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10 January 2009


'Cats, Cards set for high noon snowstorm showdown

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
1/10/2009 03:56:00 AM

#18 Villanova (13-2) vs. #23 Louisville (10-3)
12 p.m. 10 January 2009 at the Wachovia Center.

TV: ESPN

Line: Villanova -2

As the Blizzard/White-Out/Light Freezing Rain storm of the century bears down on South Philadelphia, Villanova gears up for its latest test against a good team.

The Wildcats now boast a 13-0 record against likely non-tournament participants, but are 0-2 against Texas and Marquette. Villanova needs this game to finally beat a good team and to avoid falling below .500 in the crucial Big East standings.

Rick Pitino brings his Louisville Cardinals to the Wachovia Center with something to prove, as well. The Cards are 9-3, but have lost to UNLV, Minnesota, and WKU. Louisville has decent wins against Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Ohio under its belt. Pitino will have his team ready to play, as always.

We could be in for a winter classic. KenPom predicts a 1-point Villanova win, while oddsmakers set the 'Cats as 2-point favorites after moving the line 1 point in Villanova's favor.

The game will probably come down to how Villanova's scorers are shooting; if Reynolds can get hot like he did against Seton Hall, Villanova should need just one more scorer (Fisher, Stokes, or Cunningham) to get it going as well. The Wildcats will probably need at least two players to turn up big to neutralize the substantial coaching advantage Louisville brings to the Wach.

All four of the other Villanova blogs linked in the right sidebar run previews of the game. I swear I did not read the headline at Nova News before I wrote mine; this is not the first time our minds have thought alike with regard to headlines, either. Bravo, Nova News.

Congratulations to Pope of the Hardwoods for making it two in a row with his closest guess of the final score last time. Take your shot to dethrone him in the comment thread below with your guess.

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41 Comments:

At 4:16 AM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

Villanova 71
Louisville 75

 
At 9:41 AM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous The Snowstorm said...

Quit sippin' on Apple Hate-tinis Pete. Nova by 6.

 
At 10:18 AM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Gregg said...

Villanova 73
Louisville 66

 
At 10:29 AM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Villanova 62
Louisville 66


however...

Villanova (with Grant) 104
Louisville 52

 
At 11:14 AM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Pete's Subconscious said...

Grant vs. Louisville 1 on 5:

Grant 200
Louisville 22

 
At 12:21 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read your posting this year without commenting, but feel compelled to challenge you on your statement "The Wildcats will probably need at least two players to turn up big to neutralize the substantial coaching advantage Louisville brings to the Wach." Your love affair with Malcolm Grant and your unwillingness to forgive Jay Wright for Grant’s transfer to Miami have made your postings devoid of credibility and infuriating to read. You really should replace the “Go” in “LetsGoNova.com” with “Bash” as your site has become known more for the bellicose bile you publish than as a forum for objective and enthusiastic debate among ardent Villanova fans.

Until you establish your credentials as an analyst of the game, your readers would be well advised to look to the facts and views of those who actually provide insight rather than merely irrational sentiment when judging Jay Wright and his potential impact on any given game.

I take nothing away from Rick Pitino. He has won almost three quarters of his games ranking him 11th among active coaches. He is the only coach in NCAA history to take three different teams to the NCAA Final Four. He was Coach of the Year in 1987 at Providence. He may some day join Williams, Boeheim, Calhoun and Krzyzewski in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
That said, your myopic focus and irrational hatred of Jay Wright blinds you to the fact that he arguably has gotten far more from his talent than Mr. Pitino ever has. Mr. Wright took over a program in shambles seven years ago. In the last four seasons he has amassed a record of 96-37 (.729), produced a pair of National Basketball Association first round draft choices, and earned National Coach of the Year in 2006. Like Mr. Pitino, he is among the handful of coaches who have gotten their teams to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen three of the last four years. However, unlike Mr. Pitino, Mr. Wright has accomplished that without teams stacked with McDonalds All Americans. Furthermore, in each of those three years, Nova had the misfortune of being paired with the eventual national champion. However, perhaps what I am most appreciative of, Mr. Wright runs one of the classiest programs in the country, with good kids who earn a degree. It is a program that every Nova fan can be proud of.
Rather than losing another little piece of your credibility every time you take a pot shot at Jay Wright, I would rather, Pete, you simply say thank you Jay. Unquestionably, he has earned that.

 
At 12:32 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Pete said...

Ah, was waiting for the "anonymous rant" to surface.

I don't think it's a controversial statement to say that Rick Pitino -- one of the best coaches in basketball history -- has a coaching advantage over Jay Wright, who has been largely clueless in his Villanova career in terms of strategy and tactics. In recruiting, it's closer. But in game tactics, I would like you to find one person (who doesn't write novella-length rants in blog comments) who thinks Wright is as good as Pitino in the X and O.

 
At 12:33 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Pete said...

Haha, also, did Anonymous Ranter watch "A Few Good Men" lately? Boooring unoriginal rant.

 
At 12:39 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Pete said...

One more thing I would like to point out. Early, when the 'Cats were getting killed by UL's full-court press, what was Jay's move? To take out Fisher and put in Redding and Clark -- leaving Villanova with one true ballhander against 5 pressing Cardinals. Villanova fell by behind as much as 11 before the 'Cats were able to turn it around AFTER putting in another ballhandler.

All in all, another brilliant move by Jay "The Tactician" Wright.

 
At 12:46 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete, it is quite clear that you have a bunch of kindred spirit on this site ... you deserve one another

 
At 12:57 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete, you just look for opportunities to criticize Jay Wright. Last year it was whenever Malcolm Grant would not be on the court. This year it's whenever Fisher is not on the court. It has nothing to do with X's and O's, you track one player and want their number called for 40 minutes. Get over yourself.

 
At 1:00 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And we're all anonymous for a reason, we're embarrassed we keep coming to this site. It's a guilty pleasure to see the latest in Pete's quest to kill this team.

 
At 1:00 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Pete said...

anon: "forum for objective and enthusiastic debate among ardent Villanova fans."

You are the Sarah Palin of blog comments.

 
At 1:02 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous WTF? said...

Can the anonymous ranter even be real? Is this a Kaufman/Lawler style fake feud? Its inconceivable that someone could possibly care about Villanova basketball enough to spend so much time criticizing this site. Anonymous ranter, you are bizarre.

 
At 1:02 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Pete said...

@ 12:57 anon:

Let's see.. benching the point guard when we can't stop turning the ball over against the best pressing team in the country is probably a dumb move, whether your point guard is Malcolm Grant, Corey Fisher, or Bob Cousy. It doesn't make basketball sense to bench a ballhandler for a non-ballhander against a press.

 
At 1:29 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Gregg said...

We are getting blown out of the gym right now. This is the biggest underachieving team in nova history, so its difficult to argue with Pete right now, anons

 
At 1:51 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

So Reynolds makes a huge play with the assist to Stokes to get us within 3... and Wright immediately takes him out. Jay Wright the Momentum Killer.

 
At 1:57 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

I will give Wright credit for making Pitino take the timeout before the TV timeout. I was calling for the Villanova timeout before the Dante jumper. Both coaches wanted to make personnel adjustments before the clock went under 3... Jay had plenty of timeout but better to make RP take one.

 
At 1:57 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

However, I CANNOT BELIEVE REYNOLDS IS STILL ON THE BENCH.

WHAT

THE

FARK

 
At 2:04 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

Nice cut by Pena but can he make a FT??

 
At 2:14 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay Wright blew that one. He should've made FTs and layups in that last minute. Terrible job Jay.

 
At 2:15 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

Louisville was 3-25 from the three. Many of those were wide open. Villanova should have been down by about 20 points. To lose to a team that shoots 3-25 from the three is an amazing feat, something only Jay Wright could accomplish.

 
At 2:17 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was one fucking horrible finish - this is not an NCAA team



johnnyb1

 
At 2:23 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete, we also shot 35% and 60% from the line. I think that compensates for L'Ville's 3-25 from three. But yes, much easier to bury Jay Wright who was able to get us THREE possessions with multiple chances in the final 25 seconds to win the game, compared to Louisville's one.

L'Ville escaped. Unfortunately for us, a W is a W and a L is an L.

This is how LSU must've felt.

 
At 2:26 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

We got three possessions with multiple chances to win the game because Pena kept missing free throws.

 
At 2:28 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mills said dry your little eyes cause Steeler super bowl win!

 
At 2:57 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Troy Polamalu wouldn't have missed dat lay up or free throws.

 
At 3:00 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NIT

Jay Wright is an awesome recruiter and seems to be a good guy.

He is a terrible coach.

 
At 3:52 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, Jay is not a terrible coach- missed free throws are a horrible way to lose a game, but why blame Jay for that? As a player you need to make them, especially when the game is on the line. Simple as that.

JohnnyB1

 
At 4:04 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Subbing like you are running line shifts for a hockey team vs. a basketball team is a clear sign of a bad coach.

The lack of offensive plays is another sign.

I like Jay. He is just not a good game coach.

 
At 4:37 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who wants to make a bet that pete is going to blame this loss on coaching?

not his fault pete so lay off him you hater

 
At 4:39 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Jarvis said...

i fuckin hate pete....he looks for every way to blame coach

 
At 4:51 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Pete said...

If you don't want to read about how this loss was Jay Wright's fault, then I'd advise you not to read my post-game recap, whenever I get that up.

 
At 7:17 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Jarvis said...

yeah and it will probably be like 5 days from now...

 
At 7:53 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Pete said...

"Wahh, Wahh"

 
At 9:02 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous TheVoice said...

I must admit I agree with much of what Pete has said and some of the criticisms are just out of context. I agree, coaching advantage = Pitino, and also agree that I am as frustrated with some of Jay's shortcomings as Pete has enumerated. While I think the Malcolm Grant, Caseim Drummond, Bilal Benn transfers storyline was weak at best on Pete's part, every Villanova fan should be wondering how Jay will juggle the far and away best recruiting class in Villanova history (maybe the nation) next year. I think we should tentatively just be excited about what the possibilities could be on the court next year instead of worried (especially because this year's team has recently given us little to be excited about). Let's make no bones about it, Pete you see the glass half empty more often then not and maybe what should have been excitement was misdirected as anxiety (especially coupled with your love affair with Malcolm Grant). Jay's an excellent recruiter and a good game coach, X's and O's I can't justify though, whether its the lack of an in-bounds play or failure to make offensive or defensive adjustments as quick as possible. The bottom line here is we are all upset with today's performance but to pin point it on anybody's shoulders becomes more and more far fetched when you blame anyone other than Antonio Pena. A career 70% shooter from the charity stripe can't miss 5 out of 6 down the stretch. Antonio should be disappointed with himself tonight but let's not give up on the season because of a slow start in the Big East. Hopefully we can pick it as nova nation and Antonio has a short memory. Pete don't keep letting them pull you down to their level, this is getting childish. You have a good blog, let's keep it that way.

 
At 10:45 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

letsgopete.com!

 
At 11:58 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anon aka Lawler said...

Pete - Don't feed the trolls.

 
At 8:08 AM, January 11, 2009, Blogger Pete said...

Thanks for the kind comments... just got home from Sat night but will be working on the game recap sunday afternoon/evening

 
At 6:13 PM, January 11, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey at least The Eagles won today




johnnyb1

 
At 1:38 AM, January 12, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA..."This is the biggest underachieving team in nova history." What a ridiculous comment...high comedy. They got whooped by Texas, lost an away game down the stretch to Marquette, and let the Cards slip away through horrendous free throw shooting, another slow start, and stupid decisions by the team (Fishers pass to Pena was WAYYYYYYY to early...awful, especially considering he was 6 of 12 on the night).

I'm pretty sure the team can easily still turn it around and they will certainly have a million opportunities to do so. They are not a top #15 team. Don't have the talent. However, they are 0/0 for bad losses and quality wins, and that ratio normally holds for a NCAA tourney team. Hopefully they can add that quality win (UCONN) before an SHU game gets away from them.

 

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