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28 June 2008

Numbers prove Grant best of four freshmen

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
6/28/2008 03:10:00 AM
I know this post will bring out the "enough with Malcolm Grant" haters, but it's summer, news is slow, and Greycat of Villanova by the Numbers just posted his analysis of the four Wildcat freshmen and their progression throughout last season.

The numbers show what we've known around here all year: Malcolm Grant was the best performer of his much-touted freshman class, and it wasn't even close.

Greycat's chart shows the Pomeroy offensive efficiency rating for each of the four Villanova freshmen for each game of the season. The numbers do not take defense into account, but before you justify Grant's latter-season disappearance on defense, remember that Grant was at least as good a defender as Corey Fisher, and that is being quite generous to Fisher.

Grant showed a consistent level of offensive performance once conference play kicked in, maintaining a large separation above the other three freshmen. Corey Stokes improved his game greatly, while Fisher and Pena seemed to decline offensively as the season wore on.

We may never know the true story behind Grant's fall from grace, so I can't beat up Jay Wright about it more than I already have all season, but Greycat's chart serves as a stark reminder of how good Grant was, how much the team will miss him, and what a waste it was that Coach Wright could not keep him in a Wildcat uniform, for whatever reason.

Grant is on his way to Miami, and the Hurricanes will be Let's Go Nova's second-favorite college team in 2009-2010.

As for the three remaining freshmen, now rising sophomores, Corey Stokes is clearly a bright spot. If he continues his offensive development at the pace he improved last season, he could be a star in the Big East. Fisher and Pena need to work on being more consistent offensively, but we didn't need the chart to tell us that.

Keep on eye on the three sophomores and their offensive development in 2008-2009. And look for Malcolm Grant to crack the all-ACC squad the year after that.

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16 June 2008

Jim Cramer ranks 'Nova over Kentucky

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
6/16/2008 03:09:00 PM
This is mostly off topic, but it is quite amusing that of the 37 colleges that use "Wildcats" as their nickname, Villanova was the first school mentioned by the financial blowhard Jim Cramer in a ranting appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe program today.

Which school was Cramer's second thought as a basketball program called the Wildcats? Kentucky. Villanova basketball, it seems, has truly arrived.

Cramer, the theatrical host of the financial advice show "Mad Money" on sister network CNBC, had been brought onto the MSNBC set at 30 Rock to discuss rising energy prices and the taxation of domestic producers.

As he wound down from one of his classic fake meltdowns after being physically consoled by Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, Cramer blurted that "wildcats are the answer, and not the Villanova kind or the Kentucky kind," referring to drilling for oil in previously unexplored areas.

The video is embedded below. The Villanova reference happens at the 1:10 mark.

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10 June 2008

"Nova Notebook" gives offseason insight

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
6/10/2008 01:48:00 PM

The Villanova media relations czar Mike Sheridan is back this offseason with his much-loved public relations column, Nova Notebook.

Nova Notebook gives Villanova fans an insider's view of the program, typically profiling a selected player with behind-the-scenes stories and quotes.

So far this spring, the column has offered features on Scottie Reynolds, Corey Stokes, the new Wildcat Taylor King, and the former guard Mike Nardi.

Sheridan is a very good writer and skillfully captures the essence of "Villanova basketball." Although his office has steadfastly refused to grant this Web site a press pass for each of the last two seasons, we maintain hope that 2008-2009 will finally be the year LetsGoNova.com makes it into press row.

The Nova Notebook column is published periodically in the summer, but assumes a weekly schedule in the fall as the run-up to the basketball season grows shorter.

The first Nova Notebook column ever was published on August 30, 2002, and chronicled the former Villanova guard Gary Buchanan's trip to Michael Jordan's basketball camp.

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