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10 February 2007


Villanova sinks Pirates

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
2/10/2007 06:29:00 PM


Villanova 78
Seton Hall 69

(box score)

Seton Hall: 11-11 (12-11, 3-7 BE)
Villanova: 16-7 (17-7, 5-5 BE, 4-0 B5)

Next game: vs Cincinnati, 02/14 @The Pavilion.

Villanova evened its conference record Saturday with a crucial road win over the Seton Hall Pirates. The game was sloppy at times, and perhaps the Wildcats let Seton Hall hang around far too long, but it was a road win in the Big East, which is all anyone can ask for.

With the win, Villanova improved to 5-5 in the Big East. Getting to .500 in conference is important to the NCAA selection committee. With the team's excellent strength of schedule and computer rankings, Villanova should cruise into the tournament as long as it keeps its conference record above water.

Before we get to the player grades, I want to address a question I've been asked a dozen times since Saturday: "What was the deal with Jay Wright's track suit?"

No, Jay didn't forget to pack one of his many expensive, finely tailored business suits. Coach Wright was participating in the "Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend." According to the American Cancer Society:

Coaches and coaching staff are encouraged to wear sneakers with their suits while coaching games during this weekend to remind college basketball audiences about the many ways people can reduce their risk of cancer, like eating right, exercising, making healthy lifestyle choices, and following the American Cancer Society's recommended cancer screening guidelines.

While other coaches wear sneakers along with their normal suits, Jay chooses to wear a full track suit ensemble. Whether he does this to further emphasize the importance of being physically active, or just because he feels it looks less silly, I don't know. This marks the second straight year that Coach Wright has donned the track suit for cancer awareness.

Onto the player grades. As always, click "READ MORE" below for player performance grades and analysis.




  • Mike Nardi (S, 37 min)

    This was one of the better games of the season from Mr. Nardi. Mike scored 16 points while taking just 4 shots, thanks to his 11-15 performance from the foul line. Nardi also led the team in assists, with 8. For the second straight game, Nardi played 37 minutes, again by far the most on the team. Though he played soundly for the most part, he did turn the ball over 3 times. It was a quietly efficient, albeit unspectacular performance from Mike.
    Grade: B



  • Curtis Sumpter (S, 33 min)

    Sumpter really got it going Saturday against the Pirates. He shot 7-13 from the floor, scoring 21. He also was 60 percent from the three, 3-5, and perfect from the line at 4-4. He led the team in rebounds with 10. One negative was his 4 turnovers, most on the team. His defense looked a little soft, but nothing too serious. Good game from Curt.
    Grade: B+



  • Shane Clark (S, 29 min)

    Clark was quiet on the offensive end of the floor, taking just 3 shots in 29 minutes. He managed to score 4 points and pull in 6 boards. His defense was excellent. Shane led the team in steals with 2 and did a good job defensively on the perimeter and inside.
    Grade: B-

  • Dante Cunningham (26 min)

    Dante did not start Saturday for the second straight game. Could he still be suffering from his flu-like symptoms? If he was, it didn't show on the floor at the Meadowlands. Cunningham was back to his usual efficient offensive game, scoring 14 points on 4-7 shooting. He also has seemed to right the ship at the free throw line, where he shot an excellent 6-7 despite recent foul shooting woes. Cunningham also added a block and had 2 turnovers. The real story of the game, though, was a spectacular dunk in the 2nd half that brought the house down, even though the house was half-empty. Dante is an amazing athlete and the fact that we have him for two more years bodes well for the Villanova Wildcats.
    Grade: A-



  • Scottie Reynolds (S, 23 min)

    Reynolds struggled with foul trouble, picking up 4 early in the second half. He also shot poorly from the floor, 1-6, and was not a factor from the three (0-1). Dare I say that Reynolds should probably take more than 1 shot from beyond the arc? He is arguably our best long-ball shooter, and I do not want him to regress to his pass-first mentality of 2006. Reynolds did manage to score 11 points despite making only a single field goal, thanks to his outstanding 9-9 performance at the stripe. He also grabbed 4 rebounds, had 4 assists, and committed just 2 turnovers. By any standard it was a good game from Reynolds, but I feel like he can be doing so much more. He might need another breakout game to regain his scoring confidence. Could Cincinnati be that game? My money is on yes. Expect a lot more out of Scottie Reynolds before the Big East Tournament.
    Grade: B-



  • Reggie Redding (23 min)

    Redding is now solidly in the tight 6-man rotation. He plays Jay-Wright style basketball, doing all the little things out there and not letting his on-paper position define his role. His defense has been steadily improving, to the point where I can now say that aside from Bilal Benn, Reggie is our best lock-down defender. Thanks to Redding's height, he can guard four of five opposing positions. Reggie also seemed to get in the flow of the offense Saturday. He shot well, 4-8 from the field, to score 8 points. He missed his only 3-point shot, and was a surprising 0-2 from the foul line. It's time for Reggie to improve these areas of his game. For the season, Redding is shooting 14.8 percent from the three and 60.0 percent from the line. He is a better shooter than those numbers, and I expect those numbers to start going up very quickly as we march toward the post-season. Redding also added 6 rebounds tonight, along with a steal and 2 turnovers.
    Grade: B-




  • Will Sheridan (S, 18 min)

    Sheridan's minutes have really gone down lately, but he remains a starter at tip-time. Will played 18 minutes tonight. He was not much of an offensive force, scoring 4 on 1-1 shooting, but was a perfect 2-2 from the line. He managed to grab 4 rebounds, and led the team in blocks with 3. Not much offense, but some good defense in limited time for Will.
    Grade: C



  • Bilal Benn (9 min)

    Benn brings some much-needed intensity and passion from the bench. On Saturday Benn played 9 serviceable minites. He did not score, but did grab 3 rebounds. He had 2 turnovers, but he played good defense.
    Grade: C-



  • Incomplete grades:
    Dwayne Anderson
    (1 min), Casiem Drummond (1 min).


  • Did not play:
    Frank Tchuisi
    (CD), Ross Condon (CD), Andrew Ott (RS), Antonio Pena (RS).

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3 Comments:

At 12:58 AM, February 12, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any chance that you could post a video of Dante's huge dunk in this game?

 
At 3:18 AM, February 12, 2007, Blogger Pete said...

See above.

 
At 9:57 AM, February 12, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coaches and coaching staff are encouraged to wear sneakers with their suits while coaching games during this weekend to remind college basketball audiences about the many ways people can reduce their risk of cancer, like eating right, exercising, making healthy lifestyle choices, and following the American Cancer Society's recommended cancer screening guidelines.

If dozens of people are asking you to explain jay's track suit then the ACS isnt doing a very good job of reminding college basketball audiences about it.

Personally, I think the ACS is vastly underestimating the positive health effects of wearing a suit cut as sharp as jay's.

 

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