Monday, December 31, 2012

Ryan Arcidiacono Named Big East Rookie of the Week

For the second time this season, Villanova freshman point guard Ryan Arcidiacono has been named Big East Conference rookie of the week. In the week in question, Arcidiacono scored 17 points in the game against NJIT this past Friday and added three assists while not turning the ball over a single time. In recent games, Ryan has drastically cut back on his turnovers, with only three in Villanova's last four contests.

It seems as if he is finally settling in to a role, and it looks like he'll only continue to improve.

Simulation: Villanova Will Struggle in Conference Play

Big Apple Buckets, a college basketball blog that focuses mainly on the major college basketball teams in New York City through an analytical lens simulated the Big East 10,000 times using Ken Pomeroy's model, and its results were fairly discouraging for Villanova fans. Villanova finished with the best record in the Big East in exactly zero of the simulated seasons, and their projected conference win total of 5.7 is the second worst in the conference, only ahead of DePaul.

Here's the full list:
  1. Louisville – 15.4
  2. Pittsburgh – 14.7
  3. Syracuse – 13.6
  4. Cincinnati – 11.4
  5. Notre Dame – 10.3
  6. Georgetown – 9.5
  7. Connecticut – 8.6
  8. Marquette – 8.4
  9. Providence – 7.4
  10. Rutgers – 6.8
  11. Seton Hall – 6.7
  12. St. John’s – 6.1
  13. South Florida – 5.9
  14. Villanova – 5.7
  15. DePaul – 4.4
So let's just hope that Villanova gets significantly better, or they're undervalued so far.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Villanova-NJIT Postgame Presser

Largest losing margin for NJIT this season.

Jim Boeheim Wants to Keep Playing Villanova

Boeheim on his weekly radio show talking about preserving rivalries:
“We are talking to St. John’s, Villanova and Georgetown. We want to play at least two of them a year. We want to get to New York, Philadelphia and Washington. We will try to get to New York as much as possible.”
This is huge, because a Syracuse-Villanova game at the Wells Fargo Center is a guaranteed 17,000+ tickets sold, and now that it's a premium non-conference game, Villanova will probably be able to charge more for said tickets.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Villanova Plays Poorly, Still Beats NJIT

Normally when a team shoots 30.8% from the field, and less than 20% from outside, you would expect them to lose the game. Well, Villanova did both of those things tonight and still wound up beating NJIT 70-60, thanks to some good free throw shooting, and much better ball handling than in recent games. Despite the fact that they shot so poorly, this is the type of game that teams need to win.

Ryan Arcidiacono had arguably his best game on the Main Line this year, scoring 17 points on 6-13 from the field with four threes, and most encouragingly, no turnovers all game. Maurice Sutton scored 10 points on 5-6 shooting along with seven boards and three blocks.

The rest of the team shot like an absolute abortion. Still though, it's not a bad thing to win a game when you play poorly. Good teams win games where they play poorly. Hopefully this becomes a good team at some point.

I'll have more on this tomorrow when I watch this game again.

Song of the Day: 12/28/2012

I saw this cover of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" on the trailer for Zero Dark Thirty, and it instantly made me interested in seeing a film that I had no previous interest in seeing. It's a Belgian women's choir called Scala & Kolacny Brothers.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nasty Dunk by Dante Cunningham

This was Sunday, but it's awesome.

The Best Villanova Women's Team Ever?

Heading into the final games of their out of conference schedule, the Villanova women have an RPI of 9. Presuming they are able to maintain this, we could have one team in the NCAA Tournament that's a serious contender to make it to the Final Four.

I really just posted this so that people go to women's basketball games. It makes the athletic department lose less money on them.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ty Johnson Officially to South Carolina

Earlier today we saw reports that former Villanova guard Ty Johnson wasn't going to visit Illinois and was most likely to head to South Carolina, but now it appears to be confirmed. He'll start classes in Columbia in January, and will be eligible to play at the conclusion of the fall 2013 semester.

Best of luck to Ty in his future.

Video: Villanova-Monmouth Full Game

Just bear with the horrible commentary.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Villanova Christmas List

Last year we did this but didn't have too much luck, so let's try this again. This school year at Villanova is a year of replenishment after a largely trying 2011-2012 year. The Villanova football team already got things out on the right track by making the playoffs after a horrible 2011, and the basketball team looks to be better than the team before it.

Now I have some wishes for the next few months.
  1. The basketball team going .500 in Big East play.*
  2. Mouphie somehow getting to 1,000 points.
  3. The women's basketball team making it to the Final Four.
  4. A series of Penn Relays titles.
  5. Healthy spring practice for the football team.
  6. Lacrosse and baseball!
  7. More Australians.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
*Ambitious, I know

Merry Christmas Folks

From my house to yours. Enjoy the Run DMC.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Is Villanova's Outside Shooting Sustainable?

Part of the reason that Villanova fell off a cliff last season was their utter incompetence from behind the three point line. The two highest volume outside shooters on last year's team took more than 50% of the team's threes between them, and combined to average a putrid 31% from beyond the arc. The team as a whole did not fare much better, averaging 32.1% between them, which led to a 31.5% team percentage from three point range. The 2011-2012 team was easily the worst shooting team of the Jay Wright era, and by a pretty decent margin.

This season is a different story. Even if you took out the Monmouth game, where the team shot the lights out from beyond the arc, they are still shooting 34% from beyond the arc, which is not great, but it is still markedly better than it was last year. What has changed? Well, aside from two players being gone from last year's team, there is also the fact that the team as a whole, at 37.3% is shooting better than the best qualifying three point shooter on last year's team, JayVaughn Pinkston, who shot 36.6% from beyond the arc.

Now comes the question of whether or not this is sustainable. I think it may be, because while James Bell may regress, I think that he's a smart enough player to curtail his three point attempts if he starts getting cold from outside. I also think that Ryan Arcidiacono is better at shooting threes than the 31.1% rate that he is currently converting at. There is also Tony Chennault, who has shown nothing throughout his career to demonstrate that he can make nearly half of his three point shots. I would expect him to regress, but he's a part time player.

If I had to guess though, I would say that the team as a whole regresses by about one percent for the rest of the season, which would still leave them at a respectable 36%.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I'm Down With JVP: Pinkston, Villanova Crush Monmouth

In perhaps the most complete game of his still reasonably young career, JayVaughn Pinkston scored 16 points and added eight assists to lead Villanova to a dominant 83-56 win over Monmouth last night in West Long Branch, New Jersey. Also in double figures for the 'Cats were Tony Chennault with 11, and Darrun Hilliard with 10.

On the positive side of things, Villanova had their best shooting game since probably 2009, going , 23 for 42 overall (54.8%), 15 for 22  from three (68.2%), and 22 for 27 from the free throw line (81.5%). That's huge. I'm a bit concerned though that they will jack up tons of threes for the next few games, even if there isn't much success on that end. On the positive though, JVP has been hitting threes at a 36.8% rate this season after starting absolutely ice cold, and if he keeps hitting them at that rate, this could be a bubble team (no, seriously).

On the negative side, a lot of turnovers (19) against a crappy team, but like I said in the game preview, Monmouth is a better team on defense than they are on offense, and Villanova was on the road, a situation that generally lends to more turnovers. There's also the fact that Monmouth forced 15 turnovers against Syracuse.

Four wins in a row sure feels nice, you guys.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Song of the Day: Apocalypse Edition

Just to have a little fun with the end times nonsense, there's a pretty extensive collection of songs about the apocalypse after the jump.

Villanova-Monmouth Primer

Villanova is not a particularly good shooting basketball team. Their team field goal percentage is ranked 246th in the country, and their two point field goal percentage is 262nd. While this is bad, they make up for it by being 157th in the country in three point field goal percentage, which is pretty much exactly in the middle of the road nationally.

Villanova's opponent tomorrow, Monmouth is 325th in the nation in field goal percentage, 316th in two point field goal percentage, and 299th in three point field goal percentage. Now, according to Ken Pomeroy, their opposing defense strength of schedule has been the 52nd most difficult in the country, so there is that, but the opposing defense strength of schedule that Villanova has been facing has been even more difficult, at 28, so the fact that Villanova still shoots much better than Monmouth despite Monmouth's less difficult defensive schedule really highlights how bad Monmouth is offensively (KenPom has their adjusted offensive efficiency the 319th best in the country compared to Villanova, which is 109th).

That being said, Monmouth is much better defensively than they are offensively, but their adjusted defensive ranking of 182nd is still in the lower half of the country.

Now there IS the wildcard of Villanova inexplicably playing an away game against an NEC team, so that probably accounts for about three points or so, but Villanova should still be double digit favorites over Monmouth based on the fact that they dwarf them in just about every category.

That is if the game gets played and the world doesn't end.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Required Viewing for Tomorrow

Armageddon. Michael Bay's finest work.

Ty Johnson Nearing a Decision

Best of luck to him in the future.

Villanova-Delaware Highlights

The athletic department was a bit late with these ones.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Song of the Day: 12/19/2012

Ramblin' Man by the Allman Brothers Band. I don't know if there are ten musicians/songwriters on earth who are more underrated than Dickey Betts.

It's Time to Ditch the Big 5

I know, old people love it, and there have been some pretty good games over the years, but now, with Villanova moving to a new conference, and an increased emphasis on out of conference scheduling needed in order to get at-large bids for the NCAA tournament or earn additional revenue, I was thinking that now is the time to pull out of the city series.

Don't get me wrong, the Big 5 was a great institution before the end of the original iteration of it. There were five teams that were generally competitive nationally, and the doubleheaders at the Palestra were a sight to behold for anyone who loves college basketball.

Since it was brought back 15 years ago though, the Big 5 is a shell of what it once was, and the current crop of Villanova students give off a vibe of not seeing those schools as rivals. This is problematic now that Villanova will be in a conference that does not include Syracuse, Louisville, or Pittsburgh. None of the Big Five games can sell out the Wells Fargo Center, which is something Villanova must be able to do out of conference, since they cannot rely on getting 20,000 people in an arena to play against DePaul or Seton Hall.

In order to boost Villanova's out of conference schedule, and its revenue generating ability, they must remove their commitment from playing four local schools that don't draw crowds nearly as well as national powers. In its new (weaker) conference environment, Villanova must schedule home and home series' against national powers, and setting aside four out of conference games every year makes it more difficult to do that.

It's time to get bold, leave the Big 5.

Video: John Robertson Accepting Jerry Rice Award

Pretty cool to get an award presented to you from the man who may be the greatest football player in history.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Song of the Day: 12/18/2012

Heart of Gold by Neil Young. I like live, stripped down versions of songs and this is a pretty stellar example of that.

Video: Villanova Realignment Press Conference

Part one. The link to part two is here.

Jim Boeheim is Not Bob Knight or Coach K

And he's an asshole
Last night, longtime Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim won his 900th career game, becoming only the third division one coach to have done so, and the first to have done so at the same school. Certainly a remarkable record of on court success, but even so, Boeheim sold his soul a long time ago, running a program where only serious actions are arbitrarily punished, and academic success is not a priority. For this purpose, I do not care about NCAA violations, because those do not judge the morality or mental fitness of the athlete necessary to attend college.

Casual Hoya, one of the best (and funniest) college blogs on the internet has compiled a list of crimes in the Syracuse basketball program during Boeheim's tenure, and they are numerous. From Eric Devendorf allegedly punching a girl, having Syracuse teammates contact her, and saying her credibility is in question, to willful inaction on positive drug tests, to Michael Carter-Williams' shoplifting incident this past week, Boeheim has a history of handling internal matters in a way that allows him to accrue wins, while possibly endangering students on the Syracuse campus by keeping several reprobates on his time at a time.

But nobody (other than the Secretary of Education) cares how many Syracuse players commit crimes or fail to graduate because he wins ballgames.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Song of the Day: 12/17/2012

Night Moves by Bob Seger. Bold flavors, you guys.

Jay Wright Engages a Parody Account on Twitter

To try to congratulate Delaware basketball coach Monte Ross on his team's performance yesterday, Jay Wright sent a tweet to "@RealCoachMonte" thinking that it was actually Monte Ross' Twitter account. The problem is that @RealCoachMonte is a parody that portrays Ross as a blithering idiot.


So yeah, that's pretty hilarious.

John "Pinball" Robertson Wins Jerry Rice Award

I thought it was a foregone conclusion, but you never know this type of thing. Villanova's excellent freshman quarterback John Robertson won the Jerry Rice Award for national freshman of the year. The incentive for Villanova? Three more years!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Song of the Day: 12/16/2012

New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down by LCD Soundsystem, because the Giants :(

Villanova Beats Delaware 75-65

You can breathe now, because Villanova is on a winning streak. Yes, a winning streak. JayVaughn Pinkston paced the way with 19 points on 6-11 shooting, James Bell added 14, Daniel Ochefu scored in double digits for the first time in his young career with 11, and Darrun Hilliard rounded out the Wildcats in double figures, scoring 10 points. Maurice Sutton had five(!) blocks and nine rebounds, continuing his excellent season.

This team is getting better guys, it's almost time to brightside about it.

Statements From Jay Wright and Vince NiCastro

Vince Nicastro:
"We have enjoyed our association with the various member institutions that have been part of the Big East for over 30 years.  That association has served us well.

This is truly a unique period in intercollegiate athletics and it has presented us with an incredible opportunity moving forward to build upon our collective prominence.   The seven institutions serving as the foundation of this new framework offer some of the richest traditions in all of college sports, outstanding academic reputations, large and loyal fan-bases, and are located in some of the best markets in the nation.  We are energized by the decision to build on this strong foundation of programs and move toward the future in a focused and optimistic way."
 Jay Wright:
"The opportunity for Villanova to work with these six schools on a new basketball framework that builds on the great basketball tradition established by the Big East is exciting.  There is obviously a lot of change taking place in college athletics right now, and we are looking forward to a great future with these partners."
Some brightsiding going on there.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Song of the Day: 12/15/2012

James Taylor, "Fire and Rain". Huge prick, amazing songwriter.

Letter From the HNIC, Fr. Peter Donohue

As announced earlier today, Villanova along with six other schools will be leaving the Big East to chart a new course. This evening, Father Peter sent a letter to the Villanova community:
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
Villanova is embarking on a new and exciting course for its athletic programsone that seizes control of our future, while building on the traditions, values and rivalries that energize our teams and fans.

Last week, I and the Presidents from Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall, DePaul and Marquette, spoke with the Big East Commissioner about the future of the conference. We informed him that our schools are actively exploring avenues through which we can best support our interests and ensure our national prominence. Earlier today, we voted unanimously to pursue an orderly evolution to a foundation of basketball schools that honors the history and tradition on which the Big East was established. This is a group of like-minded schools with excellent academics, great athletic histories and traditions, national caliber basketball programs, and passionate fan bases in major media markets.

As members of the Villanova community and fans of Villanova athletics, I want to assure you that this was a thoughtful and strategic decision. We have the necessary resources to support all our athletic programs, and we are confident and excited about this direction—especially as we know there will always be an appetite for elite basketball.

Villanova, and this new basketball framework, is well positioned to capitalize on that hunger. Villanova offers top tier basketball in the fourth largest media market in the country, and together with our fellow Big East basketball institutions, we account for four of the top five media markets. Collectively, these seven schools can claim three men’s basketball national championships and 18 Final Four appearances. Villanova teams alone boast 82 conference championships and 19 NCAA team championships. I am confident that Villanova’s athletic programs—men’s basketball and beyond—will continue to compete at the highest levels.

This is not a move that will be made overnight. This will be a strategic evolution into a new framework, involving a period of transition to address issues of structure, membership and media partnerships. Villanova is working closely with these like-minded institutions to protect and advance our common interests at all levels. I strongly believe this is the best course for Villanova, our student-athletes, and our alumni and supporters.

Together, these institutions look forward to building this new foundation with an emphasis on elite competition and a commitment to the development of our students engaged in intercollegiate athletics. That is where we will now spend our energy as we move forward.

At Villanova, we are looking to protect our University and promote it—to ensure that Villanova is a nationally recognized institution that lives by its values, and seeks to educate all its students to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. This decision is about controlling our future, strategically positioning the university for future growth, and securing an environment in which Villanova can thrive.

This is the right decision for Villanova. Vince Nicastro, Villanova’s athletic director, and I have worked closely with our board, University leadership and coaches, and I know that we are all eager for this new chapter in Villanova’s history. I look forward to keeping you updated as we move forward.

Go Nova!


Fr. Peter Donohue, O.S.A.

Villanova Officially Says Goodbye to the Big East

It's been real, Madison Square Garden
We knew that this was happening soon, but it's officially official right now, Villanova will cease to be a member of the conference that  they joined in 1981. As for the news? It's not the outcome that I would have originally desired, but the realities that have presented themselves in recent months could have done irreparable harm to the Villanova basketball brand. Hopefully the school continues to invest in their athletics program to make them attractive to other conferences once all of this football madness ends.

The statement is as follows:
"Earlier today we voted unanimously to pursue an orderly evolution to a foundation of basketball schools that honors the history and tradition on which the Big East was established. Under the current context of conference realignment, we believe pursuing a new basketball framework that builds on this tradition of excellence and competition is the best way forward.
We are grateful to our Commissioner, Michael Aresco, for his exceptional leadership of the Big East Conference. We have been honored to be associated with the outstanding group of institutions that have made up the Big East. While we pursue this opportunity for our institutions, we believe the efforts of the past two years have established the foundation for an enduring national football conference.
We look forward to building this new foundation with an emphasis on elite competition and a commitment to the development of our students engaged in intercollegiate athletics. That is where we will now spend our energy as we move forward."
I love college football, but it's doing a pretty good job of killing my childhood.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lost in the Mix: The Villanova Women are Really Good

Senior Laura Sweeney

Did you know that there's a basketball team on the Villanova campus that has lost only one time all season and has an RPI of 16? Well they exist, and they're all girls. Yep, Harry Perretta's team is 8-1 this season, playing with all the characteristics of a normal Villanova women's team: not much scoring, good defense, and a shooting a ton of three pointers, almost 23 a game.

The major difference between the Villanova women and men this season? The women make their threes, converting on 36% of their attempts, and defend the three well, forcing their opponents to shoot a paltry 25% from the perimeter. Now they don't score a lot of points, but you don't need to when you use up most of the shot clock and allow less than 50 points a game.

Do them a favor and make it to a game sometime.

Song of the Day 12/14/2012

AC/DC: Thunderstruck, live at Donington 1991. Great album.

The Real Force Behind The Big East Catholic Revolution

Oh Hitler, you crazy.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Butthurt Temple Fan Tweets

I love playing this game. 

Same guy, two days before

Good stuff, especially if Villanova is just doing this out of spite. Suck it, Temple.

Villanova-St. Joe's Highlights

What a huge win.

James Bell's Game Winner from Every Angle

It's amazing what you pick up after watching things again. I didn't realize how well Ryan Arcidiacono set that one up. Not Ryan Fannon's best call, but Fannon is still the best.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Villanova Classic

The Hawk is dead, again.

Way to Define Your Career, Halil Kanacevic

Very rarely does a player do something that will define his entire career in a single act. Last night, Halil Kanacevic of SJU(PA) did exactly that by giving the middle finger to the Villanova student section and energizing a crowd that had been previously flaccid. By simply acknowledging that the crowd was getting under his skin, he lost. Then, with help from his own god awful play down the stretch, his team blew the game.

It really is an amazing image, and an act that most Villanova fans will never forget. Thank you, the Pavilion will be much more energized for the rest of the season.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Phil Martelli's Final Grade

The Hawk is dead.

A Message to Halil Kanacevic

Love, Villanova.

Win or Lose, Never Forget

Best chant ever.

Villanova-St. Joseph's (PA) Primer

Tonight Villanova takes on St. Joseph's (PA) in the Pavilion for their fourth final Big 5 game of the season. A win would salvage a .500 record in the city series, and after scouring through old Villanova basketball media guides for nearly an hour, a loss would give Villanova three losses in the Big 5 for the first time since the 1978-79 season, my father's senior year at Villanova. For a bit more perspective, the last time Villanova had a losing record in the full Big 5 schedule, Jimmy Carter was the President of the United States, Margaret Thatcher was not yet Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, John Wayne was still alive, and Michael Jackson still hadn't released Off The Wall yet. This is something that hasn't happened in a long, long time.

On paper, SJU (PA) is a better team. They beat Villanova handily last year, they are ranked higher by any metric, they have a better record (5-2, wins against Notre Dame and Harvard, losses to Florida State and Creighton), and the most recent line I saw had them favored by 2.5, which means that they are essentially six points better than Villanova on a neutral court. Jeff Sagarin's line is reasonably similar.

As far as their actual on-court play, SJU (PA) is significantly better on offense than they are on defense, ranking 31st in adjusted offensive efficiency, and 76th in adjusted defensive efficiency according to Ken Pomeroy's tempo-free rankings. Villanova is 111th and 110th, respectively. It is worth noting; however that Villanova's strength of schedule has been significantly more difficult according to Pomeroy. Don't get it twisted though, this is a good offensive team, but they are not a particularly great shooting team. They are, however, a decent offensive rebounding team, ranked 50th in the nation, compared to Villanova, which is 205th. Getting defensive rebounds in this game is a necessity for Villanova.

I'm not too confident, but this is a winnable game for the Cats. The game is tonight at 7 PM on ESPNU.

Just please win, because this is like the Super Bowl for their annoying fans.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Video: Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins Interview

Seems like they're both excited to be headed to Villanova.

2012's Nine Biggest Assholes: Villanova Edition

Inspired by Maxim's list, which was released last week, I have compiled my list of Villanova's biggest assholes of 2012. They are in no particular order.

Vince NiCastro:
Vince gets on this list for being completely reactionary and not at all visionary during his entire tenure as athletic director. Under his watch, Villanova's basketball team made a steady rise (he doesn't deserve credit for that), but it is currently trending downward with an uncertain future (partly his fault).

Father Peter Donohue:
Father Peter makes this list, because despite his good intentions , he is not clued in enough to know the ramifications that sports have on the entire process.

Jay Wright:
Can you please teach your charges about breaking down a zone. Also, the volume of three point attempts (and subsequent bricks) in the last year has been enough to make me physically ill. Other than that, Jay has my full support.

Doug Martin:
You don't remember Doug Martin? That might actually be a good thing, but Doug Martin was the AAU coach that Villanova tried to hire as an assistant coach, but it turns out that he falsified his resume, creating an embarrassing situation for Villanova. 

Amile Jefferson:
For dragging on his recruitment for far too long, and saying that Villanova was still in it despite the fact that they were out of it in the fall of last year, as we reported here last fall.

Isaiah Armwood:
Not because he left, but because he made the insinuation that Villanova was too guard oriented. I didn't know that Curtis Sumpter, Will Sheridan, Dwayne Anderson, Shane Clark, Jason Fraser, and Dante Cunningham were guards.

Dominic Cheek:
I considered naming these the "Dominic Cheek Awards" but I thought better. I don't care about whatever Cheek's "potential" was, so in that sense he was not a disappointment to me. What I do care about is the fact that Villanova was worse off when he was on the court because of his crappy defense, and god awful shooting.

Rumor spreaders:
Villanova knows where these rumors began, but these people caused an unnecessary distraction. Even though they aren't from Villanova, they still qualify.

Right Plan For Radnor:
 If there's anything I hate more than NIMBYs and hypocrites, it's Radnor. These happened to be hypocritical NIMBYs from Radnor, which is a toxic mix. You should have never moved close to a school if you don't want them to expand in any way.

Who do you think was a big asshole this year?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Jay on Achraf Yacoubou

"Last year as a freshman he struggled a little bit and he has been getting better every day and you see it in practice and we used him a lot today. Nobody on our team is surprised, he is a player who just needs consistency."

Song of the Day: 12/9/2012

"Heaven and Hell" by the second iteration of Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio on lead vocals.

Breakout Candidate: Achraf Yacoubou

The last two games have revealed something about the Villanova basketball team: They seem to be better when Achraf Yacoubou is on the floor. When Ash plays more than 10 minutes in a game, Villanova has only lost once this season. More importantly, in each of Villanova's five wins, he has played more than ten minutes.Last night, in 25 minutes, the second highest total of his Villanova career, Yacoubou scored a career high 13 points, while also grabbing six rebounds, another career best. Also worth noting is that he seems to play solid defense, something that has been lacking as of late.

On the converse, Villanova has generally played poorer when Ryan Arcidiacono is forced to play more minutes, averaging 36 minutes per game in Villanova's four losses, two minutes more than his average for the season. That's unsurprising given his status as a freshman. I'm not confidence that Ash can play point guard, but it's not like Arcidiacono is protecting the ball much better than the other options. Plus, Ryan simply needs a breather every once in a while.

I could honestly see Ash turning into a player who can score in double figures consistently within the next year, especially if he further refines his jump shot.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Villanova Beats Penn 68-53

Thanks to a career best performance from Ash Yacoubou, and strong performances from Maurice Sutton and Mouph Yarou, Villanova beat Penn tonight by a score of 68-55. Now Villanova cannot go winless in the Big Five. Success!

More on this when I get everything.

Song of the Day: 12/8/2012

"Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)" by John Lennon. Paul McCartney is quoted as saying this is his favorite song by John Lennon. Rest in Peace, John.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Song of the Day: 12/7/2012

Bombs over Baghdad by Outkast. One of the few songs by Outkast that you honkies haven't ruined yet.

Well, At Least Villanova Gets to Play Penn

Calling Penn a bad basketball team would not do justice to just how awful they have been this season. Villanova is a bad basketball team, and Penn makes them look like a Final Four team.

Despite having played the 273rd most difficult schedule in the country according to Ken Pomeroy's computer rankings, the Quakers are 2-6 on the season, coming in ranked 230th in said computer rankings. For the sake of comparison,Villanova's 4-4 record has come against the 24th most difficult schedule in the country according to the same rankings.

Penn is particularly poor on offense, with an adjusted offensive efficiency rank of 292 out of 347 division one teams. This is an absolutely dismal basketball team, whose only wins are against Maryland-Baltimore County and Binghamton, the 318th and 342nd ranked teams in the KenPom rankings, respectively.

This is one of the worst teams Penn teams in history. Even this incredibly flawed Villanova team should throttle them. If they don't, it's time to start following track.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Song of the Day: 12/6/2012

Islands in the Stream by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, originally written by the Bee Gees. Because it's awesome.

Moe Sutton Needs More Minutes

On the face of things, Maurice Sutton is Villanova's sixth leading scorer, averaging a respectable, but unspectacular 5.8 points per game. I saw that and began to reassess the thoughts that I had about Villanova being better with him on the court.

Then I realized that he's seventh on the team in minutes, getting only 14.5 per game! If you do the math, he's second on the team in points per 40 minutes (Behind JayVaughn Pinkston), rebounding very well, and is one of the top 25 players in the country in blocked shot percentage.

For a team that is playing so horribly, they need someone who can score and play defense. Sutton is doing both of those things reasonably well this season, maybe not in volume because of his lack of minutes, but he is doing them. Time to give him more minutes.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


What we are seeing now, is an unprecedented stretch of mediocrity by Villanova. I cannot find another example of Villanova losing two consecutive on campus out of conference games in the last 30 years.

This is becoming a problem, and someone needs to be accountable. I don't know who that is.

Back to Basketball: Temple Preview

Temple is undefeated this year in five games. That doesn't mean much, because they haven't really played anyone yet as their schedule so far has been bottom third, compared to Villanova who have played one of the top 50 or so schedules in the country. Given that Temple hasn't really played anyone this season, and Villanova is at home, this game should be a winnable one for Villanova, but you really never know with this current Villanova team.

Temple is not a particularly great offensive team, and not particularly good on defense. I would say that they are average at both. Importantly for Villanova, the Owls aren't a good shooting team, especially from three point range, which bodes very well for the Cats. One thing that they don't do with anywhere near the frequency of Villanova, but they also don't rebound nearly as well.

We'll just have to see tonight at 9:00 on ESPN2.

Exclusive: More Rumors About Jay Wright

My sources have been telling me some very incriminating things about Jay Wright.

Here are some of them:
  1. Sources tell me that Jay Wright consistently graduates his players.
  2. Jay Wright was going to resign from Villanova today to become the new football coach at Temple, but he decided that he has dignity.
  3. Jay Wright was spotted watching game film of a prison team. People thought he was recruiting, but it turned out he was just getting ready to play Temple.  
  4. Jay Wright was admitted to a psychiatric ward tonight after being spotted shopping at a Men's Wearhouse.
  5. Jay Wright was the man on the grassy knoll. 
  6. Jay Wright got a former Villanova cheerleader pregnant three times. 
  7. The guy who was hit by the subway in New York was pushed by Jay Wright. 
  8. Jay Wright had Notre Dame 17th in his final coaches poll.
  9. Jim Boeheim raped and killed a girl in 1990.
Amazing stuff, but only two of those things are true.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

On "Sources"

I have only made a vague references to the rumors surrounding Jay Wright and the Villanova basketball program, but something must have happened tonight to make them blow up and it has become necessary to address them because they have been picked up by some people of influence in the blogosphere.

These rumors are unequivocally false. Everyone I have spoken with who has an iota of a beat as to what's going on at Villanova has said that they are false, and spreading unfounded rumors makes you libelous. When someone else brings it up, admonish them for spreading bullshit rumors.

That is all.

Steve Addazio to BC, Andy Talley Still at Villanova

Off to BC after only two mediocre seasons at Temple. And they thought they could replace Al Golden with someone who actually thought they wanted to stay at Temple.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Song of the day: 12/2/2012

Concrete Schoolyard by Jurassic 5. The world needs more J5.

Video: Maalik on Getting a Chance

Good for Maalik. Villanova misses him this year.

Rumors With Convenient Timing

Remember when Corey Fisher apparently got Scottie Reynolds' girlfriend pregnant, and that was the reason that the 2010 Villanova season ended so poorly? Then we found out that it didn't actually happen.

This time, it's a rumor about the coach, who has (rightfully in some cases) been taking flak for the team's performance as of late. I'm not going to regurgitate the rumor on here, because it's ugly, but so far there is no evidence that it's true despite all the innuendo, just like the rumor about Scottie and Fish.

Next time you hear a rumor that you cannot substantiate, don't spread it. Also, view a rumor with increased skepticism if it comes at a time when the team is struggling and any rumor provides an explanation as to why said team does poorly.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Song (concert) of the Day: 12/1/2012

Guns N' Roses in Tokyo, 1992. All two hours and 22 minutes of it.

RIP Rick Majerus

A very under appreciated coach, and a colorful personality that will be missed.



Savor this moment, folks.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Exclusive: Villanova Unveils New Athletics Logo

It looks splendid, doesn't it? I think Villanova has reflected their new mission quite well in this redesign.

If you have any comments, please direct them to the Board of Trustees.

A Letter From Vince NiCastro

Dear Alumni and Friends of Villanova Athletics: 

I know how much you all care about Villanova's athletic programs and how they bring our community together. And, as fans and supporters of the Wildcats, I know that you are all concerned about what the continued realignment of college athletic conferences means for the future of our athletic programs. 

We recognize that you have questions and concerns, especially as you see the news that some of our long-standing Big East colleagues are departing for other conferences. The very nature of this realignment only fuels rumors and speculation, much of which is beyond our control. But rest assured that Villanova is engaged and actively doing all that is in our power to protect the best interests of our University and our student athletes. 

We are prepared to do whatever is necessary to secure and advance Villanova and our brand. The Big East membership has expressed openness to our insistence to work to further advance the core asset of the Big East Conference--its basketball programs. With Villanova taking a leadership role, the basketball schools are exploring every avenue to do just that. 

While the model of athletic conferences continues to change and unique conference paradigms emerge, there will always be a place for elite basketball, and Villanova is steadfastly committed to maintaining a basketball program that competes at the highest level. We have the resources available to ensure that, despite any changes to the conference landscape, our Wildcats will continue to be a nationally competitive program. 

In close, I can assure you that a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources from Villanova's Board of Trustees through all levels of University leadership have been focused on this issue for a long time. I wish we were in a position to share more specifics, but in this type of situation that is just not possible. I thank those of you who have been in touch, and while we are not able to respond to all of your inquiries, know that we genuinely appreciate your steadfast support and passion.
As we move forward, our objective remains the same--insuring national prominence for our athletic programs, driven by men's basketball. And we have genuine reasons to be confident. Things may not look the same, but we can absolutely still achieve our goals. 


Vince Nicastro

Director of Athletics 

*Fart noise*

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Song of the Day: 11/28/2012

The End by The Doors. Welcome to the end, Villanova fans.

Video: Villanova Realignment Press Conference

Everything is under control. Do not worry.

Villanova Petition: Sign It

The petition is here, and the aims are simple, for Villanova to update its stakeholders more often. They need to act, and you need to make your voice heard.

Times They Are a-Changin'

As you can see, we have undergone a re-brand, changing our name from Fact on Villanova Sports to Fact on Villanova Theater. We feel that it is necessary to be proactive, and more accurately reflect Villanova's strategic plan (the performing arts oh so important!).

What we need is writers who are interested in the arts to track the events surrounding the Villanova theater community! If you're dissatisfied with Villanova's mission, email me at!

We're really excited for the future of Villanova theater!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Song of the Day: 11/26/2012

No Easy Way Out by Robert Tepper. Why? Because I was watching Rocky IV, that's why. Rocky took down the Soviet Union with his fists, you guys.

Time To Give Ryan Arcidiacono a Rest

Following a season long trend, Ryan Arcidiacono played seven minutes more than any other Villanova player yesterday at La Salle, sitting for only four minutes in a game that ended in overtime. This would be fine if Arcidiacono was clearly outperforming his counterparts, but he is not. One for seven from the field and six turnovers and three personal fouls in 41 minutes of action is problematic to say the least.

Now I know that there aren't a ton of options other than Ryan, but the kid missed his last high school season with an injury, and is only experiencing a college conditioning program for the first time, so it's questionable as to whether he'll be able to hold up physically from the early season minutes, especially because games aren't going to get any easier as the season rolls on. It's time to drastically cut down on his minutes. Give them to Tony Chennault, Achraf Yacoubou, or even Mislav Brzoja, or however is fit, but Arcidiacono shouldn't have to shoulder so much of the load so early in his career.

Just something to ponder.

To end on a more positive note, we should give some props to Mouph, who was Villanova's best offensive player yesterday after taking a beating from all angles over the first five games of the season.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Song of the Day: 11/25/2012

London Calling by The Clash, "The Only Band That Matters".

Thank You Norman White

Last night was the final game of one of the truly great wide receivers in Villanova history, Norman White. In a different era, Norman would have lit up the stat sheet in one of those air it out Villanova offenses. That was not the case due to Villanova's recent turn towards the run game. Still though, he was very productive statistically, especially in his final two years of eligibility, including this season when he battled back from a severe foot injury that caused him to miss the season before as well as in season knee and shoulder injuries.

Here's hoping that Norman gets a nice, long look by an NFL team. I know that he's good enough to play there.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Song of the Day: 11/24/2012

Rocket Queen by Guns N' Roses. Listen closely during the bridge.

Towson PLAYERS Unleash the Butthurt Tweets

These guys hold a grudge..

Frank Beltre, All-CAA defensive end:

Jalil Gordon, defensive back:

Brian Boateng, linebacker

Arnold Farmer, defensive tackle

RJ Peppers, punter

Jordan Dangerfield, All-CAA safety (suspended final game of season for multiple personal fouls)

 Thank you guys for making my job easy. 

Villanova Loses at Stony Brook, 20-10

Sometimes, the magic just runs out. Unfortunately for Villanova, that had to happen today, as they lost to Stony Brook 20-10, ending the best single season turnaround in school history.

In the loss, John Robertson became the first quarterback, and first freshman in school history to run for more than 1,000 yards in a season. This is also the first time in school history that Villanova had two 1,000 yard rushers in one season.

This one bad game need not tarnish what has been a magical season for Villanova. They'll be back next season, and they'll be a year older in most spots.

Villanova Needs "Mo" Sutton

You could file this one into the "Things I never thought I'd say" category, but it's become pretty clear that Maurice Sutton has been Villanova's best front court player this season on a per minute basis. Not only are his defensive numbers better than Daniel Ochefu and Mouphtaou Yarou, but field goal and free throw percentages pace the Villanova front line.

Despite his very good performance so far this season, he is inexplicably getting fewer than ten minutes of playing time per game in Villanova's four division one games so far this season, including one that went to overtime. That is less than half the playing time that Mouph is getting this season. When I saw that, I looked to see if there was some sort of explanation, like foul trouble, and that's not the case, since he hasn't had more than three in a game the entire season. So at this point, it seems as if Sutton is not getting playing time based on the coach's decision. Frankly that decision had better have some solid reasoning behind it, because Villanova has played better this season when Sutton has been getting minutes.

In my expert opinion, Maurice Sutton's minutes should be increased by at least five per game, regardless of whose expense that is at.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Song of the Day: Thanksgiving Special

This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for the Talking Heads, and the greatest music documentary ever.

Stony Brook's Quarterback Injured, Likely Out

In a potentially huge bit of news, Stony Brook quarterback Kyle Essington, the FCS national leader in passing efficiency is unlikely to play this Saturday with a thigh injury. His backup, Lyle Negron has only attempted six passes all season.

If Essington is indeed out of the game, Villanova has caught a huge break. That would allow them to focus more attention on star tailback Miguel Maysonet.

Villanova Players Talk About Thanksgiving Plans

Sounds like Antoine Lewis is going to have Pat Williams and possibly Keelan Malone over.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Song of the Day: 11/21/2012

Today's a double shot of U2: All I Want is You and Where the Streets Have No Name.

Kevin Monangai: John Robertson is "Faster Than I Am"

"John is just as good a runner as I am, if not better. He's a little faster than I am. It doesn't allow defenses just to key on me. It keeps people guessing."
Good to have a quarterback faster than your 1100 yard rusher.


When you're in the bottom 100 in the country in three point percentage, you probably shouldn't be in the top 100 in three pointers attempted.

Stop launching so many god damn threes and you'll be able to reset on defense better.

Oh yeah, Ryan Arcidiacono is 4-22 in the games that weren't against Marshall or Purdue. That's pretty horrible. Give the kid a rest.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Song of the Day: 11/20/2012

I went to see Skyfall tonight. Anything interesting happen?

I'll Wait by Van Halen.

Monday, November 19, 2012

John Robertson in 2012 vs. Chris Whitney's Career Highs

Prior to this season, Chris Whitney's 2009 and 2010 seasons were two of the best seasons ever by a Villanova quarterback, and certainly the best since Brett Gordon carried Villanova on his back in 2002. In 2009, Whitney set an all-time single season record for a Villanova quarterback with 987 rushing yards. In 2010, Whitney scored 13 rushing touchdowns, also a single season record for a quarterback at Villanova.

Whitney was amazing, but the fact that current Villanova quarterback John Robertson has been as good or better than almost all of Whitney's career highs this season on a per game basis is also amazing. His numbers are all the more unbelievable when his freshman eligibility is taken into account.

Here's a comparison with Chris Whitney's career high and Robertson's 2012 (in progress):

Whitney career high (year)
Robertson (2012)
Passing Yards
2241 (2010)
Rushing Yards
987 (2009)
Passing Touchdowns
22 (2010)
Rushing Touchdowns
13 (2010)
Combined Touchdowns
35 (2010)
Yards per carry
4.9 (2009)
Completion percentage
65.1% (2010)
Yards per passing attempt
6.98 (2010)
Total offensive yardage
2923 (2009)

As you can see, the numbers are almost all staggeringly close, with Whitney outpacing Robertson in some, Robertson pacing Whitney in others. It's also worth noting that the 2009 Villanova team didn't play in anywhere near as many close games as the 2010 version, so that probably suppressed some of Whitney's stats. There was also the matter that Antwon Young would be given a series or so a game during some of Whitney's tenure, and that Matt Szczur took at least five snaps a game behind center in most of those, especially in 2009 when he was healthy the entire season.

Bottom line: John Robertson has been incredible this season. This is not meant to compare him to any of the great quarterbacks in school history, but this season is up there with the best seasons ever by Villanova quarterbacks and is certainly the best season by a freshman quarterback.