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28 April 2007

Husky: Benn plans transfer to Niagara

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/28/2007 01:52:00 AM
According to an article in the Hartford Courant, Bilal Benn plans to transfer this summer to Niagara University in New York.

Benn, now a rising junior, has been a reserve guard for the past two years at Villanova. With three highly-talented freshman guards joining Scottie Reynolds and Reggie Redding in next year's rotation, there will be few minutes for any other guard on the Villanova court.

The Courant reports that current UConn player Rob Garrison, a rising junior guard for the Huskies, said Benn would transfer to Niagara. According to Garrison, Benn has been asking him to also come play for the Purple Eagles.

While Benn's transfer has not yet been confirmed by Villanova, the report in the Courant is consistent with the transfer rumors that have been ongoing for some time.

Benn's likely transfer would open a scholarship spot for the Wildcats, which would probably be immediately offered to Tyreke Evans, the superstar guard whom many consider the top player in the country for his 2008 class.

If Benn does wind up at Niagara, it seems probable he would start or at least earn major minutes there.

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25 April 2007

Fraser plays perfect game for "U Park It Pistons"

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/25/2007 01:21:00 PM

Jason Fraser scored 32 points on a perfect 11-11 shooting performance to lead his team to victory this week in New Zealand's National Basketball League.

Fraser, the once highly-touted prospect at Villanova, played arguably his best game since his high school days to pace the "U Park It Waikato Pistons" in a 106-99 win over the much-feared TET Taranaki Mountain Airs -- on the road, no less.

Fraser also had 11 rebounds.

Fraser had arrived on Villanova's campus in 2002 along with future stars Randy Foye, Allan Ray, and Curtis Sumpter, and was expected to be the best player by far of that group. Unfortunately, a failure to develop in the college game and several knee injuries limited Fraser's effectiveness in four disappointing years on the Main Line.

Fraser now appears healthier, and is averaging 7.7 points and 7.8 rebounds for the year in the NBL, according to Basketball New Zealand.

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22 April 2007

Fisher named team MVP in Jordan Classic

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/22/2007 01:28:00 AM
Corey Fisher was named the most valuable player of the victorious Jordan Yellow team in the prestigious Jordan Classic all-star game, tonight at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Fisher led his team to a 129-119 victory over the Jordan Royal all-star team. Syracuse-bound Dante Green was named the game's overall MVP.

The game was televised live nationwide on ESPN2.

Fisher played alongside such high school superstars as Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, and Jai Lucas on the Jordan Yellow squad.

The Jordan Royal team was headlined by Green, Chris Wright, Nick Calathes, Patrick Patterson, and Jeffrey Jordan, Michael Jordan's own son. OJ Mayo was also selected to the Royal team but did not participate in the game.

The two teams also played an informal scrimmage on Friday. DraftExpress.com reported on the scrimmage, and reviewed Fisher's play:

This was another pretty solid showing for Corey Fisher, finding a nice balance between his passing and scoring, doing a good job manning the floor general role for his team. He racked up his assists in many ways, throwing alley-oops in transition, playing the pick-and-roll, drive-and-dishing, and just making passes in the half-court. One especially impressive pass occurred when he had the ball on the wing and threw a hard chest pass to the low block on the opposite side of the painted area, doing so with nice precision.

In terms of scoring the ball, Fisher hit a long fade-away jumper just inside three-point range, hit a spot-up three pointer, and showed off some nice craftiness taking the ball to the hoop. On one play he changed speeds at the top of the key to get his man off balance before taking it to the hole and laying it up lefty off the glass. On another play he drove right and crossed the ball over to his left, drawing contact and the foul on the shot attempt. Fisher also had a very nice play on defense where he anticipated a pass going to his man and reached out into the passing lane, stealing the ball and taking it the length of the court for a lay-up.

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Fisher drops 51 in tournament game

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/22/2007 01:08:00 AM

Incoming Villanova freshman Corey Fisher scored 51 points to lead all scorers in the first round of the 16-team Brooklyn High School Classic tournament last weekend in New York.

Fisher carried his "All Game" team to a 103-86 victory over the Metro Hawks 16 squad. Fisher also led his team in assists, with 6.

All Game will next play the Flatbrush Suns at 1 p.m. this Sunday at the Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn.

For the box score of the first round game, see below.

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18 April 2007

Fisher named All-USA

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/18/2007 11:48:00 PM
Villanova now has two national-team award winners coming to campus this fall.

Corey Fisher, the highly touted guard from St. Patrick's in Elizabeth, N.J., was named to the third team All-USA by USA Today, the country's largest newspaper.

Fisher joins future teammate Corey Stokes as a national award winner. Stokes was named a McDonald's All-American earlier this year.

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posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/18/2007 04:36:00 PM

Villanova basketball fans send their condolences to the Virginia Tech community. Virginia Tech's campus was the site of the deadliest shooting in U.S. history on Monday. 33 students and staff were killed.


12 April 2007

Slow news week

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/12/2007 12:53:00 AM

Sorry for the lack of updates this week, but there just isn't much going on in the world of Villanova basketball since the Jay-Wright-to-X rumors went away.

Though late April is traditionally a slow news time for any program that isn't flipping coaches, Villanova fans should not fret. There will be plenty to talk about this summer, starting with the ongoing recruitment of superstar Tyreke Evans.

Expect one or two transfers to be announced, as well, by the end of the second semester.

Villanova will be in the preseason top 25 before next season, so get ready for an amazing ride with the extremely young team.

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04 April 2007

CBS expert ranks 'Nova in top 15

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/04/2007 05:29:00 PM
It's the earliest possible preseason rankings, but one day after the end of the 2006-2007 NCAA basketball season, Villanova has cracked the top 15 for 2007-2008 -- at least according to one analyst.

CBS's Gary Parrish published his rankings yesterday for next season, and slots Villanova solidly in the #15 slot.

According to Parrish:

A backcourt of Scottie Reynolds plus incoming freshmen Corey Stokes, Corey Fisher and Malcolm Grant could have Jay Wright toying with a four-guard offense again.

Parrish ranks three other Big-East teams in his top 15: Louisville at #5, Georgetown at #11, and Marquette at #13.

Parrish said UCLA is his choice for next year's top team, assuming none of the Bruins leave early for the NBA.


Fisher sets assist record in Roundball Classic

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/04/2007 05:17:00 PM
Future Wildcat Corey Fisher dished out 16 assists while leading his West team to a 144-123 victory in Tuesday's Roundball Classic in Chicago.

Fisher set the all-time assist record for the all-star game, which features the best high school players from across the country.

Fisher finished with 13 points and shared the game's most valuable player award with UCLA-bound Kevin Love and NC State-recruit James Hickson.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Fisher attributed his success to the unselfish attitudes of his teammates:

I always look to get my teammates involved, even in an all-star game. Everybody on our team didn't come out tonight just looking for their points.

Corey Stokes, a McDonald's All American headed to Villanova, also played for the West team.

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02 April 2007

Wright will stay at Villanova

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/02/2007 12:39:00 AM
Contrary to some foolish reports yesterday, Jay Wright will return to Villanova's sidelines next season, according to an article published this weekend by the Philadelphia Daily News.

Reporter Dana Pennett O'Neil writes that a source told the newspaper Jay Wright would not coach at Kentucky next year and that he is content at Villanova.

Says O'Neil:

The Jay Wright to Kentucky rumors can officially be put to bed. A source told the Daily News on Saturday that the Villanova coach isn’t headed to the Bluegrass State, that Wright already has made it clear that he isn’t interested in the job there and that he is very happy at Villanova.

This should indeed finally put to rest the consistent rumors that Wright and Kentucky were interested in each other, but some fans will not be completely satisfied until Kentucky officially hires a coach.

Luckily for those fans, Kentucky is expected to make a decision quickly to fill its coaching vacancy, as soon as April 5, according to speculators.

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01 April 2007

Jay Wright signs with Kentucky and 76ers

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/01/2007 02:21:00 AM

In a career move sure to send shock waves from Lexington to Philadelphia and beyond, Villanova head coach Jay Wright inked deals this weekend to become the next coach of both the Kentucky Wildcats and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Joint press conferences will be held simultaneously via Webcast from Lexington and Philadelphia on Monday, according to league and university officials.

Villanova resident and Sixers' executive Larry Brown brokered the deal. Widespread speculation about Wright's future with the 76ers arose this winter after Brown had been spotted at several Villanova basketball games.

No one, however, suspected that Brown was secretly recruiting for the Kentucky Wildcats, as well.

Kentucky had originally offered the job to Florida's Billy Donovan, but withdrew the offer when it became clear Wright would indeed accept both positions. Wright is expected to split his time equally between the teams, barring a proposed merger of the two squads under the name "Pennsyltucky."

Wright, who has manned the sidelines at Villanova for the past six seasons, signed a combined 4-year, $32 million contract with Kentucky and Philadelphia. The deal includes a $6 million "loyalty bonus" if Wright stays to the completion of the contract term with both teams.

According to sources, the package also contains a $401,000 annual budgetary provision for fine Italian business suits, diamond-studded buttons and cufflinks, and first-class airfare for trips to Wright's personal tailor in Milan.

Wright led Villanova to a 104-59 record during his tenure on the Main Line, and notched three NCAA Tournament appearances. He also coached the Wildcats to an Elite Eight and a Sweet 16 appearance.

Villanova Athletic Director Vince Nicastro said that the search for a new coach would begin immediately. According to Google News, the top candidates under consideration for the job are former Villanova coach Steve Lappas, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, and St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli.

Former Villanova star Jason Fraser is also expected to return to campus for a spot on the coaching staff, in order to teach Villanova's young big men the lost art of the double and (time-permitting) triple pump-fake.

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