Thursday, February 28, 2013

Catholic Separatists to Keep Big East Name!

We do what we want!

Ryan Arcidiacono in Historical Context

In strictly historical terms, what Ryan Arcidiacono is doing this season is rare. Starting at the 1999-2000 season, only two Villanova players have averaged more points per game as freshmen: Allan Ray and Gary Buchanan. Both of those players did it as shooting guards, a position that better fits Arcidiacono's style of play, but he happens to be playing point guard mostly out of necessity. Next year that could change, especially if Dylan Ennis is able to contribute at point guard.

Here are some of the freshman point totals for notable Villanova players who significantly contributed their freshman seasons.

Scottie Reynolds: 487 points as a freshman 
Gary Buchanan: 413 points as a freshman
Mike Nardi: 348 points as a freshman
Ryan Arcidiacono 343 points as a freshman
Allan Ray: 308 points as a freshman
Corey Fisher: 308 points as a freshman
Kerry Kittles: 294 points as a freshman

Ryan Arcidiacono is still 18 years old. He has scored 343 points already this season and it is not out of the question that he finishes with more than 400. Plot out a reasonable progression and then do the math. He could score a lot of points.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

30 Years Ago Tonight in Villanova History

Thirty years ago tonight, Villanova alum Eamonn Coghlan, a native of Dublin, Ireland set a world indoor record at the Meadowlands, becoming the first man to run under 3:50 for the distance indoors. Coghlan's time of 3:49.78 stood as the world indoor record for nearly 14 years, when it was broken by the great Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco, who still holds the record, and Cohglan is still the second fastest indoor miler in history. It wasn't until 2007 that someone ran a faster mile on a track in the United States.

Later in 1983, Coghlan would win the 5000m at the inaugural World Championship in Athletics.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

So What Next For Villanova?

The end of last night's game wasn't fun. I was quiet about the expectations for said game because I thought there was a good chance it would be very close, and I knew that it was possible that Villanova could lose.

So what is next for the 'Cats? It's really anyone's guess.

They could do what they've been doing all season and play to the level of their competition and win one or possibly two of their remaining regular season games, or they could totally lay an egg and lose their next two games plus their first Big East Game. Now last night's loss obviously left them even less margin for error than before, so they likely have to win two of their next three games. Luckily for Villanova, if either of those wins is against Pitt or Georgetown, there is very little that can happen to keep them out of the NCAA Tournament. Will they win any games for the rest of the season? Who knows.

We do know that Villanova has been crap on the road and very good at home, particularly when playing at the Wells Fargo Center, where they have yet to lose. That is why I think the Georgetown game is huge. A win at Pitt this Sunday would be a much bigger deal than a home Georgetown win, but it is about ten times less likely to occur.

It's also a good time to reflect on how much this young team has improved.

Oh yeah, congratulations are in order to Mouphtaou Yarou for reaching the 1,000 point plateau last night.

John Ermilio: The Villanova Dancing Guy

John Ermilio, a 1967 Villanova alum tells the story of how he has become one of the most recognizable Villanova fans.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Special Guest Commentary


2013 Villanova Football Schedule

 John "Pinball" Robinson

Pitt backed on Villanova, so it was replaced with BC.

Official release here.

2013 Schedule:

August 30                Boston College                  Boston, Mass.
September 7              Fordham                         Bronx, N.Y.
September 14             Bye Week
September 21             Stony Brook                     Villanova, Pa.
September 28             Penn                            Villanova, Pa.
October 5                William & Mary                  Villanova, Pa.
October 12               Towson                          Towson, Md.
October 19               New Hampshire                   Durham, N.H.
October 26               Maine                           Villanova, Pa.
November 2               James Madison                   Harrisonburg, Va.
November 9               Rhode Island                    Kingston, R.I.
November 16              Bye Week
November 23              Delaware                        Villanova, Pa.
This is a big season for this team.

Official Villanova-Marquette Highlights

The ones I posted last night were the annoying ESPN ones, but here are the ones that Villanova made themselves.

Beat Seton Hall.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Villanova-Marquette Highlights

Villanova beat Marquette, but their RPI only went up one place. So much for a bracket-busting win.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Big Game Darrun: Villanova Beats Marquette

If I were to submit to subjective emotion, I would say that Darrun Hilliard has shown himself to be a big game player, but doing so would be an insult to just how good he has been lately. Tonight, Darrun had another huge game, leading all comers with 22 points as Villanova beat 17th ranked Marquette 60-56, covering the spread in the process.

Also in double figures for Villanova were Ryan Arcidiacono with 11, who had his second straight game with zero turnovers, Mouphtaou Yarou who added 10 in what very well may be his final game in the Pavilion, and JayVaughn Pinkston, who scored 11. In something that will come as a bit of a shock, Villanova had EIGHT fewer turnovers than the Golden Eagles, and Jordan Cadougan, the leading Marquette scorer scored only 12 points. Also notable: Daniel Ochefu made his only two free throw attempts.

This is a huge win for our 'Cats. Two more wins and they're in the NCAA Tournament just a year after one of the worst seasons in program history.

Beat Seton Hall.

Villanova-Marquette Betting Line

Villanova -1


Friday, February 22, 2013

Must Win: Villanova-Marquette Primer

I'm sad you're leaving too, Moe
I have held out on doing this all season, but tomorrow's game against Marquette is the first time all season that I am definitively going to say that a Villanova game is one that they have to win.

What makes me say this? Well, I figure that VU must win at least two more of their games and there are four of them left, two home, two away. I think that three of the remaining games are winnable, but even the two home games against Marquette and Georgetown will be very difficult to win. The road game against Seton Hall is also a must win, because even though it is a road game, the Pirates are not a good team. Future games are besides the point. Villanova needs to win tomorrow because it will give them enough quality wins to make them hard to ignore by the selection committe, and because I know that there will be a lot of Georgetown fans in the Wells Fargo Center 12 days from now, limiting the home court advantage to a degree. Also, because I'm not sure how much Villanova will be able to score against the Hoyas.

Speaking of scoring, that's the one thing that Marquette does about as well or better than any team Villanova has played so far, as the Golden Eagles shoot 46.6% from the field and convert at better than 73% from the free throw line. On offense they have one glaring weakness a: putrid 30.2% conversion rate from beyond the arc. To put things in perspective, Villanova's horrible-shooting 2011-2012 team shot 31.5% from three. There is an issue with Marquette's three point conversion rate though: They seem to recognize how bad they are at shooting threes, so they don't take many of them, ranking in the bottom 20 of the country in attempts.

So what must Villanova do to win? I think they have to coax Marquette into shooting threes by any means necessary, especially Vander Blue, who loves to shoot threes despite the fact that he only converts on 30.9% of his attempts. Even Jamil Wilson, their leading three point shooter, who despite shooting 42.6% from beyond the arc, it looks as if he's experienced a good run of luck and may be due for some leveling off.

I say it too often, but this is a winnable game, and Villanova needs this one way more than Marquette.

Thank you Mouph and Moe for gutting it out.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Is James Bell Really Clutch?

A narrative has emerged in the last month or so among Villanova fans that James Bell is a "clutch" three point shooter based on his three point shooting in the final seven minutes of games and overtime, when is 18 for 27.

First off, we must ask what qualifies as "clutch". Is any shot late in any game even if you are up by 40 considered clutch? Does a clutch shot have to happen near the end of a game?

What narratives like this tend to ignore is that those 27 shots that Bell has taken in the final seven minutes of a game or overtime represent only 22% of his three point attempts. That is nowhere close to an adequate sample size. If he were to do this over the course of 100 shots at the end of games, then there would be more to go on, but how can you make such a definitive observation after 27 shots?

There is also the fact that the final seven minutes of a game is an arbitrary starting point. What would his shooting percentage be if you started it three minutes earlier or two minutes later?

The chances are that Bell's shooting at the end of games, which has been excellent will regress to somewhere around his career average, because that's what tends to happen.

The data shows us that James Bell is a good shooter, which is fine, and what limited data we have shows that he's been good at the end of games, but don't call him "clutch" based on such conditional numbers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Video: Josh Hart Bio Piece

Hart is averaging 23.8 points per game this season according to the Washington Post, which is third in the DC Area.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

Video: Sheila Reid's Canadian Mile Record

Her final time was 4:27.02. Also in the race, high school phenom Mary Cain continued her assault on the US high school record books, by setting a record in the mile for the second time in a month.

To me though, this was about Sheila Reid breaking a 27 year old Canadian Record, and setting yet another world lead.

Mind the awful camera work.

Villanova Issues Revised Pavilion Guidelines

Today, Villanova announced that they would be making the 500 millionth Harlem Shake video at the Pavilion tonight. Because of that, they deemed it necessary to distribute their list of prohibited items. Unfortunately, their list was outdated, and I felt it was necessary to post the newer list.


In the interest of public safety, and consistent with other major athletic facilities
throughout the nation, Villanova adheres to the following safety procedures.

Fans are encouraged to bring ONLY necessary items to basketball games at The Pavilion.
All items and personal effects carried to The Pavilion are subject to search. Gates will
open one (1) hour before tip-off, unless noted otherwise.

Prohibited list:

Controlled Substances
Alcoholic or other beverages or beverage holders
Animals (except service animals)
Attractive cheerleaders
Strobe lights or Laser pointers
Video Cameras
Standing up
Flags and flagpoles
Coolers, thermoses, cups, bottles, cans, flasks
Aerosol and spray cans
Noise Makers

Changes in national and regional security levels may affect security procedures at The
Pavilion, including the prohibition of all bags or items in the arena. Exceptions for
medical reasons will be addressed individually at the gates. Also, fans found throwing
projectiles will be subject to ejection, citation and other possible administrative action.
We expect your cooperation with these security measures. Don't enjoy the game!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Jay Wright's Finest Performance

During the 2012 offseason, people claiming to be Villanova fans were popping up all over the place and referring to Jay Wright as if he was a dead man walking. 26 games into the 2012-2013 season, it's looking like he will be on the short list for Big East coach of the year honors. In many ways, this season has been a vindication of the abilities of Jay as a coach, even though there are still people who doubt his fitness to coach. This is a man who has made us so spoiled that the first time he misses the NCAA tournament in seven years leads people to begin calling for his head.

So what changed this offseason? In short part, nothing. Villanova got better at defense, and their luck regressed to the mean this offseason. That's really about it. If this team could play better offense, (they're improving,) they would probably be even better at defense.

The true measure of a coach's performance is how much a team improves over the course of a season, and there is no question as to the improvement of the 2012-2013 Villanova Wildcats. I think we know what man deserves the lion's share of the credit for turning Villanova from a 13 win team last season, to one that is only a few wins away from making the NCAA Tournament.

Beat Rutgers.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Villanova Beats UConn in Hartford!

Something rare happened today: Villanova trailed at halftime. That was probably the third rarest thing to happen today though, as they committed fewer turnovers than the other team, and they won in an upset on the road,, beating UConn 70-61. How did they do it? Well, the short answer is that Ryan Arcidiacono had what might have been his best game of the season, and James Bell avenged a putrid first half by scoring  all 11 of his points in the second half. Bell's scoring came by way of three shots from beyond the arc and a thunderous alley-oop via Arcidiacono. Also with a nice game was Mouphtaou Yarou, who finished with 11 points and 16 rebounds. By comparison, UConn only had 24 rebounds as a team.

This is a huge win, and it shows the team that they can win road games like this. They may not go to the NCAA tournament, but they have shown a clear progression throughout the season, doing things that we wouldn't have thought possible just a few months ago. Beat Rutgers on Monday.

Villanova is now 33-30 all time against the Huskies.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Not a Dime Back: Villanova-UConn Primer


For what could be the final time in Big East regular season play, Villanova will head to Hartford, Connecticut to take on the Huskies of UConn, searching for just one good road win, which has so far eluded the Wildcats during this season, and is a major stain on any sort of postseason resume.

UConn is currently serving a one year postseason ban for allowing their basketball players to go through college without reading a single book cover to cover and other various other academic infractions, but have still been playing with purpose this season, currently sitting at 17-6 with their win over Syracuse earlier this week at . To beat UConn, you'd probably be smart to try to shut down their two best players, Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright. Napier, a 6'1 junior guard is the only remaining significant contributor from UConn's improbable 2011 National Championship run and Boatright, a 6'0 sophomore, was one of the best rookies in the Big East last year. Both of these guards are vastly more talented than any guard on the Villanova roster. Oh yeah, you might also remember Shabazz Napier from this punch in the dick, one of the low points of a very low 2011-2012 Villanova season.

This game comes during the same week as one of the signature wins of the Jay Wright era, where Villanova beat #1 UConn in the Wachovia Center, and also two days before the 18th anniversary of the signature win of the Steve Lappas era, a win against a #1 UConn team in Storrs. Like those other two games, this one is reasonably evenly matched, but it is a road game against a UConn team that seems to have a chip on its shoulder. Unlike last game, this is a must win, and believe it or not, it is winnable, but as is usually the case, that's only possible if Villanova generates some offense.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dylan Ennis and Villanova's Lack of a True Point Guard

In the past, we have seen the positive and negative consequences of placing great responsibilities on the shoulders of a transfer player, whether it is Taylor King, or Michael Bradley, it's never really an ideal situation. This past summer, with Maalik Wayns declaring for the NBA draft and Ty Johnson transferring, Villanova received two transferring point guards, Tony Chennault from Wake Forest, who was immediately given a waiver to play due to an illness in his family, and Dylan Ennis from Rice, who was required to sit out a year due to NCAA rules. Chennault has been a regular member of the rotation this season, mostly spelling Ryan Arcidiacono (who is probably a shooting guard long term) at point guard, and has been steady, if unspectacular.

Still though, Villanova does not have a true, difference-maker at the point guard position who is currently eligible to play, and that has hurt the team greatly on the offensive end. Enter Dylan Ennis. If you were to look at Ennis' freshman season at Rice from a purely statistical standpoint, one player comes to mind: Kyle Lowry. Obviously, to expect that Ennis performs like Lowry is simply preposterous, but the numbers he put up are reminiscent of a young Kyle Lowry. The fact that at Ennis was able to grab four rebounds a game while averaging about 27 minutes a game is phenomenal for a smallish point guard. Rebounding ability will be especially important for the smaller players on the floor next year, when Mouphtaou Yarou graduates, and it's looking like there might not be much help for Daniel Ochefu. The rebounding ability of smaller players like Lowry and Randy Foye was perhaps the single most important factor that allowed the four guard teams to succeed.

Secondary responsibilities like rebounding and blocked shots (Ennis does that too) aside, the most important job that a point guard has is to handle and distribute the ball. A true point guard on the floor at the same time as Arcidiacono, Darrun Hilliard, and James Bell will allow for more opportunities to get open outside shots quickly, which would reduce the number of long possessions, and theoretically could reduce the number of turnovers. In theory, that's what Dylan Ennis' contribution will be, while also being an offensive threat in his own right. A distributor who can score is necessary for an elite team, so let's hope that Ennis is that. If he's not though, that's fine too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Source: Mendel Hazardous Chemical Identified

Amidst all of the Breaking Bad/Meth jokes about today's chemical incident in Mendel Hall which left five people hospitalized, I have obtained exclusive information from a first responder as to the offending chemical which caused the students to become ill. It was not phosphine, nor was it Mendel Doug returning to Villanova to exact revenge on the chemistry department.

According to my source, this was caused by the reaction of isobutanol and two acids. That pretty accurately describes the Fischer esterification of isobutyl acetate, a common solvent used in the production of lacquer.

Here's what the venerable Wikipedia has to say about isobutyl acetate:
Like many esters it has a fruity or floral smell at low concentrations and occurs naturally in raspberries, pears and other plants. At higher concentrations the odor can be unpleasant and may cause symptoms of central nervous system depression such as nausea, dizziness and headache.
And there you go, exactly the symptoms described in news reports. Sounds like someone did a shitty job measuring out the chemicals.

The Elephant in the Room

Rarely (unless John Calipari is the coach) do teams lose their two highest scorers and get significantly better, but that is exactly the case with Villanova this season. It's been thought, but not vocalized much, but now I think is a pretty good time to wonder about the growth of this Villanova team in the absence of Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek. I want to be clear that I do not intend to demonize or cast blame on those two, or Ty Johnson and Markus Kennedy, the other two players absent from last year's team, but when a team improves this much without the two players perceived to be the best on the team, it is understandably a topic of discussion.

I would like to preface this by saying that I am not disappointed with either Wayns or Cheek in hindsight. I have been critical in the past of the culture of venerating high school seniors as part of the recruiting process, and the vitriol towards Wayns and Cheek by some is emblematic of the slippery slope that comes with anointing a particular recruiting class as one that is going to lead a school to the promised land. Both Cheek and Wayns did do what they were billed to be able do out of high school: Score. The only problem is that in their three years at Villanova, the team was generally putrid defensively, which cannot be pinned on them alone, and it's not necessarily their fault that they weren't particularly good defensive players, but it's worth pointing out that Villanova is exponentially better at defense this season than they were in the last one.

If you had asked me last season what was causing the issues on defense, I would have told you that it was a problem that went from the inside out, that Mouphtaou Yarou's limitations on the inside were the primary cause, but now I realize that Mouphie can be on a team that plays defense that is elite, or near that level. What is surprising to me is how much last season's team relied on Cheek and Wayns offensively. The 2013 version of Villanova is worse offensively, probably because they turn the ball over more and are missing free throws at a greater percentage, and Wayns and Cheek both converted at a rate greater than 80%.

It is not okay to question the effort of the two players who left early, but it is to wonder if their absence has forced this team to acknowledge their offensive deficiencies and embrace hard nosed team defense.

Go 'Cats, beat Cincinnati tonight.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bracket Buster: Villanova-Cincinnati Primer

Tomorrow night, Villanova will travel to Cincinnati to face a team that is a slower paced, rich man's version of themselves. Both teams in tomorrow's game have defenses that could conceivably be considered nationally elite and offenses that are top 100, but still not elite. I'm not going to anoint this game a must-win for Villanova, but they are still in need of a good road win, and they cannot afford to lose many more games.

With that said about the necessity of the win, it must be said that Villanova will not be favorites in this game, and I would expect that Cincinnati will be 5-7 point favorites. That makes this game all the more imperative to win though, because beating teams where you're a demonstrable underdog is something that can really bolster an NCAA Tournament resume*. If I were to guess, Villanova needs 21 wins to firmly place themselves in the NCAA Tournament because of the one win against a non-division one team.

As for individual players on Cincinnati's team that Villanova needs to contain, it begins and ends with Sean Kilpatrick and Cashmere Wright, who combine or almost half of the offense for the Bearcats. In games where Villanova has won this year, they've generally done a pretty good job of shutting down the other team's excellent players, which they've obviously struggled to do in games they've lost to teams that are better (and worse) than them. Cincinnati is also similar to Villanova in that they turn the ball over a lot, so Villanova needs to make sure that the turnover margin is relatively even, because Villanova will have a much harder time winning if they turn the ball over at a rate similar to their season average while not forcing turnovers on the other end.

*Just as a side note, I think it's absolutely awesome that we're even talking about the possibility of Villanova making the NCAA Tournament after the clusterfuck of last season, and the rough start this year. All of this is a true testament to the job that's been done by the coaches and players this season. They deserve all the credit in the world for that, especially the players who have stepped up in the second half of the season and played huge, specifically Darrun Hilliard. I actually think that if this team can click off the wins necessary to make it to the Big Dance that they'll be able to get into the second weekend since defense is the single most important factor in NCAA Tournament success, and this team can play it.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Babycats Are Making Me Excited

The pitfalls of Villanova over the last few years have been mostly to blame on a porous defense. That has changed this year, because they have suddenly morphed into a team that plays elite defense, despite an offense that struggles to score at times. One thing that we know about defense is that young teams tend to be pretty crappy at it. The 2013 Villanova Wildcats are currently ranked higher defensively by Ken Pomeroy's computer (36th) than any Villanova team since the 2009 Final Four team. Obviously there are some offensive deficits, but even that is getting better.

Think about this: The current rotation only has one senior and a junior logging regular minutes, which means that the rest of the team are either freshmen or sophomores, and Dylan Ennis hasn't contributed yet, but he'll only be a sophomore yesterday. I've been quiet about this, but I have it on good word that the staff are absolutely giddy about Ennis, they think that he might even be the best player on the team, and they're blown away by his attitude, which is not something that would have ever been said about noted aloof person Taylor King even if he could knock down an open jump shot. 

One player who deserves an immense amount of credit for the turnaround this year is Mouphtaou Yarou. A large portion of the Villanova fan base was willing to run Mouph out of town for what they perceived as his deficiencies, but ever since Big East play began, Mouph has been the second best player on the team behind only Darrun Hilliard. Having a big man who makes free throws at a rate usually reserved for guards and doesn't get into foul trouble is indispensable. Because of that, an argument could be made that Mouphie is the MVP of the team.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Villanova Throttles USF

Luckily, Villanova is beating Big East teams that are demonstrably worse than them. Today was no different as they took USF to the woodshed, winning 68-40. Again for Villanova, it was the Darrun Hilliard show as the sophomore guard from Bethlehem, PA finished with 17 points. As a team, Villanova shot 52.4% from the field, and went 7-13 from beyond the arc. The rest of the scoring was a team effort, with only JayVaughn Pinkston in double figures with 10. If Villanova hadn't called off the dogs for the last five minutes of the game, they probably would have won by 40. 

It's nice to be back in a place where Villanova throttles bad teams.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Get to Know the Lady Wildcats

Second video after the jump. 

A Bunch of Bull: Villanova-USF Primer

Tomorrow afternoon, Villanova will look to do something that they were unable to do last season: Win 14 games against division one teams when they take on South Florida at the Pavilion. Last month in Villanova's first road game of the season, the Wildcats beat the Bulls 71-63 at the Sun Dome.

On paper, Villanova has a sound advantage over USF. They are one of the few offenses in the Big East that is demonstrably worse than them, and they have only won one Big East game so far, but surprisingly, the team they beat was Georgetown, so it is quite possible that Villanova could lose this game. What's harder to watch than a team that is horrible on offense? A team that is horrible on offense and plays incredibly slowly. The Bulls play slowly, and their adjusted tempo rank of 331 is illustrative of that.

If Villanova Wins: Don't forget to storm the court.
If Villanova Loses: Commit seppuku.
Additional Details: 3 PM tomorrow, ESPNU, at the Pavilion. Also, high school track phenom Edward Cheserek is visiting Villanova this weekend. Make him feel welcome. A "We want Edward" chant would be nice.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Andy Talley Talks About Villanova's Haul

I like signing day better when the coach has to explain more to you than any recruiting service.

Villanova Football Signs Eight Players

When a playoff team only has room for eight incoming freshman, that's generally a good thing. This year, Villanova did exactly that, which means that they have a lot returning next year, which they do. Without further comment, here are the players Villanova signed today.

Name              Pos.     Ht.       Wt.         Hometown/Previous School
Jason Ceneus      DB       5-9       170         New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle H.S.
Lincoln Collins   WR       6-2       180         Nahant, Mass./ Boston College H.S.
Matt Donoghue     OL       6-4       280  Garnet Valley, Pa./ Garnet Valley H.S.
Lorenzo Fertitta  DB       5-10      175  Las Vegas, Nev./ Bishop Gorman H.S.
Trey Johnson      DB       5-11      160  Lutz, Fla./Steinbrenner H.S.
Thomas Plonski    DL       6-5       230  Brooklyn, N.Y./ Brooklyn Tech
Wesley Smith      DB       5-11      175  Miramar, Fla./University School
Mike Williams     DL       6-5       280  Woodlawn, Md./ Archbishop Spalding
More info here.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Villanova Wins 94-71, Thank Jeezus For DePaul

Villanova scored 52 points on Sunday against Providence. Tonight against DePaul, they scored more than that in the first 16:30 of the second half while achieving a rare Big East blowout, winning 94 to 71. Of all the players who saw extended action, Daniel Ochefu was the only player who did not finish in double figures. Ryan Arcidiacono led the way for Villanova with 23 points, Darrun Hilliard scored 17, and  James Bell had 16. If they had wanted to, Villanova could have easily scored 100 points, but Jay Wright had the audacity to call off the dogs.

This team sure is inconsistent, but man they can be fun to watch.

Video: Get To Know the Villanova Basketball Team

Second part after the jump, with some highlights

Villanova-Providence "Highlights"

Well shit.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Villanova-Depaul Primer

Let me begin with an unnecessary personal story. Seven years ago next Monday, my father picked me up at my boarding school in the Midwest to take a day trip to Chicago, because Randy Foye, Allan Ray, Mike Nardi, Kyle Lowry, and Villanova were taking on DePaul at Allstate Arena. The game was pretty stress free (Bilal Benn scored nine points!), except for a stretch where DePaul got it to within six during the second half, but it was only two days later that Villanova would claim their biggest home win in school history, beating UConn at the (then) Wachovia Center. Just thought I'd share that, because driving to and from Chicago in a pretty treacherous snow storm to watch Villanova beat a nondescript DePaul team is one of my most vivid in person memories as a Villanova fan, and whenever Villanova goes to play against DePaul, especially when it's cold outside, I think of that treacherous journey.

Now on to tomorrow's game. You would think that Villanova would have an easy job of dispatching a bad team like DePaul, but as this team has proved, it basically plays to the level of its competition, partially because of the fact that it turns the ball over so frequently, but counteracts that reality by playing defense that is quite sufficient, thereby keeping them in games that they would otherwise be in. It all comes down to making shots. If this Villanova team makes 45% of its shots, it is pretty difficult to beat as long as they don't turn the ball over 25 times. Even then, if they get to the free throw line, that might help them a lot. Basically what I am saying is that you shouldn't worry about DePaul, but you should worry about what Villanova team shows up to play, because that's going to be what determines whether Villanova wins or loses.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Joe Flacco Against Villanova

That is Villanova's Greg Miller making Joe Flacco his bitch during one of Flacco's two losses to Villanova. 


Inconsistent Villanova Is Inconsistent

Welp. Last week, Villanova won two huge games. This week, they went 0-2. What we saw over the last two weeks has been pretty much par for the course and should be what you should expect for the rest of the season. When the threes dry up, the offense can't score, and the turnovers are amplified. Maybe that will get better with time and with more practice reps.

We can second guess all we want about pressing at the end or whatever, but when you shoot that poorly in the second half after spotting a team six points at halftime, you won't get very far.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

Crazy Stat

The 2011-12 Villanova basketball team only won two true road games. After 21 games last year, they had only won one. The 2012 team has already won four, and has five more chances to increase that number.