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04 January 2008

'Nova falls to DePaul

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
1/04/2008 02:38:00 AM

Villanova 76
DePaul 84
(box score)

DePaul: 5-7 (1-0 BE)
#16 Villanova: 10-2 (0-1 BE, 3-0 B5)

Next game: vs. Pittsburgh, 01/06 at the Pavilion.

Disaster struck for the favored Villanova Wildcats tonight as they opened conference play with a loss to DePaul, a team with a losing record.

Even with the Demons leading at the half and late in the second period, it still seemed likely that the 'Cats would mount and complete a comeback, especially after the win last month over LSU.

Villanova did chip away at the Demon lead, and managed to come within 4 points at the 3:27 mark after running off a 10-0 spurt. The comeback quickly collapsed, however, and the #16 Wildcats dropped their first conference game.

Poor shooting and porous defense seemed to be the causes of the upset tonight in Rosemont, Ill., as the 'Cats had difficulty putting the ball in the basket and preventing their opponents from doing the same. The Wildcats also committed 25 fouls, nine more than DePaul.

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

Next up for Villanova are the Pittsburgh Panthers on Sunday afternoon at the Pavilion for the Wildcats' Big East home opener.

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

  • Scottie Reynolds (S, 32 min)

    Reynolds definitely had some difficulties tonight, especially on the offensive end. The Wildcats' leading scorer was held to just 11 points on 4-12 shooting, including 1-4 from the three. He led the team in assists, with 5, but also committed a team-high 4 turnovers. Reynolds was also held to just 2 rebounds in a game where the Wildcats were out-rebounded 32-21.
    Grade: B-

  • Dante Cunningham (S, 30 min)

    Offense was the bright spot for Cunningham tonight. Dante played efficiently, scoring 16 points on 6-9 shooting. He was, however, limited to just 5 rebounds. Despite the low board total, Cunningham was nonetheless the Wildcats' best frontcourt player tonight.
    Grade: B

  • Corey Fisher (S, 30 min)

    Let's get the controversy out of the way early: was Jay Wright correct to yank Fisher at the 3:19 mark with 4 fouls? In my opinion, it was a terrible decision. Villanova had just completed a 10-0 run, and Fisher seemed like the only 'Cat who could score. Aside from the foul trouble, Fisher played a decent game. Corey scored a game-high 23 points on 8-15 shooting, and was a solid 4-10 from the three-point line. He had 2 each of rebounds, turnovers, and assists, but did not come up with any steals. Perhaps in the future, Jay will feel comfortable leaving Corey out there in foul trouble, because the team seems to need his presence, especially when coming from behind.
    Grade: A-

  • Reggie Redding (S, 26 min)

    Redding rebounded from some mediocre recent performances with a solid game, despite the losing team effort. Redding scored 9 on 2-3 shooting and was a perfect 5-5 from the line. He led the team in rebounding, with 6 boards, and in steals, with 2. He dished out 2 assists and committed 2 turnovers. Redding did get into some foul trouble, with 4 personals, but otherwise it was a good game for Reggie.
    Grade: B

  • Shane Clark (S, 26 min)

    Clark was ineffective for much of the game. With just 4 points in 26 minutes, Clark did not live up to his offensive responsibilities. He shot 2-5 from the field and 0-2 from the three. He had 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 turnover. Despite some excellent play earlier this season, Clark seems to have struggled of late, and one wonders whether some of his minutes would not be better spent going to Pena or Grant.
    Grade: D

  • Antonio Pena (17 min)

    Pena played about an average game. He scored 8 points on 2-4 shooting, and was a perfect 4-4 from the foul line. He pulled in 4 rebounds, and had 2 turnovers, a steal, and a block. He too suffered from foul trouble with 4 fouls. It was a decent effort from Pena, but I think he has more in him.
    Grade: C

  • Malcolm Grant (15 min)

    Grant did make just a single shot in his 12 minutes, and shot 1-4, all from behind the three-point line. It's my opinion, however, that perhaps Grant could have been given more playing time, given the energy he invariably brings to the team. I know Grant usually means instant offense, but maybe he needed some more time to get going tonight. After his heroics against LSU, Grant should have been given a bigger role to play in the Wildcats' potential comeback tonight. Instead, Grant only got 15 minutes of playing time, in which he scored 3 points and dished out 2 assists. Surely it was not Grant's best effort, but I would like to see what he could have done with more time.
    Grade: C+

  • Dwayne Anderson (15 min)

    Anderson has earned more minutes lately, and he continues to show excellent hustle and determination. While he put out an gargantuan effort against DePaul, Anderson seemed to lack the offensive firepower to be effective. Anderson was shut out from the field, shooting 0-3, including 0-2 from behind the arc. He was 2-2 from the foul stripe to score his 2 points. He did have a solid night on the glass, pulling in 5 rebounds in 15 minutes. Anderson too was afflicted by foul trouble, notching 4 personals in his limited court time.
    Grade: C-

  • Corey Stokes (10 min)

    Stokes played 12 minutes but had hardly any impact on the game whatsoever. He missed the only two shots he took, both from behind the three-point line. He really seems to be struggling in terms of shooting confidence. Aside from the missed shots, his only impact on the box score was a single rebound and a block. Hopefully Stokes finds his rhythm soon, because another scorer would be welcome, especially on nights like tonight when Villanova can't get its offense going.
    Grade: D

  • Incomplete grades: None

  • Did not play:
    Casiem Drummond
    (ankle), Andrew Ott (CD), Frank Tchuisi (CD), Jason Colenda (CD).

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At 7:37 AM, January 04, 2008, Blogger Bill said...

Got to stay positive about that game..... Cas looked really sharp in his Writelike threads.

At 7:52 AM, January 04, 2008, Blogger Bill said...

I think those kids just got their batteries drained by an unfriendly crowd....

It's really really important that all of you at the Pavilion recharge their batteries at the Pitt game.

At 11:18 AM, January 04, 2008, Anonymous Todd said...

That was one of the ugliest games I have ever seen Villanova play. Scottie Reynolds can not do anything against athletic defenders and makes some HORRIBLE decisions. We saw the same thing against LSU. Anyone notice how often he leaves his feet in the lane and gets caught chucking shots in traffic on the way down? He completely forces some shots that don't even have a chance of hitting the rim or thros the ball away every time he does it. Jay should have benched him in the second half- especially after that turnover/foul on the fast break layup in crunch time. Anyone that thinks he is going to the NBA is out of their mind.

Our offense just looks pathetic, Fisher is the only one that plays consistently night after night. Dante plays hard but just doesn't have enough offensive tools to be a consistent threat. We better hope those Tyreke rumors are true because with more performances like this I don't see how we are going to make the tournament this year.

At 12:11 PM, January 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd, unfortunatly I agree with your comments. Reynolds took too many forced shots, and that foul fired up the Depaul crowd which propelled them to victory. Also, Clark was absolutely non-existant. We are lacking big men now and cannot afford such a quiet game from Clark.

However, Jay Wright is also at fault for this performance. He cannot schedule a string of cupcake games right before Big East Conference play begins. Villanova had also not experienced a hostile evvironment on the road before this.

In addition, I question why he would get such a foolish technical foul. Furthermore, why would Jay not give Grant more playing time in a game which was so similar to the LSU game? Lastly, I like Anderson a lot, but he seemed very sluggish.

Despite all of the negatives, this was a good wake up call for nova, and hopefully they can rebound from this terrible loss.

At 2:52 PM, January 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't fault Jay for the "T".

I wouldn't be surprised if he did it on purpose. He wasn't getting any fire on the floor and he was just trying to ignite something from the bench... worth a couple of charity shots. I think Scottie clearly walked.

At 7:53 PM, January 04, 2008, Anonymous Michael said...

you see? Villanova is nothing without Drummmond

At 8:22 PM, January 04, 2008, Anonymous By-the-Sea said...

This was simply an example of a young team that needs to grow up a bit. They played to the level of their competition - then watched on their heels as DePaul gained confidence. Same thing happened against LSU - but you won't pull most efforts like this out of the fire.

Expect Coach Wright will have them "reoriented" by Sunday.

Good crowd noise by DePaul’s home stand. The Pavilion needs to be in full ‘Brian Shorter” versus Pitt.

At 9:10 PM, January 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not trying to dis this blog at all, because i totally love it, but i sensed just a little bias or something in the grades for last night's game. I think Scottie had a HORRID game last night, he made a lot of foolish mistakes and his shooting was horrible, yet he still earned a B-. On the other hand Dante had a great game. He put all his heart into it and came up with 16 points and 2 absolutely sick blocks, but only earned a B. Admittedly he didnt have his normal double digit rebounds, but when the rest of the team is sucking you can't expect him to do everyything! All i'm trying to say was that the grading seemed a little off, and effort should be accounted for somewhere because dante put his whole heart into it, while scottie seemed hollow and out-of-it the whole game.

At 4:20 AM, January 05, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

thanks for your comments, anon.

I'm not sure I understand though. B is higher than B-. Dante got a better grade. Are you saying the gap should have been even further? That's a valid opinion, I guess. I try to be as unbiased as possible when assigning the grades, but you are entitled to your opinion as well.


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