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07 December 2006

Oklahoma-game grades

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
12/07/2006 04:46:00 AM

Villanova 67
Oklahoma 51

(box score)

Villanova: 6-1 (7-1, 0-0 BE, 1-0 B5)
Next game: Drexel, 12/09 @ The Pavilion.

Villanova picked up its biggest win of the young season tonight on the road against the always-solid Oklahoma Sooners.

Oklahoma was favored by 2.5 points at tip time, but the game was never even close as the Wildcats never relinquished the driver's seat. The Wildcats led nearly the entire game, only trailing for 16 seconds in the first half.

Villanova won tonight on its defense. The 'Cats forced 24 Sooner turnovers, which allowed them a healthy +6 ratio even with 18 turnovers of their own. Indeed, at times the game was sloppy and no fun to watch, with both teams turning the ball over and going cold from the field.

The result, however, was hardly ever in question as Villanova dominated the game from start to finish.

The win improves the Wildcats to 6-1 in NCAA play, and could earn the team some votes in next week's top 25 polls.

Onto the player grades. Click "READ MORE" below for player performance grades and analysis.

  • Curtis Sumpter (S, 32 min)

    Curtis played a solid but not spectacular game tonight. Still, he seemed to come up with a big bucket whenever the 'Cats needed it most. Sumpter scored 14 points, 12 of which came on his 4 three-pointers. Curtis was 4-7 from the three and only 1-7 from inside the arc. His offensive game seems to be more perimeter-oriented this year than two years ago, before his knee injuries. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because the 'Cats do need perimeter scoring this year after the departure of their top three guards to the NBA this spring. Sumpter also led Villanova in rebounds with 7, but none were on the offensive glass. Offensive rebounding used to be a staple of his game.
    Grade: B-

  • Will Sheridan (S, 23 min)

    Will was at his best tonight when he was doing "the dirty work," as announcer Rick Majerus put it. Sheridan notched 6 rebounds, including 3 possession-saving offensive boards. He also was decent on defense, picking up 2 steals. Shot selection was an issue again: there's no reason for Will to be taking a contested three-pointer with 30 seconds left on the shot clock.
    Grade: C

  • Dante Cunningham (S, 30 min)

    Cunningham was all over the place tonight. He looked fantastic in the post, scoring 8 on 3-5 shooting from the field and a perfect 2-2 from the line. But where Dante really shined was on the defensive end. Cunningham was a terror, pulling in 6 boards, blocking 2 shots, and getting 5 steals. That's not a typo. 5 steals. The only criticism is that Dante didn't try to take over more offensively.
    Grade: A-

  • Mike Nardi (S, 37 min)

    Nardi absolutely exploded tonight offensively, scoring 23 points on 9-14 shooting, including 4 three-pointers. He was the heart of the offense, and definitely the go-to player tonight. Mike also had 2 steals and 4 assists, but did get sloppy with the ball, committing 6 turnovers. Several of those turnovers seemed to occur just as Nardi was on fire on offense; perhaps the cause is over-excitement. In any event, a great game from Mike tonight.
    Grade: B+

  • Scottie Reynolds (S, 24 min)

    Scottie's appearance tonight at Oklahoma playing against the team to which he originally committed was the biggest story line of the game. Booed by fans almost every time he touched the ball, Reynolds responded with a fine performance. Reynolds was very aggressive tonight, driving the ball to the hoop with a lightning-quick first step. Scottie scored 10 tonight on 3-7 shooting. I'd like to see him take some more three-pointers than he did tonight (0-2), as I believe he is one of our best long-range shooters. Scottie did, however, take one ill-advised three from 35+ feet away that did not make any sense. Reynolds co-led the team in assists with 4. Despite his 4 turnovers, he generally played well.
    Grade: B

  • Shane Clark (29 min)

    Reading the box score, I was surprised to see that Shane played for fully 29 minutes, just one less than he did at Penn. Shane was much quieter tonight, scoring just 5 points on 2-7 shooting. He did have a nice three from the corner, and played good defense, but tonight was nothing like his super effort in the Penn game.
    Grade: C+

  • Bilal Benn (16 min)

    Bilal got some quality minutes tonight, primarily for his excellent defense. Arguably our best "lock-down" defender, Bilal can always be counted on for hustle and determination as well. He also scored on a nifty reverse lay-up, always a crowd-pleaser, and pulled down 3 rebounds.
    Grade: B-

  • Dwayne Anderson (6 min)

    Very nearly an incomplete grade, with only 6 minutes played. But 6 minutes is only one less minute than his playing time at the Penn game, where his impact was much bigger. Dwayne only took one shot tonight and did not score, though his defense did look better. Hard to give him anything but the average grade on such a limited look, so...
    Grade: C

  • Incomplete grades:
    Reggie Redding (1 min).

  • Did not play:
    Ross Condon (CD),Frank Tchuisi (CD), Andrew Ott (RS), Antonio Pena (RS), Casiem Drummond (Death in family).

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