hope that he goes out and torches the Delaware defense.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Video: Bobby Curtis after his marathon debut in New York


Sunday in the New York Marathon, former Villanova All-American Bobby Curtis ran a 2:16:44 debut, finishing 15th overall and placing third among Americans. Overall race winner Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya shattered the course record by over two and a half minutes, finishing in 2:05:06.

In the women's race, Jen Rhines dropped out in the 16th mile.

More Video (with Molly Pritz, Lauren Fleshman and #1 American Meb Keflezighi):

Responding to Ed Rendell, point by point

Like most of you, I have been following the crazed realignment of the conferences in college sports with a combination of amazement, laughter and a sense of wonder.'

You are truly a man of the people, Mr. Ex-Governor.

Texas Christian in the Big East? Oops, not really.

If you don't think TCU was a good addition to the conference from a money/football competitiveness standpoint, then you are an idiot.

Pitt to the ACC? Only 7 or so hours' drive from the Atlantic Ocean.

This happens a lot.. Louisana Tech is in the Western Athletic Conference along with Hawaii, St. Louis is in the Atlantic 10 and Colorado is in the Pacific 12 despite not even being in the Pacific time zone.

Missouri to the SEC? Don't Missouri's players play for the West in the East-West Shrine Game?

Arkansas and Kentucky both border Missouri, and the flagship institutions from both of those states are also in the SEC. Also, if you knew anything you'd know that the East-West Shrine Game is not significant anymore.
 
It's all one big joke that demonstrates how clearly money is the driving force today in college sports. But nowhere has this "it's so funny it's sad" charade played out more laughably than in the Big East.

Yes, money is the driving force, and that's exactly why Temple wants to play in the Big East.. This is a two way street, Ed.

Faced with the loss of Syracuse and Pitt and with the potential loss of Louisville and West Virginia, the conference reportedly has reacted by extending invitations to Boise State, Navy and Air Force to join for football only, and to Central Florida, Houston and Southern Methodist for all sports. Good grief, Charlie Brown.

You fail to realize that football and television markets are the driving force behind expansion, and those schools all have one or the other.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A preview of the 2011-2012 Villanova offense


The Big East has retained Bob Loblaw as counsel


In serious news, the Big East has filed suit against West Virginia in a Rhode Island court.

The filing in full is here.

Villanova Soccer Makes History

Last night at Notre Dame, the Villanova soccer team won their first Big East tournament game in history by shutting out The Irish 1-0 on the strength of freshman Aaron Dennis' fifth goal of the season, which came in the 34th minute. The win came despite the fact that Notre Dame controlled possession for most of the game, and had a double digit advantage in the corner kicks department.

Next up for the Villanova soccer team is a quarterfinal match at USF, who are ranked in the top five in the nation and could contend nationally.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Steve Addazio is an awesome coach

Okay guys, we're going to run up the middle 60 times tonight..
 
After Al Golden left Temple for greener pastures, Temple fans were largely convinced that Steve Addazio would bring their program to the next level, deliberately ignoring what Florida fans had been saying for a while, and Addazio was telling recruits the same thing about the Temple program.

Nine games into the Steve Addazio era, those who left at the decision to hire him are having the last laugh, as it looks like Temple will yet again miss out on the MAC championship game despite having the most talented roster in recent history.

What's the problem with Addazio? Well, he's predictable, and his play calling patterns were all but figured out by the SEC. Last night, he kept running it up the middle with Heisman Trophy Candidate Bernard Pierce despite the fact that it didn't work. If something doesn't work the first 20 times, the chances are that it probably won't work the 21st, and you should adjust your gameplan. His loyalty to quarterback Chester Stewart, despite the fact that there are greater options behind him has been another failing of Addazio so far, although it looks like he has finally realized that sophomore Chris Coyer is the superior option.

It remains to be seen what will happen when Daz has his own players, but the early returns from the Steve Addazio era show that he really hasn't made any adjustments from what made him despised by Gator fans everywhere.

Even Hitler hates Addazio:

Searching for a silver lining in this season for Villanova


When a team has one win through eight games, it's very difficult to find things that are encouraging, but this Villanova team is just young enough that it's possible to find things to be positive about, especially because we knew headed into the season that this would be a rebuilding year. There are obviously things to be concerned about, like the uncertain future at the quarterback position, but there are many things that can be looked at as positives, especially if the team finishes the season strong.

Three things to be excited about: 
  1. Young tailbacks- Villanova's leading rusher this season in yards, yards per carry and touchdowns has been redshirt freshman Austin Medley, who is averaging a very impressive 5.6 yards yards per carry. True freshman Jamal Abdur-Rahman, who has mostly been playing wide receiver the past few games has the second highest yards per carry average on the team.
  2. The young linebackers- The last time that two true freshman got as much playing time as Dillon Lucas and Joey Harmon have, it was 2007, when Terence Thomas and Marquis Kirkland were pressed into action early in the season, and went on to be perhaps the greatest linebacker tandem in school history.
  3. General youth- Of the players listed as starters for the game against UMass this weekend, only James Pitts is graduating, which means that 21 starters will return, not including Norman White and Chidozie Ekweozor, who were both expected to be starters, but suffered injuries prior to the season.
Obviously this is a lost season, but I can't honestly say that any of the young players who have been thrown into the fire have performed poorly. Everyone knew that this was a rebuilding year, and it hasn't gone to plan, but you can't expect to replace the production of the All-Americans that Villanova lost.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Easily The Highest Quality Drake Video Yet


Because it's professionally shot by the company that produced Hoops Mania.

This Weekend: Villanova's Bobby Curtis Will Make His Marathon Debut


Bobby Curtis, a former Villanova All-American who is currently running professionally for Reebok is making his marathon debut this weekend when he will run the New York Marathon.

This season was easily the best of Curtis' career, setting a personal best in the 10,000m early in the season, and then making an extremely impressive debut at the half-marathon in September in Philadelphia, both times placing him among the top ten Americans ever at each distance. Given his track times this season, a sub 2:10 marathon would not be out of the question for him, but I'd say a time between 2:11-2:12 would be more likely, as New York is a very difficult (slow) course for a marathon.

Joining him on the women's side will be three time Olympian, and fellow Villanovan Jen Rhines, the only woman in American history to make Olympic teams in the 5,000m, 10,000m and the marathon. Rhines hasn't run a marathon in five years, but the conventional wisdom is that her form translates better in the marathon than any other event. This January, she won the USA Half Marathon Championships, and she was on the World Championship team in Daegu, South Korea in the 10,000m, ultimately finishing in ninth place, and the second American behind 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan.

Curtis on making his marathon debut:
Watch more videos on Flotrack

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

BREAKING: All Six Big East Invitations Revealed

A highly placed source within the Big East has given me an insight into the schools that they are about to invite. Since realignment is football driven, all of the invitees will be NAIA members with football teams.

They are as follows:
  • Haskell Indian Nations University (KS)
  • Asuza Pacific University
  • Morningside College (IA)
  • Notre Dame College (OH) 
  • Texas College
  • University of Alberta 
My source thinks that this will be a very competitive conference with "great growth potential" as he framed it.

The Real Ed Rendell


Just a bully who tries to protect things with which he can potentially benefit. He also has had been in league with some very questionable organizations throughout his career.

I'm just waiting to hear about the quid pro quo with Rendell and Temple.