Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Villanova escapes Hinkle, beats Butler 76-73 in OT

JVP with 22, Darrun Hilliard with 15, and Josh Hart with ten. More on this tomorrow because I've had a bit too much to drink. Happy New Year!


Villanova #2013Faves: Arcidiacono becomes a hero... again

Another example of Ryan Arcidiacono being a hero after a bad game.

Villanova #2013Faves: The second biggest shot of the year

Ryan Arcidiacono with the second biggest shot he's made.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Villanova #2013Faves: Villanova women win two at the Penn Relays

My personal favorite because I was in the stands, and because it's not very often that a collegiate record is broken. Also, Emily Lipari had absolutely no business beating the girl from Oregon, who was one of the best 800m runners in the country, and the fact that three of the four Villanova girls in that race were in their third race of the weekend. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Villanova #2013Faves: Jamal-Abdur-Rahman's fake punt TD

Unfortunately, Jamal Abdur-Rahman got hurt this season, which may have cost Villanova a playoff berth, because he can do stuff like this.

This video is creeping up on four million views on YouTube.

Villanova #2013Faves: The #BenchMob scores five points in eight seconds

For the rest of the year, we'll be highlighting our favorite Villanova things from all of 2013 using #2013Faves. 

Starting out will be Henry Lowe and Nick McMahon scoring five points in eight seconds against Rider this past Saturday. It was inconsequential to the outcome of the game, but it was still pretty freaking awesome.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Villanova continues to proliferate the War on Christmas

It's not like they have a Catholic priest on their bench or anything.

Merry Christmas from us at Fact on Villanova Sports, and Happy Birthday to our lord and savior Rickey Henderson. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Festivus Airing of Villanova grievances

Today is Festivus, a glorious holiday that is celebrated every December 23. The celebration of Festivus is begun with the airing of grievances, where you tell everyone all the ways that they have disappointed you in the previous year.

Here are my Villanova related grievances.
  1. Radnor Township for always getting into the way of Villanova's reasonable plans for expansion. God forbid they want to make Lancaster Avenue look better and move their students onto campus. 
  2. Injuries for severely hampering Villanova's chance of making it back into the playoffs in football. 
  3. Syracuse, Pitt, and BC for killing the Big East. 
  4. The Villanova band for always playing the same songs, never learning anything new, and frequently being shown up by the bands of opposing teams. 
  5. The rest of the Big East for not pulling its fucking weight in the non-conference season. 
  6. People who still deny that Jay Wright is Villanova's single greatest asset.
  7. Paul Rosier for being a fun sponge
  8. Radnor Township again, because fuck you guys. 

Rankings update and Villanova-Rider highlights

Villanova remains ranked eighth in the AP poll and moves up to #11 in the coaches poll.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Josh Hart's career high 19 leads Villanova past Rider 88-67

Even though he's only 11 games into his career at Villanova, true freshman Josh Hart is proving that he's worthy of his growing spot in the rotation, and building a case as one of the better freshmen in all of college basketball. This evening, playing a team-high 26 minutes, Hart scored a career high 19 points on seven of eight shooting including three of four from three point range, leading the 'Cats to a controlling 88-67 victory over Rider. In his young career, Hart is shooting 55.9% from the field and 40% from deep.

Also coming up big for Villanova was JayVaughn Pinkston, who despite being limited to 18 minutes due to foul trouble still managed 14 points, and Darrun Hilliard, who had 13 points, even rebounds, and two steals  in 25 minutes of play. Ryan Arcidiacono scored nine points with two assists and two steals in one of his better recent performances.

Now we wait a week until Villanova plays Syracuse Correctional Center at the Carrier Dome next Saturday.

Apparently Aaron Paul doesn't like Pitt?

Well, there's a difference between him and Hitler.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Credit where credit is due

I'm not even going to pretend to take credit for this, because VUHoops linked to me, and they're the ones who exert the real influence, but it's nice to see some accountability for errors.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ryan Arcidiacono's strange sophomore slump

One of the most bizarre aspects of Villanova's success thus far this season is Ryan Arcidiacono's struggles, especially shooting the ball from the perimeter. He has been a net-positive player, mostly due to the fact that he has played better than average defense, but both his offense and defense are still noticeably worse than the team average. He is also being significantly outplayed by his backup Dylan Ennis, who has arguably been Villanova's best player on a per minute basis.

There are some peculiar things about Arcidiacono's season though. Yes, he is scoring 2.7 fewer points per game, but direct comparisons of points per game, etc. are not the best way to evaluate performance, because last season he was playing a ridiculous 34 minutes per game compared to 30.7 thusfar this season. His two biggest weaknesses last season were the fact that he turned the ball over 2.8 times per game and shot 38% from inside the three point line. This season, he's shooting 58.6% from inside the three point line and turning the ball over only once per game. Last season, his biggest strength was that he was able to get to the free throw line 4.4 times a game and convert on 82.4% of his attempts. So far this season, he is getting to the line 1.9 times per game and only converting 68.4% of those attempts, so basically, if he was both taking and making free throws at the same clip that he was in 2012-2013, he would be scoring the same amount of points as he was last year. The bizarre thing is that Villanova as a team is taking more than three and a half more free throws a game over last season's team, yet Arcidiacono's rate has gone down substantially.

So if Ryan "Hubris" Arcidiacono gets to the line more often and makes his free throws, starts converting three pointers at a rate that isn't absolutely putrid, and keeps nailing two-pointers, he'll be producing at a rate better than he did last season.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Villanova Athletics joins the War on Christmas

Last I checked, Villanova was a Catholic school.

Even if it was a secular school, saying "happy holidays" is obnoxious because it implies that the other holidays are of equal importance to Christmas in their respective religious traditions. It would be like Protestants deciding that the American Independence Day was offensive because it was too close to The Twelfth and insisting on people saying "Happy Holidays" instead.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Darrun Hilliard, freshmen lead Villanova to emphatic victory over La Salle

This afternoon's Villanova game was a weird one. Daniel Ochefu led Villanova in minutes, JayVaughn Pinkston and James Bell combined for only ten points, and their second and third leading scorers were freshman. Oh yeah, they still won big, beating La Salle  73-52, their sixth win by 20 points or more this season.

So who led the way? Well, Darrun Hilliard, who scored 21 points  on six of 11 shooting in only 25 minutes of action. Also coming up big was the two freshmen, with Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins scoring 13 and 11 respectively, and further proving that they are capable of being major contributors on a very good team. Also encouraging was Ochefu, who scored only four points, but he tied for the team lead with seven rebounds, had four assists, two blocks, and only one turnover. Nice contribution from the big man, who is celebrating his 20th birthday today.

The bad news is that we have to wait another six days for more Villanova basketball, when they take on Rider.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Trying to temper expectations, and failing miserably

The Villanova basketball team is off to one of the best starts in program history, climbing to #10 in the AP poll, and is ranked even higher by metrics that tend to have better predictive value, making me more excited than I have been about the team on a game to game since 2006.

Is it time to take a step back?

Should we be secretly hoping that the team has a massive let down game in the next few weeks?

Is it possible that the team is going to get even better?

The way I'm seeing things so far, and being the neurotic mess that I tend to be, I think that it's not just possible, but probable that this team is not playing up to its full potential, especially with Ryan Arcidiacono playing so relatively poorly on the offensive side, sub-par free throw shooting, and a complete lack of anything from Daniel Ochefu so far. Those three factors combined with the team's pornographic defensive efficiency stats are things that make me optimistic.

I so desperately want to temper my expectations, but it's getting harder and harder every day, especially when I see that college basketball at the top is not all that great this season.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

When will Villanova follow Temple's lead?

Earlier this week, I made fun of/excoriated Temple for making the announcement that they would be dropping seven sports effective this July. I did hold back a little bit, because it was a reflection of one of my biggest fears when it comes to Villanova: That their non-revenue sports are not going to be sustainable forever. With a football team that draws 7,000 people and consistently loses millions of dollars a season, Villanova will eventually face a time when they have to address that they sponsor a lot of sports despite having only one real revenue producing sports team.

As was shown in 1981, dropping football is simply not an option, because that sport has far too many stakeholders to do anything with. There is a chance that they could downsize and go to a non-scholarship model, which seems out of character given the school's desire to remain competitive in football.

The most likely athletic department move would be to eliminate the Olympic sports. While I would like to think that track and field, my favorite Villanova sport is a sacred cow, I simply am not educated enough on the matter to say this definitively. Baseball has been uncompetitive for years, but it is one of Villanova's oldest sports. Soccer has just begun to be competitive in recent years on both the men's and the women's sides, so I think that is out the window as well. This brings us to tennis, rowing, and golf, somewhat uncompetitive sports which are probably the most likely sports to go if/when Villanova makes a move.

Unfortunately, I think it's a matter of when rather than if.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Hawk is Dead

James Bell (25 points and 14 rebounds) and JayVaughn Pinkston (27 points) killed it.

Hey Dr. Paul Rosier, go eat shit

Nobody on the Villanova internet is a bigger critic of the Big Five than me. I don't love the fact that Villanova has to limit itself by facing a fixed slate of four teams every year, but it's a reality that I'm willing to accept.

You know what I'm not willing to accept? Political correctness run amok, like that advocated by Villanova history department chair Paul Rosier, who suggests that Villanova and SJU (PA) should drop the "Holy War" nickname for their rivalry.

Says Rosier:
"Certainly Villanova is tackling bigger issues. But war and poverty and abuse of women are all tied to violence, and the way violence can become acceptable in language - when it is normalized, and young fans hear it so casually, I think it sends the wrong message."
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/colleges/st_josephs/20131206_Seeking_an_end_to__Holy_War_.html#ZrFfMogE6LpY6TDv.99
"Certainly Villanova is tackling bigger issues. But war and poverty and abuse of women are all tied to violence, and the way violence can become acceptable in language - when it is normalized, and young fans hear it so casually, I think it sends the wrong message."
Get over it, dude.

You can let Dr. Rosier know that he should get a hobby at paul.rosier@villanova.edu
"Certainly Villanova is tackling bigger issues. But war and poverty and abuse of women are all tied to violence, and the way violence can become acceptable in language - when it is normalized, and young fans hear it so casually, I think it sends the wrong message."
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/colleges/st_josephs/20131206_Seeking_an_end_to__Holy_War_.html#ZrFfMogE6LpY6TDv.99
"Certainly Villanova is tackling bigger issues. But war and poverty and abuse of women are all tied to violence, and the way violence can become acceptable in language - when it is normalized, and young fans hear it so casually, I think it sends the wrong message."
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/colleges/st_josephs/20131206_Seeking_an_end_to__Holy_War_.html#ZrFfMogE6LpY6TDv.99
"Certainly Villanova is tackling bigger issues. But war and poverty and abuse of women are all tied to violence, and the way violence can become acceptable in language - when it is normalized, and young fans hear it so casually, I think it sends the wrong message."
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/colleges/st_josephs/20131206_Seeking_an_end_to__Holy_War_.html#ZrFfMogE6LpY6TDv.99
"Certainly Villanova is tackling bigger issues. But war and poverty and abuse of women are all tied to violence, and the way violence can become acceptable in language - when it is normalized, and young fans hear it so casually, I think it sends the wrong message."
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/colleges/st_josephs/20131206_Seeking_an_end_to__Holy_War_.html#ZrFfMogE6LpY6TDv.99

Friday, December 6, 2013

What should Villanova do with Arcidiacono? Look to Corey Fisher

When a team starts out 8-0, there generally shouldn't be that much to worry about, right? Well, when a player who was expected to be the team's best perimeter player happens to be shooting under 23% from three point range, something must be done to remedy the problem, especially when he has capable understudies who are outplaying him.

Yes, I am advocating that Jay Wright move Ryan Arcidiacono to the bench and make him earn back his position on the floor. 

In 2009, when Corey Fisher was a sophomore, Jay Wright benched him. It wasn't because Fisher was a bad player, or anything like that, it was because by taking Fish out at the beginning of games, he was able to insert Reggie Redding into the lineup. Since Redding provided that team with a little bit of extra length, it was worthwhile to sacrifice Fisher's offensive abilities when the other team had a big lineup on the floor. Despite being given less minutes would have as a starter, Fisher thrived in the sixth man role, having what may have been the best season of his career. 

Similar to 2009, Jay Wright has the advantage of having more than one competent point guard and a deep bench. There are three or four players that could use an immediate uptick in playing time, and as long as Ryan Arcidiacono is playing 32 minutes a game, those extra minutes will be difficult to budget without hurting the team given the fact that the rest of the starting lineup is playing exceptionally well. 

Temple AD drops seven sports, gives two minute speech

That's painful. Shame on Temple for fermenting pennsylvania government waste with their money pit football program while they cut sports from real student athletes. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Villanova Basketball: Where Memories Are Made

I'll be back with some real stuff when I'm not inundated with real life work. A fluffer game against Penn tomorrow that isn't even worth writing up a preview for. I also have something about Ryan Arcidiacono that I've been sitting on for a little bit.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Villanova enters AP poll ranked 14th


After previously being unranked in last weeks poll. This is Villanova's highest ranking since February of 2011.

Poll here

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hot shooting leads Villanova to 93-79 win over USC

After sitting out the first four games with a broken hand, and playing his first competitive collegiate game in more than 20 months Dylan Ennis made his Villanova debut today and made Villanova fans thankful, scoring 13 points on 4-5 shooting. Leading the way for Villanova was James Bell, who had 17 points, despite shooting only 1-8 from three point range. Also in double figures for Villanova was Darrun Hilliard with 16, Ryan Arcidiacono with 14, and JayVaughn Pinkston with 12. Daniel Ochefu had six points and seven rebounds, but fouled out with 5:40 remaining.

Also notable was Darryl Reynolds scoring the first two points of his Villanova career.

With the win, Villanova will wait for the winner of the today's Kansas-Wake Forest game.

Happy Thanksgiving, Villanova fans

Remember, frying turkeys results in dozens of injuries a year.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

John Robertson shafted twice in one day

 I had spent a lot of yesterday writing a piece about why John "Pinball" Robertson deserved the Walter Payton Award only to trash it when I woke up this morning and saw that he didn't even make first team all-conference, let alone win offensive player of the year. That is psychotic. How can you deny an honor to a player who has a transcendent season, in favor of a player he thoroughly outplayed, despite having fewer weapons to go to, and had to carry a team on his back.

Without Robertson, Villanova wins probably two games, and is non-competitive in some games that they wound up winning. Be outraged, people.  

Congratulations to Rakim Cox, who was rightfully named first team all-conference.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Highlights of Villanova basketball's win over Delaware

It was ugly, but a win is a win.

Infographic: Why Villanova missed the FCS playoffs

Update: A bird has informed me that I wasn't clear enough what this was showing. It's strength of schedule.

Disregard Incarnate Word, as they weren't eligible for the playoffs. It pays to schedule some cupcakes, and perhaps even to play 12 games.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Villanova shoots poorly, plays bad defense, and still beats Delaware 84-80

In a game where Villanova missed 20 three pointers while making only five while allowing the other team to make 11 out of 26 attempts from outside, you wouldn't expect them to win, but they did, beating Delaware 84-80.

How did they win? Simply put, JayVaughn Pinkston was unstoppable, scoring 26 points on eight of 16 shooting from the field, and ten of 11 from the free throw line. Also in double figures for Villanova were James Bell with 16, Darrun Hilliard with 15, and Ryan Arcidiacono with 14. Daniel Ochefu scored six points with 11 rebounds and two blocks, but five turnovers, which was one more than the rest of his teammates combined.

This team needs to start shooting threes better or start shooting them less. Shooting in the 20-29% range is nowhere near good enough to justify the continued shooting of threes.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Villanova may actually be underperforming so far this season

 Ryan Arcidiacono: Shuffling so far

Three games into the Villanova season, we're seeing something we haven't seen since 2009: Truly elite defensive play coupled with passable play on the offensive end. While I have no idea that the play defensively will be sustainable against better competition, I'm almost certain that the team's offensive performance has room for improvement, because as a team, they are only shooting 27.5% from three point range, and 70.5% from the free throw line. Both of those numbers would be the lowest of the Jay Wright era. The free throw number will improve because Darrun Hilliard is only shooting 50% from the line, when he shoots better than 70% from the line for his career, and Ryan Arcidiacono, who is good to easily make 80% of his free throws has only had ten attempts from the line. The three point number is skewed by the fact that Arcidiacono is only making 18% of his threes, and JayVaughn Pinkston has only converted on one of eight of his three point attempts, which is eighth most on the team.

Now, I do think that Villanova will regress in some areas. For example, I do not think that they will continue to shoot nearly 48% from the field, or limit their turnovers to fewer than 12 per game, because those numbers would both be the best numbers of Jay Wright's tenure at Villanova. I don't however think that either of those areas will regress to the point that the inevitable free throw and three point shooting improvements will be nullified.

Good times for Villanova fans, and beat Delaware.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

James Bell steals the show as Villanova easily handles Towson, 78-44

Coming into tonight's game, one of the story lines was how Villanova would be able to contain Towson forward Jerelle Benimon, who has been very good since he transferred from Georgetown. The answer to that question was "easily", as Benimon had more turnovers than field goals for the game, was outscored by three Villanova players, and got out-rebounded by Tony Chennault.

The story for Villanova was James Bell, who wound up with 20 points, including this monstrous second half dunk. After three games this season, Bell has 56 points, and is basically averaging career highs in every statistic. Small sample size obviously, but he has looked very good. Also in double figures for Villanova were Ryan Arcidiacono and JayVaughn Pinkston with 12 points, and Darrun Hilliard, who had ten.

Defensively, Villanova forced 24 turnovers and held Towson to only 30.9% shooting for the game. In three games this season, none of Villanova's opponents have scored 60 points, and the closest margin was 16 points.

I would expect to see Villanova enter the polls this week.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Phil Booth and Mikal Bridges both officially Villanova Wildcats

Booth is a point guard out of Baltimore, while Bridges is a wing out of Great Valley High School, 20 minutes west of Villanova.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Villanova-Mount St. Mary's highlights

Beat Towson.

Fun with small sample sizes: Daniel Ochefu

It's baseball, but it's relevant

Early in seasons of any sport, it's fun to look at cumulative season stats to find statistical anomalies that will almost surely correct themselves. An example of such would be the popular narrative that James Bell was a "clutch" three point shooter last season.

Today, I was grousing over Villanova's stat sheet for the first two games and found that Daniel Ochefu, who shot less than 46% from the line last season actually leads the team in free throw percentage after two games, making all four of his attempts. On the converse, Ochefu is dead last on the team in field goal percentage, having hitting on only one of his six attempts, and that one make happened to be a dunk on his first attempt of the season.

This is my attempt to keep you skeptical and keep you from believing that Ochefu has become a good free throw shooter until he demonstrates it over a larger sample. Also, it should be noted, that the 60 attempts he took last season are not adequately representative of his overall free throw shooting skills, as he could be far better than the 45.9% number, and his overall line was dragged down by a short but statistically significant period where he shot poorly.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Josh Hart's double-double highlights Villanova's 90-59 win over Mount St. Mary's

When starting center Daniel Ochefu picked up two fouls in the first 120 seconds of the game tonight, Villanova needed a player to pick up the slack on the boards. The first player to come off the bench was true freshman wing Josh Hart, who in only his second career collegiate game proceeded to go 7-8 from the field and finish with 17 points, to go along with his team leading 11 rebounds in Villanova's dominant 90-59 victory of Mount St. Mary's. 

Leading the Wildcats in scoring was JayVaughn Pinkston with 21 points, his second straight game over the 20 point mark, followed by Darrun Hilliard, who had an impressive 18 points. Uncharacteristically, Ryan "Hubris" Arcidiacono only scored nine points while turning the ball over three times, and was essentially outplayed by Tony Chennault, who had five points and six assists while turning the ball over only once. I presme that Ryan will play better when Dylan Ennis comes back from injury. Finally, and most notably for Villanova, Henry Lowe of the world famous #BenchMob scored two points on 1-1 shooting.

Next up for Villanova is the Towson Tigers, this Sunday at 5 PM on Fox Sports 1. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Robertson Brilliant as Villanova bitchslaps Rhode Island 45-0

So far, the 2013 Villanova football season has been little more than an exhibition for John "Pinball" Robertson to show everyone how good he is at football. After having a bit of a down game against JMU last Saturday, Robertson came out firing today, running for over 100 yards and four touchdowns in the first half, and finishing with 133 yards on only 12 carries, leading his team to an impressive 45-0 victory over a Rhode Island team that simply didn't have an answer for him.

As far as records, Robertson is now fourth all time in school history in Rushing yards behind Brian Westbrook, Aaron Ball, and Vince Thompson, during this game he passed five players, including the great Chris Whitney to become the school's all time leading rusher for a quarterback.

The Wildcats wrap up the season next Saturday against arch-rivals Delaware at PPL Park.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Villanova struggles, but still beats Lafayette 75-59

Last season when Villanova scored 70 points or more, they were 12-2. This season, they're 1-0.

After struggling for more than 30 minutes tonight against a "scrappy" (white) Lafayette team, Villanova finally was able to put away the Leopards, winning 75-59. Villanova was led by James Bell with 24 points and nine rebounds, including the first 13 points scored in the game by the Wildcats and JayVaughn Pinkston, who had 22 points. Daniel Ochefu had 11 boards, and Darrun Hilliard had two blocks.

Obviously a lot can improve, especially from Ryan Arcidiacono, who didn't hit a field goal until near the end of the game and I would expect that it will, especially when Dylan Ennis (hand) gets back. In March though, a win is a win is a win.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A whole lot of #HURT in this picture

Look at Rob Denault (left) laying it all on the line for his team at the Big East Cross Country Championships this weekend.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Villanova-James Madison highlights

That's it, no playoffs, but I'm not surprised given the injury situation as of late.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Playing division two teams at the Wells Fargo Center: Always stupid

So tonight, Villanova takes part in one of their dumber annual traditions by hosting a division two opponent, this time West Chester at the Wells Fargo Center for an exhibition game. I have long been on record as saying this is a stupid idea in years past, and 2013 is no difference.

Now, every time I write one of these posts, I get comments about the underprivileged kids they get to send to these games through charity and whatnot, and it only reaffirms my view that these games are a stupid idea. If you want to donate Villanova tickets to an underprivileged kid, send them to a real game, because donating tickets to a meaningless exhibition game against a local division two school is the equivalent of donating heart of palm at a canned food drive.

New rule of thumb for Villanova: Don't play games at the Wells Fargo Center that wouldn't be sellouts at the Pavilion.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What Villanova football has been missing

This season, the Villanova football team has been extremely streaky. The most recent streak has been perpetuated by the loss of its second best offensive player, wide receiver/running back/Swiss army knife Jamal Abdur-Rahman, who will be getting knee surgery this week. Without his dynamic presence in the slot and the backfield, the Villanova offense has basically been left to John Robertson's wares. While this has been good for Robertson's record-setting statistical line, it has not been good for the rest of the team, as the offense has become too reliant on Robertson. Also missing is wide receiver Joe Price, who was Robertson's favorite target last year, who has clearly been burdened by a back injury this season, and missed the Maine game as a result.

Injuries, a reality, and a bitch.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

John Robertson in historical perspective part four

Villanova players with at least 30 career touchdowns:

Brian Westbrook- 89
Brian Finneran- 34
Mike Siani- 34
Anthony Cowsette- 31
Matt Szczur- 30
Terry Butler-30

John Robertson- 29 entering Saturday

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Flashback: Hoops Mania 2006

Doing a G-Unit chant led by 50 Cent and Tony Yayo is of the single most awesome moments of my life as a Villanova basketball fan.

I'm sorry, but they could have Kanye (they won't, he's in Vegas) tomorrow, and it wouldn't come anywhere close to this, because so few people in that building had any idea what was going down.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Penn State and Miami have NOTHING in common

There has been a smattering of extremely butthurt Penn State fans on twitter who have been lamenting the fate of their program at the hands of the NCAA in comparison to what they perceive as a slap on the wrist that was received earlier today by the University of Miami for various NCAA violations stemming from convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro's relationship with the Hurricanes program for about a decade. Now, I retweeted some of these people earlier today, and I still feel dirty about searching for those tweets.

The fact is that the situations at Penn State and Miami had nothing in common other than a now convicted felon. The harm caused by the administration of Miami ignoring Nevin Shapiro giving players money is not even in the same hemisphere as the atrocious acts committed by Jerry Sandusky, and the subsequent criminal conspiracy to cover up his behavior that went all the way to the top of the Penn State administration, which is why Graham Spanier, Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz are all about to go on trial for said coverup.

Also, Penn State signed a consent decree that admitted to the charges. They have no leg to stand on in this case, and their fans need to shut the fuck up and stop with the victim complex.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

John Robertson in historical perspective part three

NCAA division one quarterbacks who have both run and passed for over 1,000 yards in two different seasons:

Beau Morgan- Air Force
Josh Cribbs- Kent State
Vince Young- Texas
Pat White- West Virginia
Armanti Edwards- Appalachian State
Denard Robinson- Michigan

John Robertson in 2013:

1186 passing yards, 849 rushing yards

Saturday, October 19, 2013

UNH 29-Villanova 28: John Robertson and not much else

Today, Villanova saw a transcendent performance from sophomore quarterback John Robertson go to waste, where he led the team to two late fourth quarter touchdowns, the second one coming with only 69 seconds left in the game to put his team up by seven. On its ensuing drive, UNH marched it down the field and scored a touchdown with only 14 seconds left, only to follow it up with a ballsy two point conversion call. And thus, Villanova still has not beaten UNH in Durham since 2003.

For the game, Robertson had 255 rushing yards on 26 carries with three touchdowns, easily the best rushing performance by a Villanova player since the days of Brian Westbrook, as it was the second greatest single game rushing yards output by a Villanova player in program history. Unfortunately for Villanova, the inability of the defense to stop UNH at crucial times was also reminiscent of the Westbrook years.

Not much else was that good, as Robertson had over 300 yards of total offense over the next highest contributor. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

45 years ago in Villanova history: The Mighty Burner takes silver in Mexico City

Nobody would run faster than gold medalist Lee Evans or Villanova's very own Larry James until Butch Reynolds did so in 1988.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Jay Wright's most candid interview ever

On FOX Sports One with Regis Philbin. This is one of the best interviews with Jay I've ever seen.

Here's more of it.

In other news, Villanova was picked to finish fourth in the inaugural preseason coaches poll.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Has Hoops Mania become overrated?

I was a freshman at Villanova in 2006, when 50 Cent  famously and completely unexpectedly started the trend of major rap artists performing at Hoops Mania. This season marks my 20th of following Villanova basketball religiously, and despite the hundreds of games I've been to, that night in October, 2006 is easily in my top ten in person Villanova basketball moments.

The subsequent years have not been too kind to the event, from the 2007 debacle where hundreds of students were locked out in the rain, to the 2008 edition, which saw T-Pain put on an underwhelming set that you could barely understand. There have been highlights, like Rick Ross last year and Drake two years ago, but the event has lost its luster, because 95% of the excitement surrounding the event involves who is going to be performing that night, and none of it involves seeing the team.

In 2006, there was no anticipation about a performer, because we didn't know that there would be a performer. That is no longer the case, and Hoops Mania is a less compelling event now because of that. My suggestion to Villanova would be to have no performer this year, and make it strictly a basketball event, and make it so that performers are not a given from year to year.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

John Robertson's five touchdowns lead Villanova past unbeaten Towson 45-35

17-18, 182 passing yards, 32 carries, 150 rushing yards. Five total touchdowns. John "Pinball" Robertson is not human.

More to this tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Villanova-Towson primer

In 2012, the only conference team that truly battered Villanova was  Towson, who came to the Main Line and imposed their will, winning the game 49-35, their point total being the highest opponent point total against the 'Cats in the entire season. The loss was Villanova's second in a row to the tigers, who they had beaten four times in a row dating back to the 2007 season.On Saturday, Villanova will try to prevent that streak from becoming three, as they travel to Maryland to take on an undefeated, third ranked Towson team.

Unfortunately for Villanova, there is two things working against them. The first is that they are the road team, and games away from Villanova Stadium have been problematic for the good guys this season, as they have lost both of them. Also, there may be some lingering resentment among Towson players for being left out of the playoffs in lieu of Villanova last season, even though their misfortune was the result of an established tiebreaker procedure.

Villanova cannot make mistakes in this game. Turnovers, penalties, drops, mental errors and the like will not bode well for them, so hope they come prepared.

The game will be on NBC Sports Network this Saturday at 7 PM.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Villanova-Towson to be on national TV

This Saturday, Villanova travels to Maryland for their most difficult conference test of the young season, playing against a Towson team that they lost pretty handily to last year. The best thing about the game is that even Villanova fans on the West Coast will be able to watch it, because it will be on NBC Sports Network, Villanova's first nationally televised conference game since 2009.

The game is at 7 PM.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Villanova-William & Mary Highlights

The biggest Villanova regular season win in a while.

Meet Patrick Tiernan: Villanova Cross Country's newest Australian ace

It is only Patrick Tiernan's second semester on campus and his first season of competition for the Villanova Track or Cross Country teams, but the freshman from Toowoomba, Queensland has already established himself (emphatically so) as the top harrier on the Villanova cross country team, finishing as the number one runner in two of the team's first three races, and the third runner in the only other race. In short, the 19-year-old Aussie is establishing himself as Villanova's best distance hope since the graduation of NCAA 5000m champion Bobby Curtis in 2008. This weekend he finished fourth in a major invitational meet, besting several members of national championship contenders and race hosts Arkansas.

Keep an eye out for Patrick Tiernan.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Last minute drive leads Villanova past W&M, 20-16

John "Pinball" Robertson didn't have his best game on this hot Saturday afternoon. His first half was sub-par by his lofty standards, but he saved it for when it mattered most, leading Villanova on a game winning drive that took up more than five minutes of the game clock and gave the Bill and Mary Tribe the ball with only 28 seconds to go.

Once again, Kevin Monangai had a big game, leading Villanova in rushing, and really brought the team back into the game with his 54 yard rush in the fourth quarter, a career long to set up a touchdown by Austin Medley.

On defense, Joey Harmon had a big game with 12 tackles, Cameron McCurry had an interception, and Reggie Paris had a huge game ending sack that prevented a possible Hail Mary attempt.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Jay Wright on his expectations for Villanova's freshman class

I think Josh Hart can be a really versatile guy that can fill a lot of roles. I think Kris Jenkins is a really intelligent who has already improved his conditioning so that he can play at this level. He has a high basketball IQ. And Darryl Reynolds could help us in an area that concerns me the most -- rebounding. He's got good size, good hands, and he's a natural rebounder. He pursues the basketball.
More here.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Villanova-William & Mary Primer

Villanova has had pretty good luck against William & Mary in recent years, but that doesn't make the games between them easy to sit through. In the 2009 playoffs, Villanova's toughest challenge in the entire playoffs came at the hands of a William & Mary team that had one of the greatest defenses I have ever seen at this level of football. Villanova has won five of their last six games in the series at Villanova Stadium.

So what does Villanova need to do to win this game? They need to hold onto the ball, and take advantage of the homefield advantage. As Bill Parcells once said, "You are what your record says you are," and by that measure, William & Mary, at 3-1 is better than Villanova. A loss at this juncture of the season would be devastating, and running the table in CAA is basically the only route Villanova has to do anything significant in the playoffs.

Injury news: Peter Sotiriou will be starting over Ross Hall, who was injured in last week's game. Nice to see that the team will keep a redshirt on Kyle Wallace despite the injury to Hall.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

85 years ago in Villanova history

Leo Goodreau, the 19-year-old starting quarterback for the Villanova football team under legendary head coach Harry Stuhldreher succumbed to a broken neck sustained in practice 85 years ago today. Villanova would later name its field after Goodreau, and the field at Villanova Stadium remains Goodreau Field to this very day.

Video: Radnor Board of Commissioners meeting

More after the jump

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

John Robertson avoiding the sophomore slump

Through four games in 2013, Villanova starting quarterback John "Pinball" Robertson has been playing some of the best football of his career, outpacing his 2012 averages in both passing and rushing per game, while also being a more efficient passer, completing passes at a 65.1% clip, five percent better than his respectable 60.1% rate from last, and gaining a full yard greater per carry than he was last year, while also gaining more total passing and rushing yards on a per game basis by substantial numbers. His nine total touchdowns through four games means that Robertson has had a hand in 75% of the team's total touchdowns, an impressive total for a team that is averaging almost four touchdowns per game.

Obviously, his performance thus far in the season is not a perfect predictor of what will happen later on, but it's worth noting, because Robertson only got better as the season rolled on last year. One thing that needs to happen is that Robertson needs to take fewer hard hits while running the ball, perhaps that can be achieved by throwing the ball more often, or occasionally taking the ball and running out of bounds to avoid getting hit. A less negative consequence of Robertson running the ball with such authority thus far this season is that Kevin Monangai, Austin Medley, Gary Underwood, Jamal Abdur-Rahman, and Villanova's receivers will get more of an opportunity to contribute on offense, when teams start to key in on Robertson, given his ability to run the ball.

John Robertson is young, fast, throws a good ball, and is well on his way to being one of the most prolific offensive weapons in Villanova football history.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Villanova crushes Penn 35-6, is now 2-2

Behind what may have been the best game of John Robertson's still young career, Villanova demoralized a Penn football team that looked overmatched on both sides of the ball. Robertson finished the game 19 of 28 through the air for 266 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, and with 15 rushes for 132 yards and a touchdown. Villanova scored four offensive touchdowns, and Robertson accounted for all of them. Other key offensive performers were Kevin Monangai, who had 101 yards on 17 carries, and Poppy Livers, who continued his breakout campaign by making eight catches for 121 yards with two touchdowns. Villanova's only other touchdown was scored by Craig James, who returned a field goal that was blocked by Rakim Cox.

Just a great effort all around, and now this team is back to .500, with just about the entire conference schedule to play.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Starting another century: A Villanova-Penn primer

Last year's win against Penn made it 101 years since the Quakers beat Villanova. On Saturday at Villanova Stadium, the 'Cats will look to make that 102 years.

Let's start with the Quakers, who won 27-21 last week in their season opener against Lafayette. If they have a significant advantage over Villanova it is that they only have one game under their belt, and are less battered, but they also won't be as fresh. On offense, the Quakers start senior Billy Ragone at quarterback. Ragone, who seems like he has been around for a decade is a fourth year starter and was the Ivy League MVP in 2010. Ragone can both run and throw, so he is dangerous. On defense, the Quakers should be one of the better teams Villanova faces all season, because that always seems to be the case. It just happens that way.

Don't expect this to be a blowout. Even when Villanova has great teams, Penn still seems to give them a rough time, often playing games that Villanova doesn't even deserve to win, especially the 2008 and 2010 games. Villanova will have to be up for this one, because the Quakers are well coached and always get up to play Villanova.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

#CAAFB Going Deep: Villanova's Pat "Hammer" Williams

This kid is impressive.

13 years ago today: Sonia O'Sullivan gets her Olympic medal

A personal best well deserved honor for one of the greatest athletes in Villanova (and Irish) history. The first individual Olympic track and field medalist for Villanova since 1968, the first Villanova woman to win an Olympic medal, and Villanova's most recent individual medal. Also the first (clean) Irish woman to ever win an Olympic medal, and arguably as good as a gold medal, because the girl who beat her associated with notorious dopers.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Radnor's obstructionism is offensive and uncivilized

As you may have already heard, Radnor's board of commissioners punted Villanova's revised zoning proposal back to the zoning commission last night, where it has already been rejected once, presumably so that it can be rejected again by a group of people who are wont to give nothing to Villanova, even if it is sorely needed.

Let's start with the obvious: Villanova needs new on campus housing. Not only do locals dislike having students live in their midst to the extent that they have created local ordinances that make it very difficult for students to rent houses or apartments. Their police frequently harass any car with a Villanova bumper sticker, and regularly arrest Villanova students for public drunkenness, even when they're doing the right thing and walking home from a local bar instead of doing the irresponsible thing, which is driving, or getting a ride from someone else who is drunk.

It is time for Radnor's residents and commissioners to grow the fuck up and allow Villanova to move forward with their eminently reasonable plans. Unless there are 180 year old residents of any of these neighborhoods, Villanova was there when these NIMBYs moved in. If they don't like the school that was in their neighborhoods when they moved in, they can take their immature "NoVU" stickers and their smear campaigns and move to a place where they won't have to be inconvenienced by college students anymore. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

Villanova-Stony Brook: Things to look for

Due to illness, I posted an abortion last night as opposed to an actual post of substance. Just so that I don't feel bad about that, I'll write more than 30 words on the topic.

Here's some things I expect tomorrow:
  1. A lot of running of the football. Last season in the playoffs, Stony Brook pretty much ran the ball at will on Villanova. I expect them to try to do the same again.
  2. Fewer turnovers by Villanova. I have a hard time believing they're going to turn the ball over four or five times tomorrow. 
  3. High intensity on defense and special teams. I assume that Villanova's team will be angry, and they will try to impose that on the Sea Wolves. This could be dangerous, but I think they will try to set a tone to the game in order to impose their will on them. I don't know how well it will work, but I expect blue helmets to be flying all over the field towards the ball.
  4. A better John Robertson. He has been decent, but not great in the first two games of the season. I expect that to change.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A short Villanova-Stony Brook primer

If Villanova stops leaving the ball on the turf and starts scoring touchdowns in the red zone they might have a chance of winning on Saturday.

This has been a short Villanova-Stony Brook primer.

I might have more on this tomorrow if I have time.