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03 December 2006

Penn-game grades

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
12/03/2006 03:19:00 AM

Villanova 99
Penn 89

(box score)

Villanova: 5-1 (6-1, 0-0 BE, 1-0 B5)
Next game: Oklahoma, 12/06 @ Norman, Okla.

Villanova began its Big 5 season with a win against a very solid University of Pennsylvania team last night at the Palestra.

The Wildcats withstood an excellent shooting barrage by the Quakers, who shot 57.8 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from three. Villanova was outstanding from the free-throw line, making the first 23 foul shots and 27-29 overall.

Villanova was able to notch the 10-point win despite Penn's shooting accuracy because the Wildcats forced Penn to commit 25 turnovers, including 17 in the first half. Quaker star Ibrahim Jaaber had 8 turnovers alone.

Curtis Sumpter paced Villanova with 28 points. Mike Nardi added 19. Mark Zoller led all scorers with 32, and Jaaber scored 19 playing every minute of the game for the Quakers.

Onto the player grades. Click "READ MORE" below for player performance grades and analysis.

  • Curtis Sumpter (S, 36 min)

    Sumpter again led the 'Cats in scoring with 28. Curtis shot 7-16 from the field, 3-6 from inside the arc, and 4-10 from the three. He was also a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line and led the team in steals with 3. Sumpter grabbed only 3 rebounds, however, and led the team in turnovers, with 4. Overall, though, a good game from Curt, who looked every bit this team's offensive workhorse Grade: B+

  • Will Sheridan (S, 30 min)

    Will looked comfortable out there tonight, and I was especially pleased with his judicious shot selection. Sheridan was 2-3 from the floor and 5-6 from the line for 9 points. (The box scores published by Yahoo and ESPN showing Will as 5-5 in FTs are incorrect.) Sheridan also led the team in rebounds with 7. The only downside tonight was that Will seemed to let Penn cutters get past him in the post. Grade: B

  • Dante Cunningham (S, 27 min)

    Dante had a somewhat quiet game tonight at the Palestra, scoring only 4 points and pulling down just 3 rebounds. He also fouled out with over 5 minutes to play. Cunningham did look good on the defensive end, holding down the post, but we will need more than 4 and 3 from him on the offense. Grade: C

  • Mike Nardi (S, 28 min)

    Nardi turned in another determined performance tonight, asserting his senior leadership and leading the 'Cats to victory. Nardi looked good driving to the basket, and sunk 3 threes on 9 attempts. Nardi was also 3-9 from inside the 3-pt line, and 4-4 on free throws. Mike added 4 assists and 2 steals, while committing just 1 turnover. Grade: B+

  • Scottie Reynolds (S, 28 min)

    Freshman Scottie Reynolds was fantastic tonight in the clutch, coming up huge when the chips were down. In fact, Reynolds made the play of the game when he coolly sank a 3 to put Villanova ahead by 1, 73-72. Villanova did not trail after that. Reynolds scored 11 points on 4-11 shooting, including 2-5 from the three. Scottie was a perfect 1-1 from the free throw line, regardless of what ESPN and Yahoo say. Reynolds led the team in assists with 5, committed 2 turnovers, but did not get any steals. Grade: B

  • Shane Clark (30 min)

    Shane was flying all around the court tonight, doing anything and everything in his 30 minutes. Clark had 6 rebounds, a steal, an assist, and a ridiculous block to go with his 16 points. Shane did commit some ill-advised fouls, though, in his otherwise outstanding effort. Grade: B+

  • Bilal Benn (12 min)

    Benn played his usual defense-first, hustle game tonight, which was highlighted by his 2 steals in 12 minutes. The performance was largely ruined, though, by a terrible play on defense. With Villanova leading 89-81 late in the second half, Benn was defending a Quaker guard who dribbled the ball off his own foot. The ball rolled into the backcourt, and all Benn had to do was let Penn touch it for an over-and-back violation. Instead, Bilal dived at the ball and was called for the foul, giving Penn 2 shots and stopping the clock at a critical juncture. Grade: C-

  • Dwayne Anderson (7 min)

    Dwayne was explosive once again off the bench, sinking 3 threes in 4 tries, including one long bomb from over 28 feet out. Dwayne added 2 rebounds and arguably the nicest assist in the game, feeding Curt for a jam. With such a positive impact in just 7 minutes, it's a wonder why he doesn't see more playing time. Grade: B+

  • Incomplete grades:
    Frank Tchuisi (1 min), Reggie Redding (1 min).

  • Did not play:
    Casiem Drummond
    (CD), Ross Condon (CD), Andrew Ott (RS), Antonio Pena (RS)

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At 11:32 AM, December 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anderson didn't play in the second half because we were interested in defense. Jay substituted Renolds and Benn on almost offensive/defensive possession last night.

At 12:24 PM, December 03, 2006, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

Good point.... but I think Anderson plays decent defense too, dont you think?

At 4:17 PM, December 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe, given only the one incident with the loose ball detracted from his performance, the grade for Bilal Benn is a bit harsh. His situational awareness may not have been the best at that point but Benn was doing what every fan wants to see the 'Cats do when a ball pops loose, go all out for it, and get on the floor if you have to. I thought, if anything, the foul call was questionable, given that Benn was underneath the Penn player...

Integrating Anderson into a regular rotation will be a fair test by which to gauge the staff's (player/game management, etc.) progress this year. His shooting definitely has value, but when and with whom (combination of players and situations) to play him can be complicated. I don't see him (barring injury to others...) in a starter role at Villanova, but he is too valuable offensively to leave on the bench for games at a time.


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