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16 April 2008

Tyreke picks Memphis

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/16/2008 03:45:00 PM
Tyreke Evans will play college basketball at Memphis, the high school senior announced today at a press conference on ESPNU.

Villanova and Texas were the other two finalists for Evans's college choice.

The cards fell into place for Evans to attend Memphis this week, when the Tigers' star point guard Derrick Rose declared he would enter the NBA draft. Memphis coach John Calipari also agreed to a contract extension, quelling rumors he would jump to the NBA.

Chris Douglas-Roberts, another Memphis guard, is also considering forgoing his final year of college eligibility.

Rose's departure and Roberts likely leaving opens up space for Evans to immediately star for Memphis, which plays in Conference USA.

Losing out on Evans, whom many consider the best player in his class, hurts for Villanova, which adds no new players next year and loses guard Malcolm Grant to Miami.

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14 April 2008

Tyreke to reveal college choice Wednesday

posted by NovaFan09
4/14/2008 10:31:00 PM
Tyreke Evans will announce where he will attend college at a press conference this Wednesday at 3 p.m.

The press conference will air live on both ESPNU and ESPNEWS.

Evans, a heavily recruited guard from Chester, Pa., is the top remaining unsigned prospect in the nation.

Tyreke's final decision among Memphis, Villanova, Texas, and UConn has been the subject of wild debate and speculation all season.

Recent rumors have been swirling around campus and the Internet that Memphis coach John Calipari has already received commitments from Evans and Devin Ebanks. The two players have openly discussed the possibility of enrolling at the same institution and becoming collegiate teammates.

While I must stress again this is only a rumor, it is the opinion of this blogger that Tyreke will most likely choose Memphis. 

If Evans does not choose to play on the Main Line,  Villanova's staff can divert its full attention to Dominic Cheek, a top-5 shooting guard in the 2009 class.

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Grant will transfer to Miami

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/14/2008 01:03:00 AM
Malcolm Grant has decided to transfer to the University of Miami, according to a post on Fox's college hoops blog.

Grant completed his freshman campaign at Villanova this season after prepping for a year to play for the Wildcats. He will have to sit out one full season before taking the court for the Miami Hurricanes in the ACC.

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13 April 2008

Taylor King commits to Villanova

posted by Foye's Boy
4/13/2008 11:00:00 PM
According to an article on ESPN.com, Taylor King will transfer to Villanova.

King, a 6'7" forward from Duke, will sit out one year before joining the Wildcats for the 2009-2010 season. King had been previously recruited by the Wildcats in high school, where he was a McDonald's All American.

King played in all 34 games for Duke this year before deciding to explore transfer options. King had scheduled visits to USC and Gonzaga, but canceled those appointments after accepting a scholarship offer from Jay Wright this weekend.

The sharpshooting King will add a perimeter threat to Villanova's attack.

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11 April 2008

'Nova news roundup

posted by NovaFan09
4/11/2008 04:58:00 PM
Links and loose ends found across the Web and on campus.

Villanova managed to finish the 2007-2008 season with a #24 ranking on the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll. This has to be considered a success for Coach Wright and his players, who grinded through a five-game losing streak en route to making the Sweet Sixteen for the third time in four years.

With the beautiful weather across the Philadelphia region, students were out in full force enjoying the sun the past two days at Villanova. Reports from West Campus indicate that several Villanova basketball players played a pickup game Thursday with some of their classmates. Apparently spotted at the game were Coach Wright and what looked like 2009 recruit Dominic Cheek.  The Duke transfer Taylor King was also seen touring the campus with Wright on Friday. Here is hoping the weather does nothing but sway these players to come to 'Nova.

Scottie Reynolds and Dante Cunningham will be honored by the Big Five at a dinner reception celebrating their selection to the 2008 All-Big Five teams. Reynolds made the first team and Cunningham was chosen for the second team.

Finally, nothing new to report on Malcolm Grant, who is still weighing transfer options.

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08 April 2008

Taylor King to visit 'Nova

posted by Foye's Boy
4/08/2008 11:59:00 PM

Taylor King, the 6'7" transferring forward from Duke University, will reportedly visit with Villanova and coach Jay Wright this weekend.

King played in every game in his freshman year, and was a McDonald's All-American at Mater Dei Highschool in Southern California. King was originally offered a scholarship from Villanova before committing to Duke. The other schools he is considering transferring to include USC, UCLA, and Gonzaga.

King saw time in every game last season for the Blue Devils, averaging 5 points and 2 rebounds. One of his strongest abilities is his ability to make shots from the perimeter. King shot an impressive 40 percent from three last season.

If King did choose to come to Villanova, he would have to sit out a year. However, we do have a scholarship for him (Malcolm Grant), and I think he would be an excellent fit for this program. Taylor King could very well be a nice gift that falls in Jay Wright's lap, if things go well this weekend.

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Kansas wins national title

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/08/2008 12:20:00 AM
The Kansas Jayhawks are the national champions after defeating the Memphis Tigers tonight in overtime. Kansas overcame a 9-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation to complete one of the most dramatic comebacks in Final Four history.

On Memphis's side, it was an epic collapse. The Tigers had numerous opportunities to seal the game, but could not make free throws in crunch time. Memphis also was unable to even foul Kansas on the Jayhawks' last possession in regulation, when Kansas trailed by 3 with 10 seconds to go.

The Jayhawks' win means that Villanova has lost to the eventual national champions in three of the last four NCAA tournaments: North Carolina in the Sweet 16 in 2005, Florida in the Elite 8 in 2006, and Kansas in this year's Sweet 16.

As far as I could see, Villanova only made two appearances in this year's "One Shining Moment" highlight montage, with both clips showing the Wildcats allowing Kansas dunks via alley-oop.

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07 April 2008

Full Villanova-LSU game available to download

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/07/2008 03:03:00 PM
A Villanova fan by the handle of "Ray Foye Combo" has uploaded the entire Villanova-LSU game as an 800 MB Xvid file.

The quality on the video is decent. I would describe it as a few notches below VHS, but it is certainly watchable. If you are having trouble opening the video, download and install the VLC media player.

The December 6 game was one of the greatest comebacks in the history of college basketball, with Villanova overcoming a 21-point deficit with 8 minutes to play to win by one points. Villanova trailed by as many as 15 points with under 3 minutes on the clock in this incredible game.

The game is best remembered, however, for Malcolm Grant's unbelievable effort to bring the Wildcats back. Grant singlehandedly took over the game and willed Villanova to the win.

Unfortunately for Villanova fans, the university announced last week that it would release Grant to explore a transfer. Despite his heroics in the LSU, Rutgers, and Pittsburgh games, Grant found himself glued to the bench for the rest of the season by coach Jay Wright.

Grant's effort in the LSU game prevented Villanova from what would have been a horrendous semi-home loss, which would have certainly kept the 'Cats out of the NCAA tournament and the Sweet 16.

I was at the Wachovia Center for the game, and it was one of most memorable sports experiences of my life.

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04 April 2008

Grant released for transfer

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/04/2008 04:38:00 PM
Well, it's official. Villanova has given the freshman guard Malcolm Grant a release to pursue a transfer off the Main Line.

Grant is a talented scoring guard whose heroics in December's LSU game saved the Wildcats' season and allowed Villanova to gain one of the last at-large bids in the NCAA tournament. Villanova eventually reached the Sweet 16, but Grant only saw two minutes of floor time in Villanova's three games.

Grant also poured in 17 points in just over 2 minutes in Villanova's disastrous loss to Rutgers, leading several fans to wonder why he did not see the court earlier.

Grant's inexplicable lack of playing time has been a subject of consternation on this Web site the entire season.

While the future of Villanova's program looks bright, with megarecruit Tyreke Evans leaning towards the Main Line, I consider it nothing short of a failure on Jay Wright's part to have not utilized a player of Grant's tremendous talent and heart.

Wright's failure is further compounded by the fact that Grant chose to prep for a full year while waiting for a scholarship to become available at Villanova. Grant will have to sit out at least one more year before he can take the floor for a new team.

For his part, Jay Wright issued this statement on Grant's transfer release:

Malcolm is an integral part of our basketball family and a great young man. He has been exemplary as a student and a teammate at Villanova. However, he deserves starters' minutes. We are grateful for all that Malcolm has given to Villanova and support him in this decision.

If Grant deserves starters' minutes, why could he not see the floor at all during the Wildcats' hopeless loss to Kansas, when Villanova went long stretches without scoring?

Grant proved himself worthy of minutes all season, and yet Wright kept him glued to the bench. Something does not add up here, but we may never know the real story.

Grant's transfer will be a gigantic loss for Villanova and a black eye for Jay Wright's legacy here.

Expect Malcolm to do very well in his remaining three years of eligibility, no matter where he ends up.

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02 April 2008

Cunningham to try for Olympics

posted by NovaFan09
4/02/2008 06:52:00 PM
According to an article on ESPN.com, Villanova forward Dante Cunningham has been added to the British National Basketball team roster. Several American based basketball players, including Ben Gordon and Luol Deng, have been invited by British officials to try out for the national team for the 2012 Olympics.

Between 15 to 20 British players will attend a training camp later this spring in preparation for September's EuroBasket qualifiers.

Games will be played against Israel, Czech Republic and Bosnia, with the winner of the group qualifying for the 2009 European Championship. In order for the Brits to be allowed to field an Olympic team, they must first qualify for the European Championship, held every two years, by 2011.

This is an exciting opportunity for Dante, as it will give him a forum to continue working on his game in the offseason. If Cunningham makes the team and Britain is able to qualify for the Olympics, it will allow Dante to showcase his skills on a worldwide stage.

Here is to wishing the best for Cunningham and the Brits.

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