Saturday, November 30, 2013

Highlights of Villanova's dramatic victory over Kansas

So big, you guys.




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.