Loading Villanova basketball news...

26 August 2007

New 'Nova blog: Villanova by the Numbers

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
8/26/2007 03:42:00 AM
A new blog covering Villanova basketball launched this month, and so far it is looking outstanding.

Villanova by the Numbers promises analysis and commentary on Villanova and Big East basketball, and the six posts in August have delivered just that. Already the site has provided insights on Big East players and recruits that you can't get anywhere else.

The blog is a product of "greyCat," one of the most respected and prolific Villanova basketball fans on the Web.

When I started Let'sGoNova, greyCat was the first person I invited to write news as a blog team-member. He politely declined, choosing instead to develop his own site and place its focus more on quantitative analysis.

I'm glad he did, because Villanova by the Numbers is going to be the place to look to this season for 'Nova-related mathematical insight.

Villanova by the Numbers and its statistics-based approach is an excellent complement to LetsGoNova.com's news and opinion pieces, and we welcome greyCat and his site to the Villanova basketball blogging community.

Happy postings, VBTN.

Labels: ,

Foye working out with NJ high-school team

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
8/26/2007 02:42:00 AM
Talk about some summer basketball domination: Villanova alum Randy Foye has been scrimmaging with the Rumson-Fair Haven high school basketball team this offseason to prepare for his sophomore campaign in the NBA.

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, a suburban high school in one of New Jersey's richest communities, may not be used to hosting NBA-level talent. The Bulldogs went 4-16 last season and are looking to build some sort of winning foundation this year, starting with the hiring of new head coach James Young.

Foye, who recently purchased a new home close-by in Rumson, actually approached the school to ask if he could work out in the gym. Amazingly, the rookie coach Young jumped at the chance for his players to run with a rising NBA star, and Foye has agreed to work with the student-athletes to improve their games.

The full article is definitely worth checking out. Foye is extensively quoted, and even addresses the culture clash between the life experiences of Rumson's suburban athletes and his background from a rough neighborhood in Newark:

I saw it in the beginning and addressed it. I don't think it's being "soft," I think it's not having to compete for anything because they've always had everything handed to them. They've never had to compete for a drink of water or compete to have the luxury to get in a car and go somewhere. They don't know what hard work is and don't know what hunger is. Sometimes when they see someone come from where I came from and how it turned out and I explain it to them, then their attitude changes. But these guys are good kids.

Digital Sports also includes a picture in the article showing Randy taking a set shot from 12 feet, straightaway. He must be teaching the kids something there, because that shot does not come up often in the NBA.

Labels: ,

12 August 2007

Wayns proclaims 'Nova his choice

posted by NovaFan09
8/12/2007 04:32:00 PM

While Villanova is still diligently pursuing prospects for the 2008 basketball season -- most notably Astoria, PA's own Tyreke Evans -- Maalik Wayns told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he has verbally committed to Villanova as the newest member of the Class of 2009. Posts on Villanova's Rivals.com message boards are also calling the verbal commitment complete.

Wayns, a 6'1" point guard out of Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia, is widely considered to be a top-five point guard in the country, and arguably the best guard Philadelphia has to offer in the 2009 class. Despite having two full seasons of high school basketball left before jumping to college, Maalik said that the decision to choose Villanova at a time when his peers are focused on the SATs was easy: "I just wanted to get it out of the way. Now I can focus on other things, my academics, winning a championship in high school."

Wayns is just the latest in a recent trend of Philadelphia players to commit to Jay Wright and Villanova, following in the footsteps of current players Shane Clark and Reggie Redding, recent Niagara transfer Bilal Benn, and former standout Kyle Lowry, whose style of play is often compared to Wayns's.

Although Villanova has yet to comment on the commitment, Wayns, a rising high school junior, continues to participate in summer development camps, including Reebok's elite Rbk U Camp in an effort to further showcase his talents.
"I just wanted to come in here and prove to everybody that I'm one of the top players in my class," Wayns said in mid-July.

Because verbal commitments are not binding -- a prospect is free to opt out at any time due to increased exposure or rising stock -- Villanova fans may worry that Wayns is not serious in his commitment to the Main Line.

Count me among the many, however, that are faithful in Maalik's determination to attend Villanova in 2009.
Jay Wright clearly has had the most success in his tenure at Villanova when running a guard-oriented offense.

The results have been noticed by Wayns, who watched Villanova and its patented four guard offense of Lowry, Randy Foye, Allen Ray, and Mike Nardi earn a number 1 seed in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
"Villanova is where I'm going," Wayns reiterated. "That's where I want to be."

It is too early to tell if current guards Redding, Scottie Reynolds, and new additions Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes will still be on the Main Line when Wayns steps foot on campus in 2009. It will be interesting to see, however, what the coaching staff at Villanova does for the recruiting class of 2008, and if we will see a continuation of "Guard U" for years to come.

Labels: , ,

07 August 2007

Tyreke sets a date

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
8/07/2007 11:57:00 PM
Tyreke Evans has set a date for his much-awaited decision on where to attend college next fall.

Evans, the highly-recruited superstar guard, will announce his decision on Monday, November 12.

It's my understanding that the story first broke on the Villanova Rivals site; unfortunately I cannot link there, since the site follows the archaic model of forcing people to pay for news and information.

Luckily, Card Chronicle also runs the story, and doesn't want your credit card number.

Tyreke's leaders remain Villanova and Lousiville, with Memphis on the outside looking in. Texas and Connecticut are, at this point, extremely remote possibilities.

Tyreke's comments come one day after an excellent Sports Illustrated article devoted to his summer resurgence back to the ranks of a program-changing, elite talent.

SI's Kevin Armstrong reveals the fascinating fact that Tyreke has been hanging around Villanova, playing pickup basketball with some of 'Nova's best players off campus:

[Tyreke] is back in Pennsylvania, playing pick-up games at Villanova's off-campus practice gym against former Wildcats like Mike Nardi and Kyle Lowry as well as current guard Scottie Reynolds

Anyone else dying to see Reynolds hooping it up with Tyreke? Increasingly, it looks like we will have that chance.

If I were forced to assign odds at this very moment about Tyreke's eventual destination, this is my best guess:

Villanova: 50%
Louisville: 40%
Memphis: 5%
Everywhere else: 5%

More information should trickle in the rest of the summer, but it looks like Wildcats fans will have to wait till November before any official word is given.

Labels: , , , , ,

06 August 2007

New 2005-06 highlight video

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
8/06/2007 12:21:00 AM
Let'sGoNova reader Sean Donovan, the tireless video chronicler of Villanova athletic culture, is at it again this summer with another 2005-2006 Villanova basketball highlight reel.

The three-and-a-half minute video is embedded here from YouTube (below), or available to download as a 50 MB Windows Media Player file.

The new video, which features "No Way Back" by the Foo Fighters as the background music, is arguably the best 'Nova highlight movie since the widely circulated "Love and Memories" video last year. Donovan's "Top of the World" video is also a worthwhile watch.

The Lowry clip at the 1:55-remaining mark is particularly enjoyable as one of the most amazing plays of that year. Enjoy.

Labels: , ,

03 August 2007

Book review: Fanatic

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
8/03/2007 01:49:00 AM

Villanova alumnus and Sports Illustrated senior editor Jim Gorant was nice enough to send me a copy of his new book, Fanatic: 10 Things All Sports Fans Should Do Before They Die.

Gorant's premise was that while he had been a devoted sports fan his entire life, he had not attended some of the major events no true fan should miss.

He decided to go on a dream tour around the world of sports, attending 10 of its most iconic games, tournaments, and races. Gorant's road trip stopped at events like the Super Bowl, the Masters, Wimbledon, and, of course, the Final Four.

The results are a fascinating look at the current state of athletics, and what makes them an essential part of our collective lives.

Gorant has a knack for capturing the quintessence of each sporting event, blending the mundane with the fantastic to transport readers right into the bleachers alongside him.

Villanova fans will be particularly interested in the chapter on the Final Four. Ever wonder what it was like to live on campus the fall after Villanova's national championship? Gorant was there, a freshman, living amongst the ecstasy only an NCAA championship could bring to the Main Line.

Gorant also describes an interesting phenomenon I never considered: as a member of the class of 1989, he barely missed the crowning moment on April 1, 1985. That near-miss increasingly plagued his class as it moved up through the ranks and even after graduation.

Check out Fanatic on Amazon.com. It's a good read for any sports fan.

Labels: ,

Update to the site!

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
8/03/2007 01:46:00 AM
I took a little break from the site during the slow summer season.

I'm back now, and there will be plenty to talk about in the upcoming weeks.

The big news, of course, is that Villanova has officially made Tyreke Evans's final two. Of course, we have been saying for months that it was a two-horse race between Louisville and Villanova, but it is nice to hear from Tyreke himself that North Carolina is no longer an option.

There's even more to discuss. The summer recruiting season is in full swing, USA basketball just wrapped up, and Tim Donaghy, a Villanova alumnus, has been accused of betting on NBA games he officiated.

Let's talk about these topics and more as the summer winds down.

Labels: , ,