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01 December 2008

Villanova wins Philly Classic

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
12/01/2008 01:42:00 AM

Rhode Island 65
Villanova 78
(box score)

#20 Villanova: 6-0 (0-0 BE, 0-0 B5)
Rhode Island: 5-2 (0-0 A10)

[Youtube highlights]

Next game: at Penn, 02 Dec. at the Palestra.

Villanova won the Philly Hoop Group Classic on Friday with a victory over Rhode Island at the Palestra. With the win, the Wildcats improved to 6-0 and found themselves atop the Classic's "Independence" bracket, which was the higher level of competition.

The win was ugly, with the team shooting just 25-62 off an anemic 11 assists, but it was a win over a decent team nonetheless.

Villanova should rise in the rankings when the polls come out tomorrow, perhaps edging towards the top 15.

Dwayne Anderson, the senior swingman who had been recuperating from a stress fracture in his foot, dressed on Friday for the first time in several games, but did not play. Center Casiem Drummond also did not see the court, though it is unclear whether that stemmed from injury or an ongoing disciplinary issue.

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

Villanova opens Big 5 city series play tomorrow with an away game at Penn. Though Penn is 1-4, the Quakers have faced some very tough competition already this season and should be ready to play.

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

  • Dante Cunningham (S, 37 min)

    Cunningham was named MVP of the tournament thanks to a pair of dominating games. Cunningham scored 19 on 7-8 shooting against the Rams, and pulled in 12 rebounds. He also led the team in blocks with 3 and did not commit a turnover. Villanova fans on cloud nine after Cunningham's fast start might want to temper expectations for the rough-and-tumble Big East, but so far, so good.
    Grade: A

  • Reggie Redding (31 min)

    Redding was called upon to stop Jason Baron, the Rams' deadliest shooter. While Baron did score 23, he only managed 7 points in the second half when Redding was shadowing him. Redding also grabbed 12 rebounds, a career high. His shooting was less spectacular, and he hit just 3-8 shots from the field and 1-4 attempts from the three to score 11 points. Redding was able to give the team 31 solid minutes to competently defend URI's dangerous wing attack. Jay Wright called Redding the "family MVP" for the game in his post-game comments.
    Grade: B

  • Scottie Reynolds (S, 30 min)

    Reynolds committed a few quick fouls early. He needs to be careful about that because the 'Cats are extremely thin at point guard this year. He was fairly quiet this game, shooting just 3-9 and 1-4 from the three. He made 6-8 free throw attempts. He dished out just 3 assists and turned the ball over twice. Look for Reynolds to get more involved in scoring as needed over the course of the season.
    Grade: B-

  • Antonio Pena (S, 27 min)

    Pena was not as effective as he was in previous efforts, but still put up a solid 10 points and 6 rebounds. He had 1 block and 1 assist, and did not turn the ball over. His shooting was inefficient at 3-9, uncharacteristic for Pena. He was perfect from the line at 4-4.
    Grade: B-

  • Shane Clark (25 min)

    Clark got some extended playing time against URI, and did a little bit of everything. He scored 8 points on 4-8 shooting, but missed on all 3 of his three-point attempts. With better shooters like Corey Stokes, Reynolds, and Corey Fisher on the team, I don't think Clark should be looking to take those shots unless he is ridiculously open. Clark added 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, and led the team in steals, with 2. He looked a tad slow moving laterally but otherwise seems well enough recovered from his knee injury.
    Grade: C+

  • Corey Fisher (S, 24 min)

    Fisher might be making a push for Villanova's most improved player. He is finding his way with the ball, sharing point duties with Reynolds. He has been effective in getting to the rim, and his 5-8 field goal shooting and 4-5 free throw shooting seem to reflect that. Fisher was just 0-1 from the three; personally I'd like to see him look for that shot more often. He had 1 assist, 1 steal, and 2 turnovers.
    Grade: B

  • Corey Stokes (S, 23 min)

    Stokes looks to be a streak shooter and Friday was not his night. He shot 1-5 from the field and missed both of his attempts from beyond the arc. He had 2 turnovers and 3 fouls, but no rebounds, steals, blocks, or assists. Stokes has been suffering from a sore thumb which should soon resolve itself. Look for Stokes to get back on track against Penn tomorrow in the same arena the Wildcats have played their last two games.
    Grade: D+

  • Incomplete grades: Frank Tchuisi (2 min), Jason Colenda (1 min).

  • Did not play: Dwayne Anderson (foot), Casiem Drummond (?), Maurice Sutton (CD - RS?), Russell Wooten (CD).

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At 1:45 PM, December 01, 2008, Anonymous wildcat said...

whats up with caz? anyone on campus hear anything......rumors of drug use...


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