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30 January 2008


Grant rides pine as 'Nova drops 3rd straight

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
1/30/2008 09:54:00 PM

Pittsburgh 69
Villanova 57
(box score)
(ESPN video highlights)

#21 Pittsburgh: 17-4 (5-3 BE)
Villanova: 13-6 (3-5 BE, 3-0 B5)

Next game: vs. Syracuse, 02/02 at the Wachovia Center.

For an instant, six minutes into the second half, it seemed like Villanova was poised to finally get things back on track.

It seemed that perhaps Jay Wright had addressed the fans' growing concerns. After all, slumping junior Shane Clark did not appear in the starting lineup, and only received three minutes of playing time.

Sure, stellar freshman Malcolm Grant was still pinned to the bench, but at least Villanova had overcome its customary first-half deficit to take a 38-37 lead over the #21 Pitt Panthers, in Pittsburgh no less.

The hope was short-lived.

Villanova fans watched as the team fell apart before their eyes. Over the next 8.5 minutes, the Panthers outscored the Wildcats by a ridiculous 19-3 margin.

The Wildcats could not score. The Wildcats could not defend. And still, Malcolm Grant, arguably among the team's best scorers and defenders, languished on the bench.

Watching the game at a neighborhood watering hole (thanks, Comcast!), I sent the following text message to a friend, when the 'Cats trailed by seven and showed no signs of getting back in the game:

Can't wait till we get down 15, so Grant can legally come in.

It was supposed to be a joke, but it turned out prescient. Indeed, Jay Wright finally pulled the trigger on Grant the instant Villanova fell down by 15.

This is becoming a disturbing trend.

Let's play a hypothetical. Say your team is struggling to score in the second half of a crucial conference road game. Say you had a one-point lead, but watched it turn into a five-point deficit, and then a 10-point margin.

As the clock ticked down, under 10 minutes to play, and then under eight, would you sub in a player who torched your current opponents for 22 points, and led your team to victory against them just three weeks ago?

Apparently for Jay Wright, the answer is no. Wright did not turn to Grant until the 'Cats were down the full 15 and under five minutes to play.

Though it was by then far too late to make a difference in the game's outcome, Grant promptly drained a three pointer that gave Villanova fans just enough false hope to let the loss sting a bit extra.

Grant wound up playing just four minutes in each half, and the Wildcats were (yet again) blown out for their third straight loss. Villanova had not lost three straight in nearly four years.

The 'Cats have lost four of their last six, and are now in the preposterous danger of missing their own conference tournament after being nationally ranked for much of the season.

This site's drumbeat will continue: why is Malcolm Grant not getting minutes?

We exhausted all the familiar theories last time, and most of us remained unconvinced.

Tonight, LetsGoNova.com contributor NovaFan09 posted in a comment thread that he'd heard Grant was secretly injured after the Cincinnati game on Jan. 12.

A fan on Villanova's Rivals message board said he knew Grant had been injured at Cincinnati, but that the injury was no longer an issue and did not affect him for recent games.

This seems to make sense. After all, the DePaul rematch was just four days after Cincinnati, and Grant played 22 minutes in that game. Grant also looked just fine last week at Rutgers when he scored 17 points in just over two minutes, notching 18 minutes on the night.

After considering that evidence, and just by simply watching Grant run up and down the court, it seems unlikely Malcolm is bothered by a health problem.

Even so, if Grant is indeed saddled by a secret injury, Villanova should release it to the public, as it has with center Casiem Drummond.

At least that might quiet the cacophony of fan outrage over Grant's lack of playing time, a cauldron of concern that nearly spilled into outright fan mutiny this weekend, when students chanted for Grant's insertion into the Notre Dame game on Saturday.

Barring an unknown and unlikely disciplinary issue, the only other option, it would seem, is that Wright simply believes the team plays better with Grant on the bench.

The numbers, however, say otherwise.

In the last three losses, Villanova was outscored by a margin of 239-205, an average of 11.33 points per game. In those three games, Grant has played a total of 36 minutes. In those 36 minutes, Grant shot 9-19 from the field and scored 34 points.

Not bad for a single box score, but unfortunately for the 'Cats, those numbers were spread across three losses where Grant saw a paltry 12 minutes per game, on average.

Compare Grant's numbers to those of his freshman teammate, Corey Stokes. In the last three losses, Stokes played a total of 70 minutes. During that time, Stokes shot 7-22 to score 20 points.

You could argue that Wright played Stokes twice as much as Grant in that stretch for defense, or for chemistry, or for height, or because Stokes's horoscopes were more promising, or for any reason you'd like. The fact is, Villanova was blown out the past three games, so it hasn't worked.

I am not even saying that Stokes deserved fewer minutes. Stokes appears to be progressing, and 23 minutes per game seems reasonable, if not a little on the high side.

But at this time, right now, Stokes is nowhere nearly as skilled as Malcolm Grant in any facet of college basketball, and Grant should be getting double Stokes's minutes, not half.

Need some more numbers? Let's take a look at Grant's minutes in Villanova's eight conference games:
  • Depaul: 15 min. LOSS

  • Pittsburgh: 27 min. WIN

  • Cincinnati: 8 min. LOSS

  • DePaul: 22 min. WIN

  • Syracuse: 10 min. WIN

  • Rutgers: 18 min. LOSS

  • Notre Dame: 10 min. LOSS

  • Pittsburgh: 8 min. LOSS

Now, I am no statistician, but even I can see a pattern in those numbers. In Villanova's three conference wins, Grant has averaged 19.67 minutes per game. In the five losses, his minutes drop down to 11.8.

In fact, Malcolm has played 59 minutes total in all of Villanova's wins and all of Villanova's losses. The problem is, there are five losses and only three wins.

I am actually being conservative, too, by keeping this analysis inside conference play. If you look at the entire season, as was pointed out on a message board, Villanova is 7-0 when Grant plays at least 19 minutes, and is 6-6 when he does not.

If you'd like, you can even forget all of the statistics. Forget the numbers. Just look at how Grant has played. He single handedly pulled out miracles at home against LSU and Pittsburgh, and nearly completed the hat trick with his furious barrage at Rutgers.

It's pretty clear that while this Villanova team needs to improve in several areas, one of the biggest is for Malcoln Grant to see more minutes.

O.K., this signals an ends to tonight's Grant Rant, the longest yet. I reserve the right to be even longer winded should Villanova lose another game with Malcolm on the bench.

Congratulations to reader "Matadorm83" for most closely predicting the game's final score.

Next up for Villanova is a home rematch against the Syracuse Orange at the Wachovia Center on Saturday.

On to the player grades. "READ MORE" below for player performance grades and analysis.


  • Scottie Reynolds (S, 36 min)

    Reynolds looked to be back in form tonight, playing a spectacular game in the loss. Scottie scored a game-high 26 on good 9-15 shooting, including a decent 3-7 from the three. The one weakness in his offensive game tonight was a shaky 5-8 performance from the foul line, 62.5 percent. Reynolds led the team in assists, with 4. He was also good for 6 rebounds, second-best on the team. He committed 4 turnovers and had 1 steal. If Reynolds can keep up his hot hand on offense, the 'Cats might be able to break their losing streak against Syracuse.
    Grade: A-

  • Antonio Pena (S, 34 min)

    Pena has really emerged this season and now seems to be the Wildcats' best player underneath. He notched the minimum double-double tonight, leading the team in rebounds, with 10. Pena scored his 10 points on terrible 4-15 shooting, however. That is not a typo: he was 4-15 from the field, as a forward. His dominance of the glass is encouraging, and Pena usually shoots far better. He has been one of t he few bright spots for the 'Cats during this losing streak.
    Grade: C+


  • Corey Fisher (S, 27 min)

    Fisher really could not find the basket tonight. He shot 2-10 from the field, including 0-3 from three-point land. Fisher could use a boost from the three lately, as his shot is better than recent results. Fisher finished with 4 points, 2 assists, 4 turnovers, and 2 steals. He did show some stretches of spectacular ball-handling, and his future looks bright on the Main Line.
    Grade: C-


  • Dwayne Anderson (23 min)

    Anderson was given 23 minutes of court time after a lackluster performance against Notre Dame, and he really didn't deviate from that result tonight. Anderson scored 4 points on 2-5 shooting, and was 0-2 from the foul line. What's worse, his trip to the line was at a crucial junction, and neither free throw was even close. He rounded out his line with 3 boards, and 1 each of steals, turnovers, and blocks. It is a little disconcerting to see Anderson play 23 minutes at the wing and notch 0 assists.
    Grade: C-

  • Corey Stokes (22 min)

    Stokes missed tonight. A lot. He missed from short, and he missed from long. He missed while he was covered too closely to even shoot, and he missed when he was wide open. Stokes was 0-5 from the field, and 0-3 from the three. He scored no points in 22 long minutes. He had 2 rebounds, an assist, a turnover, and a steal. The only thing saving the grade from an F is that he didn't shoot more, and he kept turnovers down. I may be being too kind, however, since Stokes was hopeless on offense.
    Grade: D-

  • Dante Cunningham (S, 22 min)

    Cunningham was ineffective tonight. It seems like the junior is regressing this year after a breakout season during his sophomore campaign. Dante scored 2 points on 1-3 shooting, and was a ghost down low, grabbing just 3 rebounds. He had no turnovers, no assists, 1 block, and 1 steal. Dante has got to get back to his early-season form, especially on the glass, if 'Nova is to break out of this slump.
    Grade: D-

  • Reggie Redding (18 min)

    Redding got the starting nod tonight and put in a typically solid but not spectacular performance. He shot a good 3-6 from the field to score 6 points. He did not grab any rebounds, which is unusual for the tall, athletic Redding. He rounded out the night with 2 assists, 1 turnover, and 1 steal.
    Grade: C-

  • Malcolm Grant (8 min)

    Grant needs to get more minutes. Period. Tonight he was 1-2 from the field to score 3 points in just 8 minutes of play, 4 per half. Why Jay Wright plays such an energetic, streaky guard in such a fractured manner is beyond me. Grant also found time to grab 1 rebound and make 1 spectacular assist. He had 1 turnover, but made up for it on the same play when he took a charge on the resultant fast break. I'll say it again: more minutes for Malcolm.
    Grade: B


  • Casiem Drummond (7 min)

    Drummond returned to the Wildcat lineup after missing long stretches this year with an injured ankle. He did not look solid in his return. Drummond shot 1-2 from the field to score 2 points, and did not come up with any rebounds in his 7 minutes. He also picked up 3 quick fouls. Clearly Drummond is not all the way back from his injury and needs to work himself into his rhythm.
    Grade: D, with a grain of rehabilitation salt

  • Incomplete grades: Shane Clark (3 min).


  • Did not play: Frank Tchuisi (CD), Jason Colenda (CD).


Labels: , , , ,

28 Comments:

At 10:21 PM, January 30, 2008, Anonymous WhoIsJayWright said...

It continues. Grant doesn't play and we lose.

 
At 10:34 PM, January 30, 2008, Blogger NovaFan09 said...

Tonight I was at a sports bar with several friends and we were discussing Grant's playing time. I have learned that Malcolm Grant suffered a concussion in the last Cincinnati game.

According to Asst. Coach Doug West, who spoke to about 100 students prior to the home game against DePaul, Grant suffered a concussion midway through the game against the Bearcats.

Cincinnati forwards were setting screens and picks on Villanova guards with the intention of "taking them out."

Grant, along with the rest of Villanova's backcourt, was advised to be weary of Cincy's big men and their game plan.

Despite warning, Grant got licked late in the game. I for one will not speculate any further if this is the case Malcolm has been riding the bench, but this is coming from a credible source who was present when West made the announcement.

More to follow

 
At 10:36 PM, January 30, 2008, Anonymous Jay Wright is my Homeboy said...

ANGRY LOUD NOISES!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 11:04 PM, January 30, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Interesting, novafan09... but with an injury like that, wouldnt it seem to be all or nothing? Either MG can go or he can't... doesnt seem like t he type of injury where he would be ok playing 8 minutes but not 20... but I am not a doctor.

 
At 11:22 PM, January 30, 2008, Anonymous Joey said...

As much as people are going to call for JW's head after this game (and I do agree, Grant SHOULD have played more minutes), a lot of this falls on the players not performing. It's often easier to just blame a string of losses on bad coaching etc, but if one steps back and looks at this game, it is evident that the players just did not perform. Pena, normally one of our most efficient inside players, shot 4-15, missing some wide open lay ups. Cunningham was nowhere to be found, scoring 2 points and 3 rebounds. Corey Fisher was 2-10 from the field with 4 turnovers. Stokes was 0-5. The team shot 36.5% from the field and 58% from the FT line. No matter how good/bad the coaching is, and no matter who plays, a team that can't shoot well will not win.

 
At 12:59 AM, January 31, 2008, Anonymous Nova95 said...

Bottom Line:

- The players are young and not that good right now.

- The only time Jay has succeeded at 'Nova has been with experienced players and leaders. Foye, Ray, Sumpter and the gang did not get it going until mid-way through their Junior year once they could lead on the court. Jay is a good recruiter and face for the program, but he is NOT a good coach but never was. He needs better assistants to help him.

-This team better watch out. This is the last year of schools missing out on the Big East Tourney. Call me crazy but we have a shot to be one of those teams that miss the tourney if we don't start figuring stuff out soon.

 
At 7:26 AM, January 31, 2008, OpenID MatadorM83 said...

While I appreciate the congratulations for my prediction being so accurate, I wish it were wrong.

AT least I was more accurate than certain people who question my knowledge of this great sporrt.

 
At 9:05 AM, January 31, 2008, Anonymous JA said...

I agree with Joey's post, lineups and plays don't matter when the team can't make a shot. I agree Grant should be getting more minutes, however this blog has become increasingly obsessed with him, and he is not a guaranteed all-star game savior that can be pulled out of a hat whenever needed. Putting Grant in for 20-25 minutes a game is probably the right thing to do and would certainly help, but that will in no way guarantee a 'Nova victory.

This team has developmental needs well beyond its lineup, and until they are addressed and the team starts playing better as a whole, the struggles will continue.

 
At 10:20 AM, January 31, 2008, OpenID MatadorM83 said...

Bottom line: if this team is going to make the tournament, they need to go 8 - 3 the rest of the way AND win their first round of the Big East Tournament. That would give them 22 wins.

 
At 11:06 AM, January 31, 2008, Anonymous Bill said...

I suspect something physical may have or be happening.

Watching the game on TV is like watching the game through a knot hole; all you see is the ball; however I seem to perceive a certain lack of confidence or swagger since we started Big East play, resulting in.... lots of missed shots, that would be made earlier in the season. It may have been an injury nobody wants to "cry" about, or just the physical play. Not to mention we also have our most physically intimidating guy sitting on the bench with a bad ankle.

Remember many of our key shot makers were playing with teenagers last year.... it may just be a shock at the physicality of the game in the Big East. The one guy that seems fearless is Malcolm, and I could believe he has a target on him to "welcome him to the Big East".

Has anyone heard how Cas's ankle was after last night? Those stress fractures feel great quickly, and if you don't stay off it long enough it just "pops" again and you are right back where you started.

 
At 12:19 PM, January 31, 2008, OpenID MatadorM83 said...

Take a look at the following quote made by coach after a bad loss last night....

"We didn't play very well tonight and that's my fault, all my fault. We'll play harder and get better from here. We're young but that's no excuse. We can be tougher. This league is good but you've got to make shots and make plays and not give teams open looks."

That is a GREAT quote! That is the kind of thing you want to hear from a coach. It shows accountability, disgust, and a real desire to play better.

Problem is, Jay Wright didn't day it. Norm Roberts did after Georgetown thumped St. Johns.

 
At 1:54 PM, January 31, 2008, Anonymous todd said...

this site is beginning to get ridiculous with the malcolm grant hype. scottie and fisher are better and more consistent than him, that's why they play more. grant's playing time is the least of our probelms right now. we can't defend, rebound, and we constantly make bad decisions.

 
At 2:28 PM, January 31, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Todd,

I admit that Grant's PT is just one of the team's problems. However, it does seem to be the easiest remedied and most inexplicable.

 
At 3:09 PM, January 31, 2008, OpenID bosshoghazzard said...

There were some bright spots last night. The team did show some defensive intensity and hussle, even if just for a few minutes of the game. Jay did not play Shane Clark who is terrible.(The announcers were implying that Shane has been sick and has been suffering from some sort of mysterious illness, thus the poor performance.) I don't buy it-HE STINKS! It seems to me that the offense is simply Scottie hucking up very poor shots. And then the occasional drive and flip with a foul. Is Jay just trying to get Scottie stats at the expense of the team? Will Tyreke take notice that the star guard gets to do whatever the hell he wants and will thus commit to nova? Is that Jay's "recruiting plan." Pena needs to start throwing down dunks. He missed way to many lay ups. IF HE THROWS IT DOWN HE WILL EITHER BE FOULED OR WILL SCORE WITH ENFORCEMENT. So, quit being soft PENA. Grant needs to play more. No doubt about it. Duke had an off year last year and they didn't fold. Villanova must dominate on a season to season basis if they want to be considered a legitimate, historically successful program. Until then, we can just wish it was 1985 or that Lowery, Foye, Ray, Nardi will be suiting up.

 
At 4:35 PM, January 31, 2008, Anonymous SenatorJoeBiden said...

Every post on this website is just a noun, a verb, and "Malcolm Grant"

 
At 4:51 PM, January 31, 2008, OpenID bosshoghazzard said...

I will excuse Jay Wright and the teams this performance to date based on the fact that the team is very young and has no seniors. Can anyone point to a teams in the history of the NCAA who dominated with only Freshman and Sophomores? When Cunningham and Clark Graduate, we can pick up two new recruits who will be led by Reynolds, Grant, Fisher, Pena, Stokes, Anderson. The next year Scottie goes and we pick up another freshman who is led by the 2 sophomores that took Cunningham and Clark's scholarships plus the then Senior class of Grant, Pena, Fisher, Stokes Anderson and so on. It seems as though Jay's problem (not really aproblem when you see how the team performed) lies within the fact that Foye, Ray, Sumpter, Frasier were all in the same recruiting class. He didn't have much fluidity within the program which is what he is learning to deal with now. I predict that after this year and maybe next, we win year in and year out with Jay at the helm. To say he is a terrible coach and a non-motivator is completely ridiculous. He dominated when he was at Hofstra and dominated with players when at Nova. Ease off the Jay meister. Would you rather have Steve Lappas or some other nitwit coach? I dont think so.

 
At 5:02 PM, January 31, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

boss --

you dont have to look very far back. Try the Florida natl champ team that dominated with sophomores two years go.

Ohio state went to natl champ game with freshmen last year.

 
At 6:59 PM, January 31, 2008, Blogger Foye's Boy said...

i also heard that grant had that concussion during that game...and it may just be precautionary that he is only getting ten minutes...but if he can only play a few minutes a game then it should not be when they are down 15 with 5 to go....something has to give with this grant situation -- i would be suprised if he didnt get at least 15-20 minutes against syracuse cause this is a pretty much must win game for the cats.

 
At 7:12 PM, January 31, 2008, Anonymous Wil D. Cat said...

I'm so not in the mood to put on that monkey, errr cat suit and try to motivate the fans at the wachovia center! do you guys realize how HOT it is in there?!?! plus, jay can't even hear me yelling for malcolm anyways!! I predict a Flynn/Greene domination on saturday =(

 
At 8:17 PM, January 31, 2008, OpenID bosshoghazzard said...

Pete,

You said it, "Florida won it with sophomores." We dont have great sophomores, only 1. And, that entire team was drafted into the NBA.

Ohio State made the national championship with a freshman who was the number one over all pick in that year's draft. And I believe a top 10 pic with their point guard. NOVA DOES NOT HAVE THAT KIND OF TALENT, let alone good big men which both FL and OSU had.

 
At 8:46 PM, January 31, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Boss, never said we had that kind of talent, I was just answering your question about whether or not "anyone in the history of the ncaa ever dominated with only freshmen and sophs"

 
At 9:11 PM, January 31, 2008, OpenID bosshoghazzard said...

Touche!

 
At 9:52 PM, January 31, 2008, Anonymous B-ROB said...

I'd have to agree with Emily/Jim.. Scottie does nothing but score. Over all, when he's in a zone he does that well. But when he's in a slump it affects the whole team. One thing for sure, 2 things for certain, is Scottie is POOR with sharing the ball. It's no wonder Nova can't get out of a slump, because every penetration Scottie has - leads to him shooting or driving the ball. He's not a natural 1 Guard. If I had my say, Fisher or Grant would be pushing the ball, and looking to Scottie for open 3's and penetration AFTER offensive rebounds.

Nova has to much talent to be sub .500 in the big east. There are 2 valuable players Shane Clark and Dante' Cunningham who simply just don't touch the ball enough. Dante is EXCELLENT for cleaning up the glass, and Shane's rebounding skills are immaculant as well. They are getting beat down in so many other areas as leaders, that it's hard to understand why they aren't producing to there potential. Every great player goes through shooting slumps, and it's up to the team to help out during those periods. With Scottie pushing as Point, he NEVER gives anyone on the team a chance to help out. (Until they're down 16 points) His 3's have been HORRIBLE this season, free throw percentage sucks for a guard, and from EVERY game I've watched this season, he has been beat of the dribble, by more quicker gaurds. He can not rebound, defend, nor does he assist well. Always getting jammed up in traffic when penetrating, and barely getting called for travels. So, his only TRUE attribute is scoring. Again, that's ONLY when he's in the zone.

Shane Clark, and Dante Cunningham are the keys to Nova success. If the guards (Scottie in paticular) don't get those two more involved OFFENSIVELY Nova won't even make it to the Big East Tourney. Sad but true. Shane Clark has a astonishing dribble if he touches the ball more, and can take anyone to the paint, or pull up for short range, long range J's. The problem is, he's so worn out from Defense and trying to rebound against the bigger forwards in the Big East that when he finally does get the ball for offense to pick up some rythm he's exhausted.
Dante' should be more of a post up player. Sorta like what Pena is doing. He does need to work on his short range J' but over all this cat gets the job done! Him and Shane should be looking MORE to one another for passing, rebounding, and shooting. The guards should then be helping out for long rebounds, and creating plays.
Redding, another quiet giant that can make some noise IF he's involved early. Nova is now playing the catchup game EVERY GAME because Scottie does NOT share the ball well. I'm furious at J-Wright for letting Scottie continue to do these things, and not making a team effort to get these W's on the board. Scottie is NOT that good of a player or play maker to get it done solo. Nothing like Kyle Lowry, Randy Foye. These guys made PLAYS not only did (Kyle BARELY 6 feet) make plays, but this guy rebounded crazy. Same with Foye. Kyle wasn't a big scorer but he played his role as a "TRUE" guard. Scottie should watch tapes of Kyle and learn. Kyle was excellent for distractions, and getting his TEAM involved.
Bottom line, next year will definitely be a better year. But if they want to see ANY tourney play this year, Scottie will need to share the Ball, and make MORE of a team effort. Shane will need double digits offensively from here on out, Dante will have to continue to pound the glass, and the rest of the team will have to step up DEFENSE.

~GO NOVA~

 
At 10:59 PM, January 31, 2008, OpenID bosshoghazzard said...

B-rob, Well said.

Where does the pavillion rank on tough places to play? Where is the toughest place to play in college basketball?

Pete,
Anyway you can start a thread on the main page that isnt in each story? You know, a main thread?

 
At 11:39 PM, January 31, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

B-Rob -- I gotta disagree with you about Reynolds. If you saw him at the beginning of the year last year, you saw a distribute-first guy. He had to learn to call his own number.

Boss -- If this thread gets too big (40+ comments), I'll start an open-thread on the main page... but I am sure that by then we will have the Cuse preview up. All comment threads have to be part of a post due to the nature of the blog software... but we can always have open thread posts that are just for comments.

 
At 9:51 AM, February 01, 2008, Anonymous Wolf Blitzer said...

lets create an open-thread. I'll moderate.

 
At 11:38 AM, February 01, 2008, Anonymous jimmm said...

B-rob, I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment of Clark. While I do believe he provides a sense of leadership on the team, being a captain and all, I am extremely uncomfortable with him dribbling the basketball.

 
At 2:48 PM, February 01, 2008, Anonymous B-Rob said...

Pete- I have not missed a Nova game in about 4 1/2 years. I did watch Scottie closely when he started last year, and new that from day one, it wasn't a good fit for nova (As far as distribution was concerned) I love the tenasity that he puts forth when trying to score, but I hate how he goes about it. He lacks the true admiration of a 1 Gaurd because he's focused more on scoring, then getting the team involved.

Jimmmmm -How long have you watched Shane Clark play?? One of his major problems was being so over shadowed with good talent since his arrival, that he hasn't really had a chance to prove himself as "THE VALUABLE ASSET" Other then being a captain. If you check Shane's EFF ratings even though he's been on a 5 game slump (Even the best of players experience that) he's still ranked the highest on Nova. This guy can slash to the basket, definitely rebound, has range with his shot. Watching him in practice and watching him in a game is definitely different. He's one of the hardest workers out there. It's just not translating into these big east games which is a MAJOR problem. However, J-Wrights offense doesn't allow him to really play his level of Ball because there isn't a GOOD #1 Gaurd getting him involved. I'd have to say the same thing about getting Dante involved too. Why does he have to be JUST the clean up man??? Over all, he's the best talent "IN THE PAINT" that nova has. If he's fed the ball more, and given more offensive opportunities, we won't be stuck with low game ending scores of 50 points a game.

Notice the difference when the ball is spread out more. Shane scores double digits, Dante scores double digits, 2 gaurds step up their play and we're good to go.

There are alot of people complaining about Grant not getting more time. I can understand why. He really needs to work on defending the ball though. He too can score! But if you watch him closely, doesn't put pressure on other gaurds like he should. Over all it's the gaurds who should be defending the perimiter and our gaurd SUCK at that. Which again is why his time is limited.
I think we'll be seeing more of him to come though. So hopefully he steps up his D sooner then later.

Point blank, it doesn't matter how Shane and Dante score, or the rest of the team for that fact. If the entire team doesn't step up Defense, we can start to talk about NEXT years possibilities, cuz they won't even make it to the Big E. Tourney....
Sad... BUT TRUE!

~GO NOVA~

 

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