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17 March 2007

Kentucky ends 'Nova's season

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
3/17/2007 12:14:00 AM

Villanova 58
Kentucky 67

Villanova: 21-11 (22-11, 9-7 BE, 4-0 B5)
Kentucky: 21-11 (22-11, 9-7 SEC)

Villanova's season came to an end tonight with a loss to the #8 seed Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Chicago.

In a game where Villanova could not seem to find any other option on offense, Villanova freshman Scottie Reynolds scored 23 points.

The main problem for Villanova tonight was shooting: the team shot a dismal 18-55, clocking in at 32.7 percent for the game. Second half shooting was even worse, 8-28 and 28.6 percent.

The one silver lining of this loss for Villanova is that Kentucky's win should save coach Tubby Smith's job, thus snuffing out any Jay-Wright-to-Lexington rumors that were sure to crop up this spring if Villanova had advanced.

On to the player grades. I will not be grading the four seniors tonight, as I wish to simply thank them for their service to the program.

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


  • Curtis Sumpter (S, 38 min)

  • Will Sheridan (S, 30 min)

  • Mike Nardi (25 min)

  • Ross Condon (DNP--CD)

  • Thank you, seniors.

  • Scottie Reynolds (S, 33 min)

    Aside from Sumpter, Reynolds was the only scoring option for Villanova. Kentucky coach Tubby Smith had five days to prepare for Villanova's Scottie-reliant offense, and Smith did a good job of denying Reynolds any open space in which to maneuver. Even as the focus of Kentucky's unrelenting defensive efforts, Reynolds managed to lead all scorers with 23. He shot 6-18 from the field, including 3-8 from three-point range. His 8-12 performance from the line included 4 uncharacteristic misses. It may be unrealistic, but when Reynolds is at the line, you expect them all to go in. Scottie had 3 turnovers, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. All in all, it was a valiant effort, but Reynolds simply did not have enough help this year on offense to take the team deep into the tournament. If Reynolds decides to return to Villanova next year, you can be sure the addition of the five freshmen will give Reynolds a lot more options on the offensive end of the court.
    Grade: A-

  • Dante Cunningham (S, 28 min)

    Cunningham was not much of a factor tonight, which is a shame because Villanova sorely needed an interior scoring presence. Dante shot 1-5 from the field and never went up strong to the rim. He scored 4 points and was 2-2 from the line. Cunningham grabbed 3 rebounds, committed 2 turnovers, and had 2 steals.
    Grade: C-

  • Reggie Redding (S, 20 min)

    Redding's ballhandling, passing, and defense were all solid tonight, but he was anemic on the offensive end. Redding shot 0-2 from the field, scoring no points, and passed up several open looks. He needs to build some shooting confidence this off-season if he hopes to see any time amongst Villanova's suddenly crowded backcourt. Redding led the team in assists tonight with 3, and added 2 rebounds. He did not turn the ball over. It was an excellent night for Reynolds in all aspects of the game except scoring.
    Grade: C+

  • Shane Clark (22 min)

    Clark remained hobbled by injury and was fairly ineffective on both ends of the floor. He scored 2 points on 1-3 shooting. Clark collected 4 rebounds, and had 1 each of assists, turnovers, and steals.

  • Incomplete grades:
    Caseim Drummond
    (4 min).

  • Did not play:
    Bilal Benn
    (CD), Dwayne Anderson (CD), Frank Tchuisi (CD), Andrew Ott (RS), Antonio Pena (RS).

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