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08 February 2008

Struggling 'Cats host Seton Hall

posted by NovaFan09
2/08/2008 05:30:00 PM

Villanova Wildcats (13-8, 3-6 BE) vs.
Seton Hall Pirates (15-8, 5-5 BE)

Date: Saturday, February 9, 2008
Location: The Pavilion (Villanova, PA)
Time: 6:00 p.m. EST
Television: ESPNU

Seton Hall coverage: Pirates Plank || Seton Hall Fanhouse

Villanova looks to avoid its sixth straight loss Saturday night when the Wildcats welcome the Seton Hall Pirates into the Pavilion for a Saturday evening matchup.

Seton Hall, allowing 78 points per game, got blown out by 26 points in Newark, N.J. Wednesday night at the hands of Notre Dame, and now sits at 5-5 in conference play.

Like Villanova, Seton Hall's offense comes primarily from its outstanding guards, most notably G/F Brian Laing (19.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.0 apg).

Eugene Harvey, a sophomore guard out of Brooklyn, is the team's second-leading scorer at 15 points per game. Sensational Bronx freshman Jeremy Hazell, who averages 12.4 ppg, has had monsterous efforts in conference play, dropping 26 on Notre Dame, 29 against Louisville, and 28 versus UConn. Additionally, senior guard Jamar Nutter averages just over 10 points per game but provides stability and leadership in the backcourt, allowing for the more skilled and talented underclassmen to flourish.

Villanova's backcourt should have its hands full guarding the Pirates' ball handlers, who have a tendency take their defenders off the dribble and to the hoop. Only one regularly playing guard (Nutter) averages close to 40 percent from 3-point range, so Villanova may be able to afford to play a step off their respective assignments, preventing Seton Hall from blowing by the likes of Reynolds, Fisher, Redding, and Grant. However, with the way the 'Cats defend the 3, this may not be the best option.

Although Sophomore center John Garcia pulls down 7.5 rpg, he has been held in check in Big East play, with most of his strong rebounding performances coming against the likes of Navy, St. Peter's, and Penn State.

Look for the 'Cats to finally pull out a win, much to the delight of the home crowd. Even with Seton Hall's offensive capabilities, I think the storyline of this game will be Cunningham, Drummond, and Pena's tenacity on the boards. This will prevent Seton Hall from accruing second-chance points and will allow for extra offensive opportunities for 'Nova.

Keys to the game

Pressure Seton Hall guards: As a team, the Pirates have an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.1:1. While this statistic is similar to most Big East teams ('Nova is 1:1 A/TO), playmakers like Hazell and Garcia have poor ratios of 1:1.7 and 1:3, respectively. Case in point -- If 'Nova can shut down the guards' dribbles and force them to pass, chances are the turnovers for Seton Hall will accumulate.

Energy: The problems facing Villanova lately have begun from the opening tip. Not only have the 'Cats been unable to keep their stride the entire game, but they are having trouble doing it for even an entire HALF. Somebody on this team, whether it be a captain, a role player, or an underclassmen has to let his emotions show on the court and put it all out on the line. Which reminds me, was anybody having more fun on the court in the 'Nova/'Cuse game last weekend than Donte Greene? His high-fiving of teammates, jawing with the crowd, and general attitude infected the rest of his squad and literally propelled the Orange to victory. That is what Villanova needs not only to win this game, but to save the season.


Scottie Reynolds:
Regardless of whether or not the rumor of a fight breaking out between teammates is true, Reynolds, arguably the face of 2007-2008 Villanova basketball, has to keep his team under control. Yes, he is only a sophomore, but a captain at that. Reynold's play is indicative of how this team performs and if Scottie can light it up and get others involved, Villanova will come out of the game victorious

Predict the final score

As always, you may predict the final score of the game in the comments section below. The author of the closest prediction will receive a mention in the game recap.

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At 5:17 PM, February 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just because nutter is the only player for seton hall who shoots at 40% from distance doesnt mean we should be able to take a step off. with the way we guard the 3, we better pay a lot of attention to the 3 because seton hall takes a ton of them.

At 5:20 PM, February 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hazell is a chucker, he went 2-13 from the field against georgetown and 2-12 from 3. if we play tight and avoid fouling a ton (which has proven to be a problem at times) i think this will be a good win to help us get back on our feet. i know the students are hungry for a win!

At 8:24 PM, February 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cats in a blowout that sparks an undefeated run straight to the National Championship.

Nova 89
Hall 62

At 9:32 PM, February 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need a win so we don't go down as one of the most underachieving teams in the history of the NCAA. I think this game will be the streak snapper.

Villanova 80
Seton Hall 73

At 12:23 AM, February 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back at the Pavilion... finally! I wish I could as optimistic as all of you who think we'll notch 80+.

Nova 74
Hall 71

At 3:05 AM, February 09, 2008, Blogger pete said...

'Nova 82
Seton Hall 81

At 9:51 AM, February 09, 2008, Blogger NovaFan09 said...

nova 78
shu 70

At 10:20 AM, February 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nova 2
seton hall 434

At 10:34 AM, February 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seton Hall 75
Nova 69

Scottie Reynolds is out of shape.

At 10:45 AM, February 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nova - 83
SHU - 76

..Scottie Reynolds is injured.

At 10:49 AM, February 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

way to be optimistic, bosshoghazzard! I'll say we're gonna win today. we NEED to win today.

nova 78
shu 63

At 1:07 PM, February 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't win, we literally will not make the Big East tourney

At 1:24 PM, February 09, 2008, Blogger Matt said...

Villanova 78
Seton Hall 68

At 4:43 PM, February 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

reynolds is not fat..

At 8:40 PM, February 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So any rumors, at least, about Grant? He didn't see a minute today. Is he on his way out (transfer)? That would be a shame (though I imagine that Stokes would be happy; it might be the only way that he has a chance at career at VU).

Oh, yeah, good to see them win. But I can't say "good win" really; a 2 point win over Seton Hall at home can't really be called a good win. I'm embarrassed to say that 6 games ago I was predicting 22-8; now 17-13 seems more likely. That probably won't even get them an NIT bid. Hope I'm wrong, though.

At 2:22 AM, February 10, 2008, Blogger Foye's Boy said...

from what i heard, grant did not play because he is still feeling the effects of the cincinati game concussion, and wright wanted to give fisher more minutes...

At 2:24 AM, February 10, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Malcolm Grant:

i think its awesum that jay wright isn't playing the BEST PLAYER ON OUR TEAM.

i hope malcolm TRANSFERES TO UNC!!!! then all you idiots will see how good he is.

SERIOUSLY: im this close to being a st johns fan again. jay wright better stop being preduous and start playing Malcolm Grant or else im going to take my season tickets and wipe my ass with them! FUCK YOU NOVA!

-biggest fan turned most hated fan because of the absense of Malcolm Grant!

he's the best player in the big east and isnt seeing a minute of floor time.

I used to be buddy's with andreas bloch and he told me the scary TRUTH behind jay wright's politics and its all true.....Adreas Bloch hates him and you know what: if he doesnt start playing MALCOLM;......SO......DO.......I

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