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10 November 2007

Villanova tops Stony Brook

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/10/2007 02:01:00 AM
Villanova 84
Stony Brook 62

(box score)

Next game: vs. Bucknell, 11/18 at the Pavilion.

Villanova opened its regular season Friday night in the Pavilion with a win against a scrappy Stony Brook squad that put up a decent fight for most of the game.

The contest against the Seawolves was a far cry from the slaughter of Bloomsburg in last week's exhibition. Stony Brook was a good ball-handling team, committing just 13 turnovers in 40 minutes against a swarming Wildcats' defense.

Stony Brook also shot the ball reasonably well, making more than half its shots and sinking 43 percent of its three-point attempts.

The Villanova squad looked strong as it outclassed Stony Brook and eventually shrugged off the Seawolves' attempts to stay in the game.

Villanova went with a fairly large starting lineup of Scottie Reynolds, Reggie Redding, Shane Clark, Dante Cunningham, and Casiem Drummond. Just two years removed from the four-guard attack that made Jay Wright and his program known as "Guard U," Villanova went with a lineup featuring one guard, one guard/forward, two forwards, and a center.

Freshman guard Corey Fisher did not dress for the game due to knee tendinitis. With the Wildcats' excellent depth this year, do not be surprised to see Jay Wright keep Fisher off the floor until he is 100 percent healed. I would think Fisher is questionable for the Bucknell game, but check for more information as the game approaches.

Congratulations to reader "Matt" for most closely predicting the final score of the game. Matt's prediction of Villanova 84, Stony Brook 62 was just 4 points off the final score. Impressive.

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

  • Scottie Reynolds (S, 33 min)

    Reynolds played well despite uncharacteristically struggling from beyond the arc. He scored 13 points on 5-11 shooting, including 0-4 from the three. Reynolds was relentless in attacking the rim, often driving to the basket and finishing with sheer willpower. Reynolds also displayed his passing prowess, leading the team in assists with 6. His court awareness and basketball instincts remain unparalleled on this team.
    Grade: B+

  • Dante Cunningham (S, 32 min)

    Cunningham was a fairly large part of the offense, and led the team in shots taken. Dante scored 14 points on 6-13 shooting. Some of the shots seemed outside his comfort zone in the paint, but Cunningham also showed nice touch. He rounded out his effort with 6 boards, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
    Grade: B

  • Shane Clark (S, 29 min)

    Clark was on fire the entire night. He shot a blistering 8-11 from the field, including 4-5 from the three, to lead the team with 25 points. His unconscious shooting was complemented by an active presence on the glass; Clark led all rebounders with 7 boards. If Clark can keep up this scoring efficiency -- and remain injury free -- the Wildcat offense becomes that much less stoppable.
    Grade: A

  • Reggie Redding (S, 27 min)

    Redding did not have much impact on the box score, and did not take a shot. He played solid basketball for his 27 minutes, but did suffer a few rare defensive lapses. It would be nice to see more offensive assertiveness from Redding, but he continues to get the job done.
    Grade: C+

  • Malcolm Grant (27 min)

    After the Bloomsburg game, I wrote this about Malcolm Grant: "If he ever finds his long stroke, watch out." Well, it's time to watch out. Grant exploded for 16 points on 4-6 shooting, with all 4 field goals from beyond the arc, where he shot 4-5. But that's not the entire story. Grant was a fantastic defensive presence as well, and generally played with passion and hustle. Grant may also be the fastest Wildcat this year. Expect big things from Malcolm Grant.
    Grade: A

  • Corey Stokes (15 min)

    After lighting up the Wachovia Center with his outside shot, Stokes was relatively quiet in his Pavilion debut. He shot 1-3 from the field, including 0-2 from the three, with one air ball. It just seemed like an off night for Stokes. I have no doubt he will quickly rebound from this quiet perfomance.
    Grade: C-

  • Casiem Drummond (S, 15 min)

    Drummond was active underneath the rim, and had several nice put-backs. He scored 8 on 4-7 shooting. Sometimes it was clear he should have gone up stronger or more decisively to the rim. Drummond may need to spend a little bit more time in the weight room before Big East play.
    Grade: B-

  • Antonio Pena (12 min)

    Pena is a gifted athlete who could develop into an outright game changer. He played some solid minutes in the first half before suffering from what appeared to be a back injury. If the injury is minor, expect Pena to continue to improve this fall.
    Grade: B

  • Incomplete grades:
    Dwayne Anderson (5 min), Andrew Ott (3 min), Jason Colenda (2 min).

  • Did not play:
    Corey Fisher
    (knee), Frank Tchuisi (wrist).

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At 11:21 AM, November 10, 2007, Anonymous michael said...

Do you know about when Fisher's injury will heal?

At 7:22 PM, November 10, 2007, Blogger Dave said...

Great game to watch. I was second row in the student section, and Malcolm Grant lit it up. He, Cunningham, Clark, and Reynolds all looked very sharp. Stokes didn't seem too comfortable, but transitioning takes time.

I know Fisher has tendinitis, but apparently it was possible that he would play Stony Brook, so I don't think it's that serious. Still, they might sit him against Bucknell to maximize his recovery time.

At 3:15 AM, November 12, 2007, Blogger Pete said...

I don't think Fisher's injury is all that serious, but there's no need to push him now before he is 100 percent. We will find out more in the days leading up to Bucknell on Sunday, I imagine.

At 4:57 PM, November 12, 2007, Blogger Dave said...

A buddy of mine in Stanford Hall said he talked to Corey Fisher during a fire drill, and apparently Fisher is pretty sure he will play in the Bucknell game. Apparently he sat out Stony Brook as a precautionary measure, nothing more, and that he'll play against Bucknell.

At 11:49 PM, November 12, 2007, Blogger Pete said...

Thanks for the info Dave... I hope we see Corey as soon as possible on the court!

At 10:53 AM, November 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

any news on the tyreke sweepstakes?

At 11:52 AM, November 13, 2007, Blogger Pete said...

No, even though he said a few montha ago he was deciding soon, there is no word yet.

At this point I'd rank the contenders as follows:

Louisville - 50%
Nova - 35%
Memphis - 10%
Uconn - 3%
SHU - 1%
Texas -1%

At 1:10 PM, November 13, 2007, Anonymous Gregg said...

Is anybody aware of any fowards or centers being recruited by Villanova?

At 5:19 PM, November 19, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...


After losing out on the Morris' twins to Kansas, Villanova's top recruiting targets (as far as forwards and centers go) are probably:

Charles Okwandu (Harcum JC), Isaiah Armwood (Montrose Christian), and Greg Echenique (St. Benedicts).

All are class of 2009 guys.


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