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!

MAKE SOME EFFING FREE THROWS!

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. 
#BeatCuse

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

 CELEBRATE!

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

Poll here