Friday, February 28, 2014

Villanova senior night highlight video

James Bell, Tony Chennault, and Nick McMahon.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Highlights of Villanova's win over Butler

It wasn't pretty, but it was easy.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Why Villanova's new and improved sign rules are still awful

Earlier this month, I encouraged my (few) readers to sign a petition that requested that Villanova allow signs and rollouts again, hoping that it would enliven the gameday atmosphere at the Pavilion, something that has been lacking in recent years. When the news came out that they would be allowed again, I was quite thrilled.

Then I read the fine print.
  • No personal attacks 
  • No profanity or explicit content 
  • No attacks on a university or the Big East conference in general
Umm, what is this?

I totally understand the prohibition of profanity and explicit content, but the sole purpose of rollouts is to insult the opponent, its team, and the players on that team. In 1965, Sports Illustrated wrote an article describing Big Five traditions, and each of the rollouts they mentioned were insulting in nature.

An excerpt from the article in question:
All Big Five games are audience-participation affairs, and almost all are sellouts. The fans arrive bearing huge rolls of paper with which to taunt the opposing cheering section. Just before the game begins the banners are slowly unwound and passed down the row, the letters coming into sight one by one, as the members of the clergy in the audience sit nervously and hope that the canons of decency will not be trampled as they have been in the past. The banner game got so far out of bounds that Big Five officials have ordered them screened by faculty members. One memorable St. Joseph's banner observed that LA SALLE IS AN ARMPIT. When another St. Joseph's roll-out proclaimed, LA SALLE IS YELLOW AND BLUE BUT MOSTLY YELLOW, the La Salle fans quickly unfurled: IS THAI WHAT THE JESUITS TEACH YOU? The clerics of the three Catholic schools in the Big Five frequently find themselves perplexed over the banners, and call upon their lay friends for translations. Last year Villanova students harassed St. Joseph's star Steve Courtin with a rollout saying, STICK IT IN YOUR EAR, COURTIN! The next day Jeremiah Ford II, Penn's athletic director and one of the founders of the Big Five, received a phone call from the Rev. Joseph M. Geib, S.J., faculty moderator of athletics at St. Joseph's. As Ford tells it, Father Geib said, "Jerry, are there some things that I should know about life? I didn't see anything wrong with that sign." Ford assured Father Geib that the interpretation was all in the eye of the beholder.
The article very specifically says that the rollouts are meant to taunt the other team and its fans. Personal attacks and attacks on other universities are absolutely necessary in the pursuit of that end. Rollouts are akin to rap battles, and could you imagine a rap battle without insults? I know I couldn't.

Suggest your own rollouts on twitter by using #VillanovaRollouts

Also, don't forget to follow my glorious twitter account @TheFoyeEffect

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Villanova record that deserves recognition

Patrick Tiernan (second from left)
This season, Villanova freshman Patrick Tiernan's performance in cross country and indoor track has been a revelation; his ninth place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships being the highest finish since 2008 NCAA Champion 5000 meter champion Bobby Curtis finished fourth at the 2007 edition, and his performances on the track have been equally as impressive, perhaps even more so.

The most significant performance is setting a new school indoor 5000 meter record of 13:37.73 on Valentine's Day in Iowa. This performance by the 19-year-old from Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia  broke the existing school record of 13:38.3 set February 6, 1981 by Sydney Maree, who was a two-time Olympian, former World Record holder over 1500 meters, and former American Record holder across various distances. Maree was also a 24-year-old fifth year senior when he set that record. A few years ago, I did a piece on unbreakable Villanova records, and Maree held four records which I deemed to be unbreakable, so it is needless to say that simply approaching a record held by Maree is an incredible feat. At this point, I would probably have to revisit that list, because if Tiernan improves over the next couple of years, he is almost certainly capable of breaking at least one of those records. We'll just have to wait and see.

Hopefully I'll be more motivated to write about track this upcoming season, especially because it tends to generate a lot of traffic for some reason.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Villanova outlasts St. John's, wins 57-54

Generally speaking, when your opponent shoots 32% from the field and 27% from the perimeter, and your team makes nine of its 22 three point attempts, the team that shot 40% from beyond the arc on that many attempts should win by a big margin. That probably should have been the case in Villanova's game today against St. John's, but the Wildcats turned the ball over 15 times (JayVaughn Pinkston, Daniel Ochefu, and Darrun Hilliard combined for 12 of them) compared to nine times for the Red Storm.

I don't see this result as too distressing for Villanova, because St. John's is red hot right now, and they're one of the few teams Villanova has played against this season that is superior to them defensively. For Villanova, Darrun Hilliard had 18 points on six of eight shooting and Ryan Arcidiacono had 12 points, three rebounds, and three assists to only one turnover. Ochefu led the way in rebounds with 11,  followed by Pinkston with nine.

Now might be a good time to address a disturbing trend. The last two games, Villanova's opponents have played much closer than they should have because of poor free throw shooting, especially by players who should  be making them, like Ryan Arcidiacono, who was three of six from the line today. This sub-par free throw shooting has been a season long trend for Arcidiacono, who is shooting 72% from the stripe this season after shooting 82.4% as a freshman. That drop off means that Arcidiacono has scored ten fewer points this season that he would have scored if he simply maintained his free throw percentage from last season. This is something to watch as the season winds to a close, because teams need to make free throws down the stretch in games to do well in the NCAA tournament.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Rick Pitino wants you to get off his lawn

It's a massive surprise that Rick Pitino would have such a simplistic view on something. Then again, Pitino is best when he works in blocks that last 15 seconds or less.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Fouling when up by three at the end of games

I have held out on this for a couple days for various reasons, mostly because I've been busy, and partially because I have had no motivation to write anything, but now is the time to do it. On two occasions this season, there have been end of game situations when Villanova was up by three points and it may have been prudent to foul before a shot went up. They fouled before a shot on neither of those occasions, and at Marquette in January, Ryan Arcidiacono made an awful foul on a three point shot, leading to Marquette forcing overtime. On the converse, Villanova won one of its biggest games last season precisely because their opponent did not foul and they were able to make a three. I know that people will bring up the four point play debacle against Rutgers in 2011, but that is such a fluky play that it shouldn't even factor into this discussion.

The key is to increase the number of variables needed for the other team to win. Making a free throw, intentionally missing the second and then getting a rebound is such an improbable situation that when there is less than ten seconds left and you can do it, you have to foul.

Thank god Villanova took care of business at the end of the game.

Highlights of Villanova's win over Providence

It would be nice if Villanova released these.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Villanova wins overtime thriller!

Yet I'm still mad as hell. Thank god for Ryan Arcidiacono.

I'll have more on this tomorrow, but I'm definitely going to write about the virtue of fouling when up by three, because it pisses me off when they don't do it.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Jay Wright post-Creighton press conference

Along with JayVaughn Pinkston and James Bell. I'll have more on this if they have to play against Creighton again. Basically they did the same thing last night as they had done previously on defense, despite what Jay says and were caught out in much the same ways, but just made less of an effort in defending the paint as they had in the previous game.

In other news, James Bell now has 957 career points, and is easily playing the best basketball of his career.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

More or less nerdy than quidditch?

I say less, because they're not playing a fictional game, and because there's a girl in the video.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Villanova to hold classes on the sabbath?

Here's an email that was sent out. The founders of the University are probably spinning in their graves. 
We have experienced an unprecedented number of weather-related closings. As of February 12, 2014 Villanova University has cancelled 6 class days which include a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and two Wednesdays.
In consultation with the Academic Deans, we decided to provide the greatest flexibility for faculty and students to make-up cancelled classes. This plan will not interfere with Spring Break, Easter Break and graduation in May. Faculty may use two options:
1. Schedule make-up classes on Sundays in order to offer classroom/lab teaching possibilities which will minimize faculty and student conflicts (see Sunday schedule below) and spread the make-up sessions throughout the second half of the semester
2. Using technology (Blackboard) as a teaching tool so that faculty and students can make up class work without having to meet in-person
Colleges may also develop unique solutions to make-up classes as long as they do not create conflicting schedules for their students.
· Engineering and Science faculty teaching labs should consult with their Department Chairs as to scheduling make-up classes on the Sundays listed below
· Nursing faculty teaching clinical classes should consult with the Dr. Arcamone as to scheduling make-up classes
· We ask all other faculty to choose the best of the two options listed above for their courses
If faculty members choose to schedule an in-person class following the Sunday schedule below, they must use the same time period as their regular class time in order to avoid creating a conflict with other courses.
Because the University has scheduled some classrooms for internal and external events on weekends, make-up classes scheduled for Sunday may not be able to meet in the same classroom as the regularly scheduled class. Faculty should use the classroom reservation system in MyNOVA to find and reserve a classroom available at their time period. Here is a link to make a reservation:
Faculty needing assistance to use the classroom reservation system may seek help from the staff in their Department offices. We have also attached instructions as to how to use the classroom reservation system.
In keeping with the spirit of flexibility, faculty should not impose penalties on students who cannot attend the make-up classes. Students must notify the faculty member in advance if they will miss a make-up class and explain the reason for their absence.
We encourage everyone to work together to manage this problem in a spirit of cooperation and patience.
Sunday Schedule
We have excluded Sundays before and after Spring Break and Easter Sunday.
February 23 replaces Tuesday, January 21
March 16 replaces Wednesday, January 22
March 23 replaces Monday, February 3
March 30 replaces Thursday, February 6
April 6 replaces Wednesday, February 5
April 13 replaces Friday, February 7
April 27 replaces Thursday, February 13 (if the university closes on February 13)
If there are additional weather-related cancelled classes, we will use Friday, May 2 (Reading Day) as a make-up day.
Finally the deadline to WX a course will be extended to Monday, April 14.
 Never thought I'd see that.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Today is an extremely important anniversary

Five years ago today, the Villanova blogosphere received a new addition in Fact on Villanova Sports, a scrappy little runt that would change the tone of Villanova blogs forever. Within its first year of its, this blog had broken multiple stories of consequence, Villanova made the Final Four, and won its first football championship. We also found the infamous player webpages that were subsequently stolen by Barstool Sports and Deadspin. Since then, we have shrunk from four writers doing so irreverently, shitty dick jokes, mock drafts, deliberate antagonism of other Villanova blogs, and photoshopping people in pictures with dictators to only one writer who essentially posts YouTube videos with one sentence responses with only occasional commentary.

Nonetheless, it has been a hell of a journey thus far, and despite the poor quality of the majority of the writing, it has been an enriching experience.

Monday, February 10, 2014

You should sign this petition

 That's more like it

For a decade or so, signs and rollouts have been completely banned from Villanova basketball games. In typical Villanova fashion, this rule exists for purely reactionary reasons, as Villanova students made a rollout treferencing former SJU(PA) guard Jameer Nelson that was deemed to be profane. Since then, the student sections of Villanova games have not been the same. Recently however, there has been new life among the students, with the band leading songs and just general loudness that had been lacking for quite some time, especially in the awful spectacle that happened in the game that Villanova hosted College Gameday.

Now, the Augustinian Army is trying to bring back the signs and have started a petition to try to persuade Villanova to accommodate them. Now I would like to implore you to sign this petition. Maybe a return to the rollouts will wake up the old quiet people who sit on either side of the court.

Beat DePaul.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Update: Humorless Villanova professor wins

You tell 'em Halil
 Two months ago, I wrote about a Villanova professor who wanted Villanova and Saint Joseph's (PA) to drop the "Holy War" nickname that fans of both schools have used for the rivalry for decades. Well, it appears that this man without a sense of humor has won, as Villanova has stopped selling t-shirts on campus with the words "Holy War" on them.

It's a shame that Villanova is so gutless on things this inoffensive.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Villanova-Seton Hall game weather status update

Given that power has been restored to the Villanova campus, the game WILL be played as scheduled tomorrow night at 7 PM.

As for me, I'll just be waiting for my power to come back on.

Monday, February 3, 2014

James Bell scores 27, Villanova throttles Xavier

James Bell continued his magical senior season tonight at the Pavilion, scoring 27 points including six three pointers while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out three assists in 36 minutes of action as Villanova beat Xavier 81-58 in the first conference matchup between the two Catholic schools. I really can't say enough about how much Taj has grown, and the last six games have been the most consistent stretch of his career, as he has scored at least 16 points in every single one of them, and is currently enjoying one of the great senior seasons in Villanova history, especially when you consider the overall performance of the team, which matched its 2012-2013 total of wins tonight, with 20.

Also in double figures for the good guys were Darrun Hilliard with 17 points and JayVaughn Pinkston with 11, to go along with his team leading nine rebounds.

Next up is a home game against Seton Hall this Friday night. Beat the Pirates.

Also, ditch the gray jerseys.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Saturday, February 1, 2014

James Bell continues to dominate, Villanova beats Temple 90-74

On a day where Temple unveiled a statue to a coach who sent one of his players onto the floor with instructions to physically harm a player on the other team, and where Temple drew a much larger crowd than they normally do, it was still not enough for them to overcome Villanova's second half dominance, where despite being up by only five points at the halftime break, they wound up winning by 16, 90-74, and it was only that close because Villanova throttled back quite a bit in the last few minutes of a game.

For Villanova, it was again a story of James Bell's renaissance, scoring 19 points and grabbing four rebounds. Also in double figures for the 'Cats were JayVaughn Pinkston, who had 13 points, seven rebounds, and three assists, Darrun Hilliard, who had 12 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, Daniel Ochefu, who had 11 points on five of six shooting, seven rebounds, and three blocks, and Dylan Ennis, who had ten points, his best game in a while.

With their win today, Villanova closed out their out of conference schedule and won all five games of the city series, outscoring the other four Big East teams by 91 points in the process.