Tuesday, April 30, 2013

NFL teams should be beating down Norman White's door

During Norman White's career at Villanova, there were not many opportunities to catch passes. Sure, the team threw the ball, but it was generally as a means of creating running lanes. So White's primary responsibilities on the football field during his college career were not as a receiver, but as a blocker. Despite this reality, which a lot of receivers do not relish, Norman was able to distinguish himself not only as a blocker, but also as a receiver, finishing his career as one of the most prolific wide receivers in Villanova history from a statistical perspective. If Norman White had played for Villanova ten years earlier, he'd be a mid round pick in the NFL draft, even with his concerning injury history and unspectacular 40 yard dash times.

The fact that White has not even gotten a mini camp invite yet shows that someone has not been doing their homework. Here is a selfless player who produced in college, that NFL teams were interested in since the beginning of his junior year, but all the sudden they cease being interested?

If I was an NFL coach, Norman White is exactly the kind of player that I would want in my camp. 

Penn Relays Weekend Highlights

Both the women's distance medley relay win and the 4x800 collegiate record.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Villanova's Adam Nelson gets invite to Chiefs minicamp

Adam Nelson was a two year starter at long snapper, as well as the starting catcher on the Villanova baseball team.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Villanova Collegiate Record press conference


Some nuggets:
  1. Emily Lipari had no idea who the girl she was running against on the anchor was. 
  2. First 4x800 Villanova has entered 
  3. Running on three relays in a single weekend is business as usual for runners at Villanova according to coach Gina Procaccio.
  4. You can tell how amplified this is for them being at Villanova.
  5. EVERYONE is back next year.

    Video: Villanova's Collegiate Record 4x800m relay

    Pretty cool that these girls got on TV, even if it was just a highlights package on a relatively fringy channel.

    Saturday, April 27, 2013

    Villanova women make history at the Penn Relays

    What a day at Franklin Field. The Villanova men didn't finish lower than third in any of their championship races, and the women, anchored by junior Emily Lipari took on a formidable Oregon squad in the 4x800m relay that was the defending champion and considerably fresher, with most members of their team having only run one race the weekend, and three of the four runners on their third race of the weekend. In the end though, the Villanova squad of Kelsey Margey, Angel Piccirillo, Nicky Akande, and Lipari proved victorious, edging the Ducks at the line by 17 hundredths of a second, setting a collegiate record of 8:17.45 in the process.

    For her efforts in today's 4x800 and Thursday's distance medley relay Lipari was named female college
     athlete of the meet.

    If you've never been to the Penn Relays, you should go next year. Seriously.

    Villanova returns every runner on all three men's and women's distance relays next season.

    Friday, April 26, 2013

    Strong day two for Villanova at the Penn Relays

    Piccirillo to Wilkins to Akande to Lipari.

    In day two highlights, the women's 4x1500m relay (Stephanie Schappert, Nicky Akande, Angel Piccirillo, Emily Lipari) finished third behind winner Michigan and second placed Oregon. The men's distance medley relay (Sam McEntee, Sam Ellison, Chris FitzSimons, Jordy Williamsz) finished second behind Penn State. 

    Tomorrow at Penn will be the men's 4xMile relay and the women's and men's 4x800m relays.

    Thursday, April 25, 2013

    Piccirillo + Wilkins + Akande + Lipari = Penn Relays repeat

    Great day today at the Penn Relays. Another wheel for the most crowded wall at Villanova, more proof that Villanova owns the Penn Relays, something to shoot for next year, when all four members of this relay will be back, and way too much sunburn for your humble corespondent.

    More on this tomorrow.

    Villanova Football Post Spring Interviews

    Antoine Lewis, Dan Shirey, anbd John Robertson all give their thoughts on how the spring treated the team.

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    More evidence of John Kluh's badassery


    Matt Szczur off to hot start in 2013

    From the world of professional baseball here comes an update on the progress of two-sport Villanova legend Matt Szczur's career in the Chicago Cubs minor league system.

    At the end of the 2012 season, I thought that Matt Szczur's baseball career was in a bit of flux. He didn't really hit for average or power after he was promoted from hi-A to double-A, and struggled in the hitter friendly Arizona Fall League after the season. 19 games into 2013, I'm happy to report that Szczur is off to one of the best starts of his professional career, hitting .297/.365/.432 and is looking like he may actually get a shot to prove himself in the Major Leagues at some point relatively soon, possibly as early as this September depending on how things go for the rest of this season.

    Good for Szczur, one of Villanova's all-time best athletes.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    Darryl Reynolds Highlights

    Reynolds looks to have a lot of room to grow, but all you need to see is the development of other big men in the program, and I'm confident he'll be okay.

    More after the jump.

    Darryl Reynolds to Villanova!

    Welcome to the program. Reynolds will join Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins in the 2013 recruiting class.

    Monday, April 22, 2013

    Projecting Villanova's Penn Relays Lineups

    2011 DMR Championship

    The Penn Relays are this week. If you have been before, you know the experience, but if you have not, you should. Obviously, the relays are one of the highlights of the year for the Villanova track team. If you walk the hallway connecting the Field House with the Pavilion, you would know why. Both men and women will likely be entered in three of the four distance relays, with the sole difference being that the women's distance relay is the 4x1500m and the men's is 4xMile.

    Here are my predictions, with my best guess as to the order they will compete.

    Women's relays: 

    Distance Medley Relay (Thursday)

    Angel Piccirillo 1200
    Michaela Wilkins 400
    #Nicky Akande  800
    #Emily Lipari 1600

    4x1500m relay (Friday)

    Stephanie Schappert
    Angel Piccirillo
    Nicky Akande
    Emily Lipari

    4x800 relay (Saturday)

    Angel Piccirillo
    Kelsey Margey
    Nicky Akande
    Emily Lipari

    Men's relays:

    DMR (Friday)

    Jordy Williamsz 1200
    #Sam Ellison 800
    Chris FitzSimons 400
    Sam McEntee 1600

    4xMile (Saturday)

    Rob Denault
    Alex Tully
    Jordy Williamsz
    Sam McEntee

    4x800 (Saturday)
    Chris FitzSimons
    Andrew Golato
    Dusty Solis
    Sam Ellison

    # denotes those who have a Penn Relays win in that event.

    More Penn Relays coverage to come as the week continues.

    Sunday, April 21, 2013

    Looking Back: Penn Relays 2012

    In the BCS era of college athletics, any year where a small private school like Villanova can do something on a national scale is a good one, especially in a non-revenue sport, where the huge state schools reign supreme.

    Sheila Reid's amazing career at Villanova was an example of a smaller school triumphing over much larger ones. Her final major win at Villanova was last year at the Penn Relays, when she bided her time behind Tennessee's anchor for three laps in the distance medley relay before finally making her move in the final lap to win comfortably, earning a Penn Relays watch, the only major accomplishment she had yet to achieve as a collegian.

    The Penn Relays for Villanova start this Thursday with the women's distance medley relay. 

    Meet John Kluh: Badass

    Much like in most other sports, height is generally an advantage in lacrosse, a sport where it is not all that uncommon to see players that are tall enough to be power forwards in major college basketball, so you'd think that a player who is five foot four would have no place on the lacrosse field, right?

    Well, you'd be wrong, because Villanova's most dynamic offensive player this season is 5'4" freshman John Kluh, who is third on the team in  goals with 16, tied for the team lead in assists with nine, and third on the team in points with 25.

    Here on Fact on Villanova Sports, we like to highlight the badasses, like we did with runner Brian Basili a couple weeks ago, and Kluh certainly fits into this category.

    Villanova's Real Issue: Depth

    With the departures of two players in April and only two players so far signed to the 2013 recruiting class, plus the departures of Maurice Sutton and Mouphtaou Yarou, the Villanova basketball is in a pretty unique bind in that they currently have four open scholarships and no replacements on the horizon.

    This is an issue. Surely they will find a remedy at some point in the offseason in the form of some uncommitted players or transfers that will be able to seek hardship waivers, but that does not change the fact that 2014 recruiting class is one of the most vital in Jay Wright's entire tenure if there are still vacancies.

    Friday, April 19, 2013

    Why Does Villanova Even Have A Baseball Team?

    I love baseball. It is the sport I know the most about, and the professional sports team that I follow most closely happens to be a baseball team. I can't say that I'm a big fan of college baseball, but I'll watch it when the College World Series is on TV, and I go to Villanova baseball games on occasion.

    The Villanova baseball team is not competitive, and hasn't been in quite some time, yet they continue to pile one mediocre season after another with the occasional season where they are close to .500 sprinkled in there.

    The only reason to continue to incur costs in a sport is when you are competitive, so that you can get students that you would otherwise have no chance of getting to be interested in your school. The Villanova baseball team is not competitive at all, so why do they still have one?

    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    Villanova Does Not Have A Transfer Problem

    When the news broke today that Tony Chennault is tranferring, the narrative among some fans that Villanova has seen an unprecedented number of transfers reared its ugly head, and that means that Jay Wright and the program is in some sort of turmoil.

    Narratives like that are only true for the small but vocal number of people who choose to believe them. The fact is that transfers are up everywhere, and unless the kids who are transferring are saying bad things about the coach, the program, or the school, there is nothing to be worried about. In most of these cases, the students transferring out seem to be parting with the school amicably, and the school is not putting up roadblocks to prevent them from transferring.

    Also notice that the people who are being alarmist are the same people who said that Tony was a crappy player. Some people dislike Jay Wright for some unfathomable reason, so you should probably just ignore them.

    Tony Chennault Transferring From Villanova

    Welp, best of luck to him. You'd think someone would value a Villanova diploma over one from a division two school though. Time for Mislav "The Croatian Sensation of the Nova Nation" Brzoja to step up!

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    Catching Up With Andy Talley

    "At any level"

    Earlier today, Villanova football head coach Andy Talley gave an interview with KYW news radio today on the occasion of the conclusion of spring practice.

    The radio interview is here

    Some highlights:
    • Running backs Kevin Monangai and Austin Medley didn't get much work this spring because the coaches want to keep them healthy.
    • This spring was spent shoring up the offensive line, and he seems confident that it was done. 
    • The secondary is probably the team's biggest weakness according to Talley.
    • Andy Talley Hyperbole Alert: Andy Talley said that John Robertson is one of the best quarterbacks in the country "at any level".
    So there you go, spring practice is through and we're counting down the days until Villanova plays BC. 

    Monday, April 15, 2013

    Does Jay Wright Have Good News?

    If you remember from yesterday, Jay Wright was visiting 2014 guard Phil Booth in Baltimore. Usually when coaches are recruiting athletes, since they can't explicitly comment on who they're after, they speak in coded language, but they make it pretty clear what they're talking about.

    We'll obviously know more in the coming days. This could just be a way of letting a recruiting target know that he's wanted.

    Sunday, April 14, 2013

    Jay Wright Visits Top 2014 Recruit

    Just another example of Jay Wright doing work in the DMV

    Saturday, April 13, 2013

    Seth Davis: Villanova a Top 25 Team

    Not a huge fan of Seth Davis (for non-basketball reasons), but I think he generally knows his shit about basketball far more than a lot of the talking heads they put on TV, so his opinion is one of the individual polls I would put some weight in. Anywho, he has the 2013-2014 'Cats as the 24th best team in the country as things stand right now.

     Here's what Davis says about Villanova:
    24. Villanova
    The Wildcats will enter the season with two of the best players at their position in the newfangled Big East -- sophomore point guard Ryan Arcidiacono and junior forward JayVaughn Pinkston. Freshman Kris Jenkins, a 6-6 forward from Washington, D.C., will have a chance to crack the starting lineup.
    So there we go. I will note that I take exception to his anointing Kentucky #1 because I think that's a bit much, considering the fact that none of those kids have set foot on a college campus. 

    Internet Spam Bots Are Repeating The Same Villanova Joke

    By rule, a twitter account that has no followers and follows no one despite tweeting a bunch of times is generally a spam bot. The past few days, the same joke about Villanova has been regurgitated dozens of times and picked up on my tweetdeck filter. I've heard similar jokes, Villanova is usually not the target though, and there must be something to be gained by having dozens of spam bots repeat the same line. Search twitter for "Villanova graduate IQ", it's mind-boggling how many of these things there are.

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

    Good News For JayVaughn Pinkston

    The two and a half year old legal nightmare that Villanova forward JayVaughn Pinkston has been facing looks as if it is almost over and he will not face any further legal repercussions for an altercation at an off campus party in November of 2012 provided that he completes a probation program.

    The deal, which has still not been approved by a judge will clear Pinkston of any criminal record if he successfully completes the program. The terms of the probation are not a walk in the park, in fact they are quite punitive, as you would expect for something like this.

    Here are the terms:
    Should a judge accept the district attorney’s recommendation, Pinkston will be required to serve two years of probation; to compensate the victims for medical expenses; to successfully complete anger management classes; to have no contact with two individuals involved in the altercation; to maintain good academic standing at Villanova University; and to perform 375 hours of community service, said McNulty, explaining the recommended ARD disposition.
    375 hours of community service is no joke, and I presume that the medical expenses of the victims is substantial given the costs of medical care in this country. Also, anger management classes might be worse than prison. 

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

    The Singular Highlight of Villanova's Season

    This was just uploaded to YouTube yesterday and it has to be the most awesome single moment within a game of the entire season.

    If Ryan Arcidiacono can fine tune his shooting stroke even by four or five percent from outside, that would be so money.

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    The NCAA Sucks... Not Really

    Let's pretend for a moment that we live in a world where the NCAA did not exist. Everything in college sports would be a perfect utopia, right? Wrong.

    Why is that assumption wrong?

    It's wrong because the NCAA format has provided educational opportunities to hundreds of thousands of athletes who may not have had an opportunity otherwise.

    Is the NCAA format perfect? Absolutely not, but I would challenge its critics to come up with a system that is better that does not create a situation any more inequitable than the system that currently exists for the athletes that play sports that do not generate revenue, or from schools that run athletic departments at a loss already. If you start paying the athletes beyond a scholarship, you would create a system where only the richest (publicly funded) schools would be able to compete for championships. Butler would not make it to the Final Four, Villanova would not make it to the Final Four, and there would be even less parity than there already is in the non-revenue sports like Track and Field, where a private school has not won the men's national championship since Stanford won back in 2000.

    The best way to reform the system is not to pay the athletes, but to stop giving athletes scholarships in general, which would free up more money for competent students without athletic talent to go to school. Unfortunately, there is no chance that something like that will happen, so unfortunately we are stuck with an imperfect system that gives an immense advantage to the larger schools and where the athletes are not compensated for their contributions other than with an athletic scholarship.

    If someone can propose a system that would compensate athletes throughout all sports and schools in an equitable manner without furthering the gap between small schools and larger schools in big conferences, then it would be worth discussing, but anything other than that would shift the competitive balance in college sports even further than what has happened in the last 50 years or so.

    Sunday, April 7, 2013

    Villanova Baseball Makes History at Notre Dame

    For the first time in their history, the Villanova baseball team won a game at Notre Dame's home stadium, winning 10-6 today. This is also notable because the Irish are ranked 20th in the country. Full video of today's game is above.

    An Ode To Syracuse's Departure

    I was going to do this after the Big East Tournament, but I figured that I would wait until Syracuse was eliminated. It turns out that it took a little longer than I expected. Anywho, get bent Syracuse.

    Saturday, April 6, 2013

    Meet Brian Basili: Badass

    Brian Basili is a junior on the Villanova track and cross country teams. Prior to this weekend, his claim to fame was finishing in the cross country team's top five runners at the Pre-National meet this past fall after team #1 Sam McEntee ran into some gastrointestinal distress. That was until yesterday, when Basili, who was running the first steeplechase of his career fell while jumping over one of the barriers and broke his arm. Now, a normal human being would probably stop and attend to the fact that their arm hurts like a motherfucker, but not this guy, who went to jump over the two remaining barriers, finish the race, and win his heat with a Big East qualifying time.

    Needless to say, the rest of the Villanova track team was pretty jacked up about it:

    Perhaps a bit of hyperbole with the Kevin Ware comparisons, but still fucking awesome.

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    Live Video of the Rutgers Campus

    It's amazing how they've developed British accents all of the sudden. Such a shame that Rutgers is so successful at robbing the taxpayers of New Jersey.

    Thursday, April 4, 2013

    Achraf Yacoubou to Leave Villanova

    Given the playing time that he got down the stretch, and the similar players coming in next season, I can't say that this is any kind of surprise. The bizarre thing is that Darrun Hilliard, the least touted player according to the recruiting services is the only player left from that recruiting class.

    Even though he's no longer at Villanova, I'll be sure to root for Ash, even if he does go to Pitt.

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    Andy Talley Bone Marrow Drive Info

    Day: April 9th
    Time 10 AM-3 PM

    It only takes 15 minutes to do the non-invasive screening which could possibly save a life. Do it!

    Villanova Lacrosse on National TV Today at Georgetown

    Jack Rice

    The strangely inconsistent Villanova lacrosse will travel to Georgetown this evening for a Big East game that will be broadcast on ESPNU. This is the first time this season that they will be on national TV, and if they don't start playing better relatively soon, it will likely be the last time they will play on TV until they next make the NCAA Tournament given the current state of the conference. The game is at 5 PM.

    Stuff you need to know about the game:

    • Villanova is 2-6 and Georgetown is 4-5.
    • Both teams have won their only Big East games so far, Villanova against Syracuse and Georgetown against Marquette.
    • This is Villanova's first game against an unranked opponent since they played Delaware on March 2. 
    • Villanova leads the all time series with ten wins compared to seven for the Hoyas.
    • 364 days ago on April 4, 2012, Villanova beat Georgetown by a score of 15-7, the first time they won in this series since 1992.

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    Rollie Massimino: Hall of Famer

    Not that Hall of Fame, but former Villanova head coach Rollie Massimino will be inducted in the relatively new College Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, which had its inaugural class in 2007.

    Also in the class with Massimino will be George Raveling, a Villanova graduate, one-time assistant coach for the Wildcats, and the former head coach at Washington State, Iowa, and USC. Then there's Gene Keady, who only plays 14 holes of golf because he can't seem to get to the Final Four. I guess they also decided to ignore Rollie's tenures at UNLV and Cleveland St. as well as his latter years at Villanova.

    Congratulations to Rollie for the honor.

    Monday, April 1, 2013

    Happy 28th Anniversary Villanova Fans

    Today is a grand anniversary for Villanova. 28 years ago on this night, the greatest event in the history of Villanova University took place when the heroic underdog Wildcats beat Patrick Ewing and the villainous Hoyas of Georgetown. I was not born when this happened, and a good percentage of Villanova fans who are alive today were not old enough to remember it, but 28 years later, that one night in Lexington, Kentucky is still the singular moment in Villanova history. Sports or otherwise.

    Happy anniversary, you guys.

    Suck it Georgetown, suck it forever.

    Villanova Secures Funding For New On Campus Arena

     The Pavilion is on its way out

    The Pavilion has been a lemon since the day it opened. Not big enough for big games, and a general poor use of space, Villanova fans have come to loath the building and have viewed it as an obstacle preventing the program from taking the next step.

    Well, that will no longer be a problem, because a group of five as-yet unnamed donors have combined to conditionally pledge $100 million to the university that will be delivered once construction is approved, a source close to the program exclusively told Fact on Villanova Sports.

    No word on how big the facility will be, but  the preliminary plans are for capacity to increase by at least 50% and for the nex building to be physically connected  to the Davis Center, much like the way the Pavilion is connected to the Field House.

    It's an excellent day to be a Villanova fan.