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23 December 2007

Villanova holds off Columbia

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
12/23/2007 10:18:00 AM
Villanova wins, 72-56.

I was not able to catch the game this weekend, so I can't give out player grades. The win improves the Wildcats to 9-1 on the season. Next up for the #16-ranked 'Cats is La Salle next weekend at the Pavilion.

For those who saw the game, what did you think? Did the 'Cats play sloppy in the second half in allowing the Lions to come within 10 points? Or was it a solid win against a scrappy, well-coached Ivy-League team?

You make the call.

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At 1:03 PM, December 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why Cassiem Drummond has not played?

At 4:09 PM, December 23, 2007, Blogger Bill said...

Tendonitis of the foot... Out about a week.

At 4:35 PM, December 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The two amazing stars are Corey fisher and Casiem Drummond. It's about time Villanova recruits a big man to really crash the boards and do same damage in the paint. Corey is rising faster and faster shooting for the NBA and boy is he going to make it! These two on the floor at the same time is a big problem for the opponent. I wonder when the other corey (Stokes) will do something.He hasnt been doing that well this season, his 3s arn't bad but he still needs to inprove on his other fundimentals of the game. Grant is also becoming a young star himself. I consider him as one of the BEST shooters on the team. He doesnt have many weakneses and will be a great contribution to the Wildcats. I really hope Jay Wright can do something about Pena. He hasnt been doing so well this season, and I personally do not like his style of play. I dont see why Anderson isnt playing. If you remember or were at Hopos Mania he slammed down a few dunks from time to time and looked like he was one of the best out there. Anderson really play more. Other than that Nova looks great!GO NOVA!

At 9:36 PM, December 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to play "D" for 40 minutes against PITT as we did against Columbia in the first half, if we are to beat PITT....

We also need Cas...

At 10:37 PM, December 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why so many people are down on Pena. The last few games especially he has looked good. Over the last 5 games he is averaging 9 pts, .700 fg percentage, 4.2 rebounds, in only 15 minutes per game. What's not to like? Heck, on a per minute basis his numbers are better than Shane Clark's. And yes, that's deceptive for a number of reasons, but still. Sure his D could use some work, but that's true of more than half of the team.

Anyway, you guys better hope that you are wrong. Without a significant contribution from Pena, I'm betting a deep tournament run is unlikely.

At 1:45 AM, December 24, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Took some time out to watch the game and here are the grades!

Scottie Reynolds B+

Amazing. Villanova would not be the same team without him. He truly is the glue holding the Wildcats together.

Corey Fisher A

Fisher is an unbelievable talent. His performance tonight was unrivaled. I wonder what NBA team will be lucky to draft him.

Will Sheridan D-

Once again Will did not score any points for the Wildcats. With zero rebounds I just don't understand why Jay gives him minutes. May God have mercy on his soul.

At 2:32 AM, December 24, 2007, Blogger DaveNJ said...

Well, I was sitting front row in the student section, and here are my player grades:

Shane Clark: A

He was absolutely sick for the first half of play. His outside shot dropped early, but he also got us off to a very quick second-half start with two threes. Efficient, good defense, basically the best game you could hope for. It makes me think he's finally healthy, because the last time he was this good was against Stony Brook.

Dante Cunningham: A

Absolutely monstrous on the boards. He cleaned the glass early and often, and managed to get a few really nice offensive rebounds as well. He helped set the tone early by not giving up second opportunities, which allowed us to build our lead. Also forced some points inside to maintain our momentum, and played great defense.

Reggie Redding: A-/B+

Hot from the field early, and had a better shooting night than usual. He also played some very good defense, and executed the trap really well in the beginning. Helped force some key TO's, and fought for a key loose ball. Distributed the ball well also.

Scottie Reynolds: B+

His defense was very good, and he really helped us run the trap for the first half. His shooting was also very good in the first half, though he cooled noticeably in the second half. Still gave a solid performance, and managed to get the ball to the right guys most of the time, though he forced the ball inside a few too many times to guys who weren't always open.

Antonio Peña: A-

He was very good off the bench for us, and is really progressing as a player. He played tough defense and managed to rope down plenty of boards in his time. He's also turning into a really efficient shooter. I'd like to see more aggression, but at this point he's a very safe interior player. Still, he's only a freshman, and once he develops a nasty streak he's going to be a force.

Corey Fisher: B

Overall a pretty good performance. He shot well early, but the threes weren't dropping so well for him. He had a few good looks where he didn't get them, but that's just the nature of the game, and he's still a freshman. He also had a few dumb turnovers, including a particularly bad catch attempt that sent the ball out of bounds of his fingers. Contributed well on defense early, though, and was pretty tenacious.

Corey Stokes: B

Stokes had a much better night than he has had previously. Not only did he play well offensively, he was excellent on defense, getting to the wing to get in the face of three point shooters and nabbing some key rebounds. His three point shot was noticeably better, and while the stats can't show this a few of his misses were heartbreakers, where the ball went in and out, orbiting the rim a few times. A marked improvement for him, and he seems more confident in his shot, though he's also more discerning now.

Malcolm Grant: C+

Not a great showing for Malcolm, though he won't always be great. He got beat several times defensively, resulting in points scored and a few fouls. He also turned the ball over too much. The trap didn't work as well with him in as Fisher, although that may have been adjustment on Columbia's part. Still, if this is our worst guy on the night we're doing something right.

I came into the game worried, but Nova really impressed me. The only reason the lead dropped to ten was because Jay Wright played conservative with a 20+ point lead. He wasn't going to run up the score on a former assistant, and he stopped using the trap, which really had Columbia befuddled, and dropped press altogether in the second half. This could have been a bigger blowout, but Nova dominated Columbia defensively, though not as much offensively. It was a good showing, and they need to tune up the defense before Big East play. They looked good, but they need to hit those open threes and play the entire game if they want to win some of those big-time Big East match-ups.

At 10:41 AM, December 24, 2007, Blogger greyCat said...

Thanks to Dave for the summary/observations. The second half let down on defense was puzzling, but your explanation makes sense. The Wildcat's struggle defending the 3 point shot is becoming an ongoing subplot for the season. If the shots are taken and drop Villanova will find itself in a race. While they have the guards to compete, it is a dangerous way to live.

At 10:56 AM, December 24, 2007, Blogger pete said...

Nice write-up, Dave. Excellent.

Fake Pete, you really have me pegged!

At 2:53 PM, December 24, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know about when Casiem Drummond will be back on the court?

At 8:55 PM, December 24, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would guess that Drummond would be back by the Pitt game. But that is just an educated guess.

At 8:47 PM, December 27, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. 20 Villanova Too Much For Columbia
Shane Clark scored 15 points and Scottie Reynolds added 14 to lead No. 20 Villanova past Columbia, 72-56 on Saturday night. Dante Cunningham added nine points and 12 rebounds for the Wildcats (9-1), who won their fifth game in a row and defeated the Lions for the fourth straight time. Villanova's only loss came Nov. 25, a 69-68 setback against North Carolina State in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. I really liked the way NOVA played this game. I think they have a great future. Nobody can stop them. GO NOVA!


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