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11 February 2009

Marquette grades and Anderson update

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
2/11/2009 07:55:00 PM
Marquette 84
Villanova 102
(box score)

#10 Marquette: 20-4 (9-2 BE)
#13 Villanova: 20-4 (8-3 BE)

Villanova exploded for another 100-point game as the Wildcats won their sixth straight game last night with a decisive victory over #10 Marquette.

With the win, Villanova puts itself in great position to earn a top-4 seed in the Big East tournament, and the crucial double-bye that goes along with it.

If the Wildcats can get past West Virginia on the road tomorrow night, they will crack the top 10 in the rankings and will be on the inside track to get a protected seed in the NCAA tournament, and possibly play in Philadelphia's first-round site at the Wachovia Center.

The big negative from last night's victory was senior starting forward Dwayne Anderson's knee injury early in the second half.

Today, Anderson underwent a knee examination, and the diagnosis is a hyperextension and bone bruise in his left knee.

"This is good news," said Rob Good, Villanova's team orthropedic surgeon. "It's hard to say exactly how long Dwayne will be out for. He will be day-to-day as we monitor the soreness."

In a statement released today, Villanova head coach Jay Wright seemed relieved that the injury was not more serious:

We're very fortunate that this is a bone bruise. It is a painful injury but one that will have no affect [sic] on the structure of Dwayne's knee. We'll see how he progresses over the next few days and then make a determination about his availability on Friday.

It looks like Anderson will probably miss tomorrow's game at West Virginia, and then be on track to play thereafter.

With the win over Marquette, Villanova moves to 20 victories on the season. Congratulations to reader "Geesus" for most closely predicting the game's final score.

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

  • Scottie Reynolds (S, 35 min)

    Reynolds put in 27 points on very good 10-17 shooting, including 5-11 from the three. It was so refreshing to see Reynolds free to play the two guard, where he is by far most effective. The move to the two, with Fisher handling the point, also allowed Reynolds to play 35 minutes without getting tired, and with only one foul. I cannot emphasize enough how much more effective Villanova's offense is with both Fisher and Reynolds on the court at the same time, and I feel like Villanova's emphatic win over Marquette justified my position. Would Wright have stumbled into this plan without the injuries of Clark and Anderson that allowed Fisher to take over the point? We might never know. Let's just hope he sticks with it. Reynolds added 4 rebounds and 1 assist, and did not commit any turnovers. His only weak spot was a random 2-5 performance from the foul line, but that does not tarnish his excellent game.
    Grade: A

  • Dante Cunningham (S, 33 min)

    With all the fireworks in the back-court, Cunningham had a quiet 15 points on good 7-12 shooting. He cut his turnovers to 3 (from 7, last game), and added 1 block and 1 steal. Cunningham does not seem to be crashing the boards as much as he once did, as he had just 4 rebounds in 33 minutes. Making Cunningham the third option on the offense is devastatingly effective, as the perimeter threats free up the mid-range for Dante.
    Grade: B

  • Corey Fisher (32 min)

    Fisher was able to come into the game twice "before his time," due to injuries to Shane Clark and Dwayne Anderson. Fisher's 32 minutes at the point guard, quite simply, won the game for Villanova. Fisher's able and energetic handling of the ball freed Reynolds to do what he does best, which is score from the perimeter. Fisher scored 21 points on 6-10 shooting, including a scorching 4-5 from behind the arc. He was also 5-7 from the foul line. Fisher handled the ball well, dishing out 4 assists and committing only 3 turnovers against the best perimeter defensive team in the nation. Fisher has emerged as the team's most important player. He will probably start at West Virginia, with Anderson likely out, but if Jay Wright has any basketball sense at all, Fisher will start every game, barring injury, for the rest of his Villanova career.
    Grade: A

  • Reggie Redding (S, 27 min)

    Redding struggled greatly against the more talented and athletic Marquette perimeter. He was 0-4 from the field, including 0-3 from the three, and shot a bad 2-4 from the foul line. He led the team in turnovers, with 4. Two bright spots were his good rebounding, with 6, and passing, with 6 assists. The much-vaunted Redding defense was not all that effective, as Jerel McNeal lit up the scoreboard with 23 points. Redding will likely rebound with a better performance against less talented back-courts.
    Grade: C-

  • Shane Clark (S, 26 min)

    Clark played the game of his life against Marquette, following up the previous game of his life against Syracuse. Clark scored 16 points and was a perfect 6-6 from the field, including 3-3 from the three, though I have to mention one of those threes was on a ridiculously lucky bounce. He was 1-2 from the foul line. Clark grabbed 7 rebounds, leading the team, dished out 3 assists, and added 1 block. He turned the ball over just 1 time. Clark will have to keep this up with the probable loss of Anderson for at least one game.
    Grade: A

  • Corey Stokes (21 min)

    Stokes was hounded by the nation's best defender in Jerel McNeal for much of the night, but he still managed to play a decent game. He shot 2-5 from the field, but did not attempt a three-pointer. He rounded out his line with 4 rebounds, an excellent 5 assists, and 0 turnovers. Look for Stokes to get move involved against West Virginia.
    Grade: B

  • Dwayne Anderson (S, 13 min)

    Anderson started out the game on fire, scoring several early buckets. He was 4-6 from the field, including 1-2 from the three, to score 10 points in just 13 minutes of play. He grabbed 3 rebounds and committed no turnovers before leaving the game with an injured knee. He will likely miss the WVU game and will be day-to-day after that.
    Grade: B

  • Antonio Pena (11 min)

    Pena turned in an efficient performance in his limited action. I want to see Pena get more minutes, and he probably will, considering Anderson's injury. Pena scored 5 points on 2-3 shooting. He grabbed 3 rebounds, blocked 1 shot, and passed for 1 assist.
    Grade: B

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

  • Did not play: Russell Wooten (CD), Maurice Sutton (RS).

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At 10:16 AM, February 12, 2009, Anonymous Geesus said...

YES!!!!!! Nothing makes me happier than being the reader that most closely predicted the score! Two times in one season is an unimaginable dream. I would like to thank Shane Clark for inspiring me.

At 12:21 PM, February 12, 2009, Anonymous Shelton said...

Jay scheduled well - only 3 games at the Wachovia Center was a smart move.

At 12:24 PM, February 12, 2009, Blogger Pete said...

Well it's certainly an obvious and standard move, I'll give you that.

At 12:58 PM, February 12, 2009, Anonymous Geesus said...

I think its SOP for the 'Cats to only schedule 3 games at the Wach job on years where there is an oppurtunity for the squad to play the first 2 rounds in Philly. This year was different because we still kept our signature 5 high profile games off campus by subsidizing with the Spectrum, do not think we have done that before.

At 3:21 PM, February 12, 2009, Anonymous pttam7 said...

I was under the impression that we couldn't play more than 3 games at the Wachovia Center if we wanted to be considered to play there during the Big Dance, because 4 or more games would have made it another home venue and thus put it out of consideration for a possible location.

At 3:48 PM, February 12, 2009, Blogger Villanova Viewpoint Publisher said...

Hello, Pete-

Here's my analysis of your grades, per your request. The player's grade from you is at the top, and then I comment below...

"Scottie Reynolds - A"

I absolutely agree with this grade. When you look not just at the simple 27 points, but at the high scoring percentage, the 5-11 from three-point range, and as you noted, the four boards and complete absence of turnovers (in a high-tempo game, no less). No question, an A.

(BTW - I don't know if you have an A+ in your system - let me know.

"Dante Cunningham - B"

I would also agree with your grade here. 15 points is a solid performance, on 7-12 shooting, for a forward, and he did cut down his turnovers. I was concerned by the lack of rebounding (just 4 rebounds, less than 10% of VU's 41).

"Corey Fisher - A"

Likewise, agreed. Fisher was admirable running the point (four assists, three turnovers) for 32 minutes, shot extremely well, and fueled the offense.

"Reggie Redding - C-"

I'm going to disagree here and bump Redding up to a C. Granted, McNeal did score 23 points, but he (along w/ Matthews) also led Marquette with four turnovers, and his 8-20 shooting (40%) was down significantly from his season average (48.4%). So I think Redding has to get at least some credit for that.

Also, Redding contributed on the boards and with assists, which partially offsets his dismal night shooting and the turnovers. So I'll give him a C.

"Shane Clark - A"

Superb performance.

(BTW - I don't know if you have an A+ in your system - let me know. If you have the A+ designation, this would be the time to use it.)

"Corey Stokes - B"

Agreed, here. Had he thrown in a few more points, I'd go up to the B+, and I concur that his assists/rebounding numbers were great, particularly for 21 minutes.

"Dwayne Anderson - B"

I must disagree here - I think Anderson should have gotten an A. He had 10 points and three boards in 13 minutes - and this is a player who averages 25 min/game this year. If he hadn't been injured, and we project those numbers onto 26 minutes (what he likely would have played) - that's 20 pts/6 boards on 67% shooting (8-12) from the floor, plus two assists and presumably no turnovers. So to me, that's an A.

"Antonio Pena - B"

I agree here with this one. The 4 PFs were a little high for 11 minutes, but the 5 pts (for someone who averages 22 minutes, but played only 11), plus the three boards - very solid performance.

"Frank Tchuisi and Jason Colenda - incompletes -"

Agreed. I'll renew my point that Wright really should be putting them in the game earlier when the score is lopsided; he shouldn't have waited until the final minute against Syracuse and Marquette to put them in, especially at home.

Thoughts are welcome.

Go Wildcats!

At 4:06 PM, February 12, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...


And that impression is correct.

At 4:08 PM, February 12, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

Vill Viewpoint,

Great review-- thanks. I use the same grading system as Villanova's academics, so no A+.

At 6:08 PM, February 12, 2009, Blogger Villanova Viewpoint Publisher said...

That's what I figured.... no A+ available...

At 9:08 PM, February 12, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... but if Jay Wright has any basketball sense at all, Fisher will start every game."

I understand, Pete, that Coach Wright secretly wishes he had your insight and coaching instincts, as do we all. If he had only half your ability, Nova would certainly be scoring 150 points per game instead of 102, and would have won 24 games instead of 20. Game analysts would call him the second coming of Coach Wooden instead of merely a great coach.

I am sure Vic Nicastro has been emboldened by the knowledge that your wait in the wings to assume the helm when he finally fires Coach Wright for all failings that are so plainly evident to only you. I further am certain that Malcolm Grant and Casiem Drummond will sprint back to Nova, even if it means redshirting yet another year, to have the chance to play for you.

At 6:56 PM, February 28, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone on fox 29 web site in blog section in most recent was ripping nova calling them over rated


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