Loading Villanova basketball news...

27 May 2007

Porter dies from attack injuries

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
5/27/2007 03:53:00 PM

The former Villanova basketball star Howard Porter died yesterday from injuries suffered in a mysterious attack last week in Minneapolis.

Porter, 58, was found severely beaten in an alleyway last weekend and was admitted into a hospital as an unidentified assault victim before police were able to verify his identity.

Porter had been working as a probation officer in Ramsey County, Minnesota. Police are investigating as to whether the attack was related to one of Porter's cases. No one has yet been arrested and police have not identified any suspects.

Villanova University issued a statement calling Porter "one of the finest players to ever wear a Wildcat uniform." Villanova retired Porter's jersey in 1997 in the Pavilion.

"The entire Villanova family is saddened by the news of Howard's death," said Villanova head coach Jay Wright.

Wright praised Porter's contributions to Villanova basketball on and off the court:

Howard provided so many Villanovans with thrills on the basketball court playing for Coach Kraft. Since his playing days ended, he has been an outstanding role model for our current players and coaching staff. Howard was a kind, gentle, and humble man who loved his family and Villanova. We will all miss him.

According to Villanova University, funeral arrangements are pending.

Labels: , ,

22 May 2007

Ex-'Nova star Porter fights for life

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
5/22/2007 12:02:00 PM
Howard Porter, one of the all-time great Villanova Wildcats, was found seriously injured Sunday in a Minnesota hospital after apparently suffering from an abduction and brutal assault.

Porter, 58, was reported missing earlier this weekend, but it was not until photos were released by police that he was located Sunday, already in a St.-Paul-area hospital, unconscious and previously unidentified.

According to a source cited by Dana Pennett O'Neil today in the Philadelphia Daily News, Porter "has severe brain damage and might not survive."

Porter had been working in Minnesota as a Ramsey County probation officer. There is no word yet on whether the attack is related to one of his probation cases.

According to a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, police have no reason to believe Porter suffered a drug relapse. Porter had struggled with cocaine use in the seventies and eighties.

Porter led his 1971 Villanova Wildcats team to a Final-Four appearance and was voted the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player. He played professional basketball in the NBA until 1978.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune runs a comprehensive timeline of Porter's life.

Labels: , ,

21 May 2007

Wright touts balance for 07-08

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
5/21/2007 01:40:00 PM
Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports published a few comments by Villanova head coach Jay Wright last week regarding his team's prospects for the upcoming season.

According to Wright, balance is the watchword for the year, with experienced big men complementing what should be one of the best backcourts in the country.

Villanova adds three highly touted guards next year, including All-Americans Corey Stokes and Corey Fisher. Point guard Malcolm Grant, New York City's player of the year in 2005, will also suit up for the Wildcats.

Returning forwards Shane Clark and Dante Cunningham, however, will be "the X factor" for the season, said Wright. "Along with Casiem Drummond, we’ve never had this kind of size and depth up front," Wright said.

Wright also praised his three incoming guards and noted the already sky-high expectations for the class:

We have more depth and balance, but we’re young. I never thought we’d have as highly touted guards as Allan (Ray), Randy (Foye) and Curt (Sumpter), but these three come in with even more accolades.

Labels: , , , , ,

09 May 2007

Tyreke "impressed" with 'Nova, UL

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
5/09/2007 08:08:00 PM
Sports Illustrated runs a short piece on Tyreke Evans, the class of 2008 superstar guard. Villanova and several other major programs are recruiting Evans.

Evans describes his practice routine, and says he is excited to begin playing the up-tempo AAU game this summer. Evans also promised he would appear at a few big-name summer basketball camps.

Tyreke says his college list has been whittled to eight, and that he was "pretty impressed" with Villanova and Louisville, the last two schools he visited.

Says Tyreke:

Coach Wright at Villanova and coach Pitino at Louisville both made great pitches. Sometimes you have to take what the coaches say with a grain of salt, though. They can tell you whatever they want now about how big a role you will have on the team or how many minutes you are going to play for them. But once you sign, they own you.

Labels: , ,

05 May 2007

Fraser, injured again, flies home

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
5/05/2007 12:28:00 AM
Jason Fraser has suffered yet another season-ending injury, this time in New Zealand.

Fraser sustained a broken finger in his left hand in practice while attempting a "casual slam dunk," said John Davey, CEO of the Waikato (New Zealand) U-Park-It Pistons, Fraser's latest professional team.

The injury comes just as Fraser seemed to emerge with a great game last month.

Fraser flew back to the United States last night and is not expected to return to the U-Park-It squad this season.

According to the Stuff.co.nz report, Fraser, "who hails from New York and played his college basketball for renowned Villanova University in Pennsylvania, averaged just under nine rebounds a game, was inside the league's top 10 of field goal shooters and was scoring an average of 12 points per game."

Labels: ,

02 May 2007

Villanova confirms Benn transfer

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
5/02/2007 11:21:00 AM
It's official: Bilal Benn is transferring to Niagara, and a precious scholarship will be opened for the Wildcats.

Villanova released a short statement last night confirming Benn's transfer.

Villanova coach Jay Wright thanked Benn for his contribution to the program:

We are sad to have Bilal leave our team but we are happy for him that he will be joining Joe Mihalich at Niagara University. He will always be a part of our Villanova family.

We are proud of Bilal and appreciate his efforts these last two years. He remains in good academic standing and has always made a positive impact on the Villanova community. This is a basketball decision on his part that we all support.

Benn must sit out a year before he can play for the Niagara Purple Eagles.

As mentioned in a story this weekend, Benn's transfer frees up a desperately needed scholarship that will likely be first offered to 2008 superstar Tyreke Evans.

Labels: , , , ,

01 May 2007

Philly Daily News: Benn to Niagara

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
5/01/2007 12:58:00 PM
Dana Pennett O'Neill of the Philadelphia Daily News pens a short piece today also predicting that Villanova reserve guard Bilal Benn will transfer to Niagara.

Though transfer rumors about Benn have been flying about all year, the first published news of his planned transfer appeared earlier this weekend in the Hartford Courant.

Benn's transfer will free up a much-needed scholarship spot for the Wildcats, who were facing the prospect of bringing in zero freshman players next year.

Benn's transfer to Niagara seems to be a win-win situation: Benn gets a much bigger role on the court, and Villanova will have the chance to finally offer a scholarship to Tyreke Evans, the best high-school player in the country. Villanova remains on Evans's short list.

This may not be the last of the transfers for the Wildcats. Expect at least one more before the summer is over.

Labels: , ,