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02 February 2008


'Nova in free fall with 4th straight loss

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
2/02/2008 02:44:00 PM
Villanova dropped its fourth straight game today with an embarrassing 87-73 home loss to Syracuse at the Wachovia Center.

The defeat drops the Wildcats to 3-6 in conference play and into the bottom four of the Big East.

If the season ended today, the season might truly end. Villanova would miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004, and would be on the bubble for the NIT. The Wildcats would not even be invited to Madison Square Garden for the Big East Conference tournament.

Of course, the season is not over yet. If the Wildcats go on a tremendous run in the rest of conference play and another tremendous run in the BET (assuming they qualify), an NCAA Tournament appearance is possible.

At this point, however, the 'Cats have some work to do to get to the Garden and to the NIT, which now requires a much better resume for major-conference teams. A rule took effect in 2006 that gives an automatic bid to the NIT to any regular-season conference champion that missed the NCAA field of 65.

I'm out of town until late Sunday, so I won't be able to post the full recap and player grades for the Syracuse game until late Sunday night Monday afternoon, well after the Super Bowl.

Check back Monday morning if you're not into staying up all hours of the night to read a blogger's opinion as to why Villanova lost.

You can comment on the game in this post. All comments will be saved after this post is updated.

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24 Comments:

At 3:15 PM, February 02, 2008, Anonymous emily said...

i don't even want to talk about it...

i thought we may have some problems being so young, but i never in my worst nightmares could've imagined a season like this.

 
At 3:55 PM, February 02, 2008, Anonymous Tom said...

Read it.

http://www.manrants.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=26

 
At 3:59 PM, February 02, 2008, Anonymous Stop freaking out said...

Um did you guys see what happened to Uconn last year? Same thing. They started ranked based on their recuiting class and beat a whole bunch of terrible teams. Then they got into Big East play and fell apart because the Big East is tough. I'm pretty sure it didn't happen because Calhoun is a bad coach seeing as he's a hall of famer with a championship. It's called rebuilding. So don't act suprised that this is happening and because it's Jay's fault. It's called rebuilding. Look at Uconn this year they're better and will probably go from not being invited to the NIT last year to going to the tournament this year. Next year if they don't lose any players to the draft I can see them being a ranked top 15 team.

 
At 4:12 PM, February 02, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Tom --

That is an outstanding article. The guy knows what he is talking about. Where did you find it? I might link to it on the main page as a news item later in the week.

The author and I seem to agree on several major points... I love it. Good snapshot of the program from a fan's perspective.

 
At 4:14 PM, February 02, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Here it is, with clickable goodness:

http://www.manrants.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=26

 
At 4:47 PM, February 02, 2008, Anonymous Nova95 said...

Very good article. I agree with most of his points.

The only thing I would add or change in his analysis is the credit he gives Jay for good coaching for the three years prior to this.

I would argue that the young guys like Foye, Sumpter and Ray just grew up and Jay let them play their own game. That is not coaching. Last year they still had the leadership of Sumpter, Nardi and Sheridan and Jay gave the "green light" to Scottie. There was enough leadership on the floor to manage the game and let Scottie play.

Jay Wright is not a good coach. He never was. He is a very good recruiter and is good with the players and media. This team might be good next year or at some point in the future, but it will not be because of Jay. The guys will have figured it out (by themselves) and Jay will let them play (this stupid Guard U concept). Bottom line: Jay's style is getting old.. learn how to coach dude.

 
At 7:59 PM, February 02, 2008, Anonymous todd said...

anyone starting to change their mind that malcolm is not our savior?

 
At 8:35 PM, February 02, 2008, Blogger garretthill said...

Didn't see anywhere in that article the dude mention the word "defense" about any player, except when Scottie gets tired.

I am not riding the comments of the guys that did the game on TV today, b/c I have been saying it for months. THEY CAN'T DEFEND!!!! And Scottie can't defend anybody, whether he is fresh or tired.

Until they start to defend for 40 minutes (today's first 10 minutes looked great defensively), they will continue to lose games.

The only gripe I have with Jay is his constant substitutions. He made a sub less than 1 minute into the game today....what is that??!!!!

I totally agree with his late game offense/defense subs, but quit all the substitutions for the first 30 minutes of the game. Let your best 5 players (whoever he decides they are) to play the majority of the game and let them get into a rhythm, and bring the next best 3-4 guys off the bench for 10-12 minutes a game.

 
At 9:32 PM, February 02, 2008, Blogger Foye's Boy said...

i totally agree with you garretthill, villanova cannot defend and they constantly make it too easy for opponents to score...you're so right when u say scottie cant defend because its true, he is a liability on defense

 
At 10:29 PM, February 02, 2008, OpenID jrmiller100 said...

About Todd's comment per Malcolm Grant not being our savior, I do not know any player that can get into an offensive rhythm when he gets three minutes and then sits for the next ten. If he is hurt, Jay needs to say it. If he isn't hurt, Jay needs to start playing Malcolm. Period

 
At 10:32 PM, February 02, 2008, OpenID jrmiller100 said...

I also agree with GarrettHill and Foye's Boy about Scottie's liability on defense. The pressure defense isn't the same since Scottie took the point position in the press that Nardi used to fill.

I was at the game and Scottie was a non factor in most of the first half due to his foul trouble and some pretty poor shooting in the first half.

 
At 11:04 PM, February 02, 2008, Anonymous Jameson from CuseAdelphia said...

I was very upset with the Villanova crowd. I'm a Syracuse student who traveled to that game and I think people were louder at my high school games. There were a ton of empty seats on the lower level, the 'Nova student section didn't show up til half way through the first half and was completely quiet. They got more energetic for the dance cam during freaking break then during the game.

Everyone left the game with two minutes left except for the Syracuse fans which filled the entire upper deck. The ESPN recap took note of how loud our crowd was, CSTV interviewed my group that was there and said we are the best traveled school in the country and today proves it. Now I know he was feeding us a line on that, but Syracuse is definitely one of the best traveled schools in the country and showed 'Nova up today.

 
At 9:49 AM, February 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what "homecourt" would even allow a strong contingency of visiting team followers?! wachovia center! ive always hated that place. all of our games should be played at our pavilion.

 
At 12:26 PM, February 03, 2008, Anonymous Roy Dibbert said...

MCI center is the same way

 
At 12:33 PM, February 03, 2008, OpenID bosshoghazzard said...

I saw improvement yesterday. Instead of playing 5 minutes of hustle basketball, I think they played 10. I think Malcolm might only be good under pressure. And we have been under pressure all season. The team looked to have been playing a little more cohesively with Cas in-there were a lot of great assists by the point guards. It was a good thing Scottie got into foul trouble as he wasn't able to hog the ball. Again, despite the loss, we showed improvement. We will not make the NCAA tourney, unless we win the Big East tourney. But, we have to MAKE the big east tourney.

 
At 12:35 PM, February 03, 2008, OpenID bosshoghazzard said...

Jameson,
Go back to "cusadelphia." Your orange are 1-1 against us.

 
At 12:55 PM, February 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boeheim blows

 
At 1:20 PM, February 03, 2008, Anonymous Jameson from CuseAdelphia said...

Yes, Boeheim blows. He's only got six players and he's 6-4 in the Big East. He came to Villanova and got his team to play a very solid game and embarrass the Wildcats.

Thank you boss for pointing out Syracuse is 1-1 against 'Nova.

I never said Syracuse was a better team, but was merely pointing out 'Nova Nation is pathetic this year.

 
At 2:18 PM, February 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

as much as i despise the orange, it's sad to admit that jameson is indeed correct. nova nation is quite pathetic this year! i wish we had jonny flynn. he reminded me of a better shooting kyle lowry! yikes!

 
At 3:53 PM, February 03, 2008, Anonymous NovaCuse said...

Both Nova and Syracuse are not very good. Georgetown is the elite team in the Big East. HOYA SAXA!

 
At 4:21 PM, February 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OSA > Jesuits

 
At 4:32 PM, February 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay this is not a whose team is best blog, its a blog to discuss VILLANOVA basketball, and if you don't like villanova then get off the blog..

Anyway, i think that article was really great. I think in all the hype about malcolm not getting enough playing time (which i STILL completely agree with) we don't realize that corey fisher really doesn't get enough either.

I think he's a wonderful player. my only complaint with him is that he penetrates a lot, and then gets caught in traffic and throws up a lousy shot. If he has 2 or 3 guys on him in the paint, throw it out to someone behind the arc!

 
At 11:07 PM, February 03, 2008, Anonymous TomBradyiscrying said...

Atleast the Giants won the Super Bowl

 
At 11:07 PM, February 03, 2008, Anonymous TomBradyiscrying said...

Atleast the Giants won the Super Bowl

 

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