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29 November 2008

'Nova faces URI for Philly Hoop title

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/29/2008 05:57:00 PM
#20 Villanova (5-0) vs. Rhode Island (5-1)
8:50 p.m., Saturday, 29 November, at the Palestra
Line: Villanova -9

Villanova put away Towson last night to advance to the "Independence Bracket" championship in the Philly Hoop Group Classic.

The Wildcats will take on the 5-1 Rhode Island Rams of the Atlantic 10 tonight at the Palestra for the title. The game will be televised regionally on Comcast's CN8 network.

Rhode Island has had an impressive season so far, winning five games and losing just one on a disputed end-of-game call against Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Villanova has been installed as the nine-point favorite, but the Rams will be the toughest test the for the Wildcats so far this season.

Senior swingman Dwayne Anderson remains out for the 'Cats. Look tonight to see whether center Casiem Drummond returns to the floor after serving a disciplinary suspension.

I Bleed Blue and White and VUhoops also have game previews for tonight.

Villanova by the Numbers runs a Towson recap, as does Nova News. Congratulations to "BossHogHarrard" for most closely predicting the final score of the Towson game.

Take your shot at predicting tonight's final score in the comment section below.

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28 November 2008

'Cats face Towson tonight

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/28/2008 02:39:00 AM
#20 Villanova (4-0) vs. Towson (3-1)
8:30 p.m., Friday, 28 November, at the Palestra
TV: None
Line: OFF

After cruising to a win against low-major Monmouth University earlier this week, Villanova opens bracket play in the Philly Hoop Group Classic with a matchup tonight against Towson.

For Villanova, center Casiem Drummond should return from a one-game suspension for a disciplinary issue. Senior swingman Dwayne Anderson remains out with a foot injury.

Towson hails from the recently vogue Colonial Athletic Association, and so far the Tigers have amassed a 3-1 record. Towson's only loss came on the road against common opponent Niagara by a score of 79-62.

Twentieth-ranked Villanova should win easily tonight in its first game away from campus.

If the Wildcats win, they will face the winner of Penn State and Rhode Island tomorrow in the Palestra. Should disaster strike and Towson pulls off the upset, Villanova will face the losing team tomorrow in the loser's bracket.

The game will not be televised, but audio may be available through Villanova's gametracker service.

Be sure to take a look at the Villanova by the Numbers game preview.

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25 November 2008

Villanova takes on Monmouth tonight

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/25/2008 04:24:00 PM
#20 Villanova (3-0) vs. Monmouth (0-4)
7:30 p.m., Tues., 25 November, at the Pavilion
TV: None
Line: OFF

Villanova plays its second preliminary game of the Philly Hoop Group Classic with a Pavilion game against low-major Monmouth University of New Jersey. Villanova last played Monmouth in the 1 vs. 16 game in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament at the Wachovia Center.

I can't find a line for the game, but if I had to make one, it would be around Villanova -32.

The game will not be televised tonight, but audio may be available via Villanova's official site and elsewhere.

Take a look at game previews from Villanova by the Numbers and I Bleed Blue and White, then head down to the comment thread below to predict the game's final score. The author of the closest guess wins a mention in this space tomorrow.

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24 November 2008

'Nova climbs in the polls

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/24/2008 03:52:00 PM

The new AP and ESPN/coaches' polls are out, and Villanova's ranking rose in both.

The Associated Press voters slotted Villanova as the 20th best team in the country, up from #23.

ESPN and USA Today's poll of college basketball coaches saw Villanova rise from #23 to 22nd in the nation.

Let's Go Nova uses the AP poll for its rankings.

Villanova will play 0-2 Monmouth tomorrow in a game that should have little impact on the polls, unless Monmouth pulls off the upset of the year.

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20 November 2008

Niagara falls to Villanova

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/20/2008 03:46:00 AM
Niagara 62
Villanova 77
(box score)

#23 Villanova: 3-0 (0-0 BE, 0-0 B5)
Niagara: 1-1 (0-0 MAAC)

Next game: vs. Monmouth, 25-Nov. at the Pavilion.

Villanova survived its first decent opponent of the season Wednesday night with a 15-point win over Niagara. I won't go as far as to call the plucky Purple Eagles a real test of a ranked opponent, but they did put up a fight against the Wildcats, who did not put the game away until late in the second half.

Villanova University has the official game recap.

Scottie Reynolds led all scorers with 19, albeit on 4-14 shooting from the field. Reynolds was much more accurate from the foul line, hitting 9-10.

The entire Villanova frontcourt, Shane Clark, Antonio Pena, and Dante Cunningham, fouled out against Niagara, which is definitely not a good sign considering that the Eagles are considered to have a decent backcourt but a mediocre front line. Such sloppy interior defense will not fly in conference play or against Texas next month.

Returning ex-Cat Bilal Benn had a good game, with 11 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals in 40 full minutes of play.

Reggie Redding started for Corey Stokes, who sprained his thumb but will be all right for next week's game. Dwayne Anderson remains out with a stress fracture, and center Casiem Drummond was limited to two minutes with an injured foot.

The only other major point of interest about this game was that ESPN Sportscenter anchor Chris McKendry joked during highlights that the matchup of Villanova and Niagara made her think of Viagra. (Video at Deadspin).

Congratulations to an "anonymous" reader for most closely predicting the game's final score.

Next up for the Wildcats is a rematch with their first-round opponent in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, Monmouth University of the Jersey Shore.

Let's Go Nova, sadly, does not get ESPNU, so it would not be fair to hand out player grades. I've futilely been looking for a video of the game. If anyone has one, send me an e-mail.

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19 November 2008

'Nova, Bilal Benn set for final showdown tonight

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/19/2008 02:18:00 PM
#23 Villanova (2-0) vs. Niagara (1-0)
7 p.m., Wed., 19 November, at the Pavilion
Line: Villanova -16

Ex-Wildcat Bilal Benn and his deadly flock of Purple Eagles will swoop into the Pavilion tonight to face Villanova in a grudge match the proportions of which can only be described as "moderate."

The match-up is being billed as a "preliminary game" in the 8-team Philly Hoop Group Classic. Bracket play in the tournament does not begin until after Thanksgiving.

Niagara is a solid, undefeated team from the MAAC and is currently ranked #1 in the RPI in the entire country.

That said, Villanova is a 16-point favorite and should pick up the win. Niagara will certainly be a tougher test for Villanova than Albany or Fordham, but if the 'Cats have any trouble with the Purple Eagles at home, they probably don't deserve to be ranked #23 in the nation.

Take a look at game previews from Villanova by the Numbers and I Bleed Blue and White, then head down to the comment thread below to predict the game's final score. The author of the closest guess wins a mention in this space tomorrow.

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18 November 2008

'Nova annihilates Fordham

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/18/2008 03:16:00 AM
Fordham 68
Villanova 107
(box score)

#23 Villanova: 2-0 (0-0 BE, 0-0 B5)
Fordham: 0-2 (0-0 A10)

[Highlight reel at end of post]

Next game: vs. Niagara, 19 Nov. at the Pavilion.

The Wildcats cruised to an easy victory tonight against the winless Fordham Rams, putting up 107 points on Fordham's porous defenses.

Fordham had no answer to the inside prowess of Dante Cunningham, who notched a career-high 31 points. Villanova used its superior size and speed to find easy shots, converting 35 field goals on 60 attempts. Over 65 percent of Villanova's baskets resulted from assists, which is an excellent ratio. The Wildcats also took care of the ball and committed just 9 turnovers.

Villanova's defense seemed to improve in the second half, when the Wildcats held Fordham to 11-29 shooting and 30 points.

On the sour side, Villanova allowed Fordham an unacceptable 65 shots, and forced just 11 turnovers from the overmatched Rams. The Wildcats also revealed a potentially fatal flaw in their team depth -- with Fisher and Reynolds both off the floor, the team has no truly competent ballhandlers to break a press or even run an offense.

Reggie Redding is the emergency third point guard, but he looked awkward against the juvenile Fordham press. One does not have to wonder how the Wildcats will stand up to a full-blast press from Louisville or Marquette this year if Fisher or Reynolds become unavailable -- it would be a disaster.

And thus the folly of losing Bilal Benn and Malcolm Grant -- both good ballhandlers -- to transfer in consecutive years. Absent Corey Fisher and Scottie Reynolds, the Wildcats simply have no point guards left. Might Villanova be the only top-25 team with just two ballhandlers on the entire roster? I think so. And if one of those two guards gets hurt, the Wildcats won't be ranked for long.

On an injury note, forward Shane Clark was cleared to play and ran 16 minutes tonight, just 11 days after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. Center Casiem Drummond was out with foot pain, but Jay Wright said in his postgame remarks that Drummond would be ready for Wednesday's game.

Congratulations to reader "Bosshoghazzard" for most closely predicting the game's final score.

Next up for Villanova is the return of former Wildcat Bilal Benn and his Niagara Purple Eagles in the Philly Hoop Group Classic opener, Wednesday night at the Pavilion.

On to the player grades. "READ MORE" below for player performance grades and analysis, plus a special embedded highlight reel from Youtube!

  • Corey Stokes (S, 31 min)

    Stokes could barely miss tonight. The Rams were allowing him open looks, and he made the most of them. Stokes was 3-3 from behind the arc, 4-6 from the field, and 6-6 from the line to score 17 points. He grabbed 8 rebounds and added 2 assists, a steal, and 1 turnover. The only downside for Stokes tonight is it still looks like he is having trouble putting the ball on the floor. Stokes's shooting, however, finally appears to be living up to its billing, and he may well lead the Wildcats in scoring on the season.
    Grade: A-

  • Corey Fisher (S, 30 min)

    Fisher's speed, handle, and passing have become essential to the Wildcats' attack. Splitting the point with Reynolds, Fisher tonight made good decisions with the ball and was effective on both ends of the court. He dished out 4 assists, and, more important, committed just 1 turnover. He shot better tonight from long range, draining 2-4 threes, and shot 4-10 from the field. Fisher was a good 7-8 from the foul line, impressive there in both his accuracy and his frequency getting to the stripe. Fisher added 2 steals to a solid defensive effort.
    Grade: B+

  • Dante Cunningham (S, 29 min)

    Cunningham exploded for a career-high 31 points on 11-17 shooting from the field. Cunningham also reached the free-throw line 12 times, converting 9. Fordham could do nothing to stop Cunningham inside. Though he won't find conference play nearly as easy, Cunningham's performance tonight was an important step in establishing the Wildcats' inside game. Cunningham and Pena played well together on the blocks, forging an inside chemistry that has been lacking at Villanova for years. Cunningham also led the team in rebounds, with 11.
    Grade: A

  • Antonio Pena (S, 24 min)

    Pena is quickly becoming one of my favorite players. He put in an efficient performance tonight, scoring 10 points on 4-5 shooting. He looked great moving up and down the post, and connected with Cunningham several times for easy looks. He grabbed 6 rebounds and passed for 3 assists. Pena also ran the floor well; it's become clear that fast breaks are a key component of his game. Pena's inside-out style suits the Wildcats' free-flowing system well. Though he has the tendency to disappear for stretches, Pena's development is a real bright spot for the 'Cats.
    Grade: B+

  • Reggie Redding (23 min)

    Redding was pressed into point-guard duties tonight after Reynolds sat with early foul trouble. I suspect Jay Wright also sat Fisher during that stretch to see what the team could do without either of its point guards. Redding's handling of the point was passable but not pretty. But if it was passable against Fordham, it probably would be a nightmare against Rick Pitino. Still, you can't blame Redding for the Wildcats' lack of ballhandling depth. Redding played well overall tonight, shining as the undisputed leader late in the game with the Wildcat starters out. He shot 4-5 from the field and 1-2 from the three to score 9 points. He passed for 4 assists and committed just 1 turnover. He added 4 rebounds but did not get a steal. Pressure defense is something for Redding to work on as the season progresses. All in all it is a good thing the Wildcats have Redding to bail them out with ballhandling, but let's hope it doesn't come to that.
    Grade: B

  • Scottie Reynolds (S, 22 min)

    Reynolds picked up a pair of questionable fouls early, and those fouls combined with the blowout limited him to an uncharacteristically low 22 minutes. Reynolds struggled a bit scoring-wise, shooting just 3-9 from the field and 1-4 from the three. I'm not particularly worried, however, as Reynolds has proven beyond all doubt he is an excellent scorer and shooter. Where Scottie really shined tonight was in distribution. Reynolds racked up 7 assists in basically half a game, while committing just 1 turnover. Perhaps his ratio will go down a bit against serious competition, but after two games it is clear that Scottie is taking great care of the ball and finding perfect spots to dish it off. Reynolds also added 2 steals in a fine defensive effort, ticky-tack fouls notwithstanding.
    Grade: A-

  • Shane Clark (16 min)

    It was good to see Clark out there and injury-free just 11 days after knee surgery. Clark played well, shooting 3-5 from the field and 2-2 from the line to score 8. Clark has missed a lot of practice, so it was good for him to get extended playing time in the blowout. We'll see how his knee holds up during the rest of Villanova's brutal November schedule.
    Grade: C+

  • Frank Tchuisi (14 min)

    Tchuisi played better tonight, converting on his two uncontested shots. His free-throw form looked awful, however, which is something to work on at practice. Tchuisi only managed to collect one rebound despite playing 14 minutes at center against an undersized Fordham team. He committed 2 fouls but did not turn the ball over.
    Grade: D

  • Jason Colenda (6 min)

    Colenda, the walk-on guard, has to deal with deafening applause every time he touches the ball, as the student section apparently wishes for him to put it up any time he is across halfcourt. I watched Colenda closely tonight during his 6 minutes while he split the point with Redding, because it is plausible that due to a combination of fouls or injury, the Wildcats at some point this season may have to rely on Colenda to bring the ball up the court. My conclusion is that Colenda can indeed dribble and make passes, but he panics way too much in the face of defensive pressure. Though Colenda may be quicker and smaller than Redding, and thus less prone to having his pocket picked, it is a stark contrast to watch Redding coolly step back from an overzealous defender, while Colenda suddenly treats the ball as a hot potato in the same situation. The good news is that it's a problem that is easy to correct if Colenda simply keeps his dribble going and takes a deep breath.
    Grade: C-

  • Russell Wooten (5 min)

    We didn't get to see much out of Wooten in his 5 minutes tonight. He did not attempt a shot, and looked very uncomfortable with the ball on the offensive side of the court. Like Colenda, he seems to have a tendency to panic with the ball when defended. Wooten runs the floor well enough and did not make too many major mistakes on defense.
    Grade: C-

  • Did not play: Dwayne Anderson (foot), Casiem Drummond (foot), Maurice Sutton (CD - RS?)

Highlights from Youtube:

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17 November 2008

Villanova faces Fordham tonight

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/17/2008 03:37:00 AM
#23 Villanova (1-0) vs. Fordham (0-1)
7:30 p.m., Monday, 17 November, at the Pavilion
TV: None. (Live video available online.)
Line: Villanova -22

Villanova welcomes the Fordham Rams to the Pavilion tonight for the Wildcats' second game of the young season after thrashing Albany on Friday

Fordham, which dropped a close game at home to Columbia last week to open its season, finished 12-17 last year. The Rams were 6-10 in the Atlantic 10, but ended the year with a not-horrible RPI of 167.

Take a look at the Villanova-Fordham previews from Greycat and the boys at IBBAW in our last post, and be sure to stop back here for the recap and player grades.

No TV for tonight, but the game is on Villanova's pay-per-view "Nova Nation All-Access," which means someone might find a free link to watch it online.

Try to predict the final score of tonight's game in our ongoing prognostication contest. Winners get their names published on this very site in high-impact bold print!

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Around the Wildcat Web

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/17/2008 03:22:00 AM

With Villanova ranked in the top 25 and this whole "blogging" thing catching on, there's a plethora of information for Villanova fans to digest these days.

Here's a quick look around the 'tubes for relevant news at the start of the week:

  • Zagsblog runs some lengthy Jay Wright quotes in a piece on Villanova's 2009-2010 recruiting class, headlined by Mouphtaou Yarou and Maalik Wayns.

  • VUhoops reports, via Zagsblog, that Villanova is now involved in the recruitment of the awesomely named Jarrid Famous, a transfer from Westchester.

  • Bleacher Report calls Villanova a potential Big East wildcard and takes a look at the Wildcats' 10 biggest games.

  • Villanova by the Numbers has its usual numbers-filled preview for the Fordham game, penned by none other than Greycat, the Nate Silver of Villanova basketball.

  • I Bleed Blue and White also runs a Fordham preview. You can tell they really mean what they say when they start writing in italics.

  • Nova News recaps the Albany game 007-style, in honor of the worst James Bond movie I have ever seen.

Got any more interesting links? Let us know in the comment section below.

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'Cats beat up on Great Danes

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/17/2008 02:57:00 AM
Albany 60
Villanova 78
(box score)

#23 Villanova: 1-0 (0-0 BE, 0-0 B5)
Albany: 0-1 (0-0 AE)

Next game: vs. Fordham, 17 Nov. at the Pavilion.

Villanova opened up its regular season with a decisive win over cannon-fodder Albany, but spent less time on cruise control than many expected.

Albany made a few runs to cut into the Wildcats' lead, but the game was never in question.

Villanova racked up 18 assists on 28 field goals, which would be lovely in conference play, but was less impressive considering the competition.

The Wildcats spread the ball around with a balanced attack, and five of the eight players in the rotation scored in double digits.

Congratulations to reader "Sean Don" for most closely predicting the game's final score.

Next up for Villanova on Monday is another early-season cupcake, Fordham. It looks like the Wildcats will not be seriously tested until a potential date at the end of the month with the Rhode Island Rams, who were a questionable "Cameron Call" away from knocking off #8 Duke on Sunday.

On to the player grades. "READ MORE" below for player performance grades and analysis.

  • Scottie Reynolds (S, 30 min)

    Reynolds is billed as one of the best scorers in the Big East, but it was his game management skills that were on display against Albany. If there is a place for Reynolds in the NBA next year or in 2010, it will be as a point guard, so it would be natural for him to develop that aspect of his game on top of his already polished knack for scoring. Reynolds shot 4-11 from the field and 2-6 from behind the arc to finish with 13, but it was his ridiculous 6 assists to 1 turnover that should really catch your eye. Reynolds also added 2 steals. With Malcolm Grant lost to transfer and Corey Fisher picking up slack for injured Wildcats, Reynolds will be asked to play the point a great deal this season.
    Grade: B+

  • Corey Fisher (S, 30 min)

    With Dwayne Anderson out indefinitely and Malcolm Grant in Miami, the sophomore Fisher will see a major increase in minutes from last year. Supremely talented, Fisher still needs to get his game under control and become more consistent. He played well against Albany, but it was not the dominating performance one would expect from such a talent against players who are less athletically gifted. Then again, a dominating performance was not required. Fisher is at his best running the fast break, and to a slightly lesser extent, putting the ball on the floor. If he can find some consistency with his three-point shot, the Wildcats' ceiling should go way up. Against the Great Danes, Fisher shot 3-4 from the two but 0-2 from the three. He was a perfect 4-4 from the line, and finished with 10 points. He looked good distributing the ball, and passed for 5 assists. His 3 turnovers were a bit troubling, but Fisher more than made up for it with his frisky defense and team-high 4 steals. Fisher's future is bright, especially if he starts stroking it from downtown.
    Grade: B

  • Dante Cunningham (S, 30 min)

    Cunningham, now a senior, is going to be asked to shoulder most of the load in the post for the Wildcats. He looks up to the task. Cunningham shot his usually efficient 6-9 from the field for 13 points, but was a bad 1-3 from the foul line. He led the Wildcats in rebounds with 6.
    Grade: B

  • Antonio Pena (S, 28 min)

    Pena might be Villanova's most crucial wildcard, as his presence in the post alongside Dante Cunningham is basically all the Wildcats have outside of the oft-injured Drummond and the clumsy Frank Tchuisi. Luckily, it looks like Pena has developed into the major talent he was predicted to be. Pena's game is physical and explosive, but he can also handle the ball and make crisp, timely passes. Villanova's rotation this year is basically two big men (Cunningham and Drummond), 2 guards (Reynolds and Fisher), and five (!) swingmen (Pena, Stokes, Redding, Clark, and Anderson), whose natural positions are at the wing. Pena is too talented to split too much time with that latter group, so he will probably be asked to play on the blocks more this season. Granted, the competition in the paint this game wasn't threatening, but it nonetheless looks like Pena is on track to be a weapon in the post on both ends of the floor. Against Albany, Pena shot 5-7 from the field and a disappointing 2-4 from the line to finish with 12 points. He picked up 5 rebounds, and added 2 assists, 2 turnovers, and a block.
    Grade: B+

  • Corey Stokes (S, 26 min)

    It looks like Stokes picked up where he left off last season, with a hot hand. Stokes shot 4-6 from the field and hit 3 three-pointerson 4 attempts, finishing with 13 points. He looked a bit more comfortable on the perimeter and perhaps a tad quicker, but his ballhandling still needs work. Look for Stokes to develop into a deadly scoring threat in Big East play.
    Grade: B

  • Reggie Redding (26 min)

    Redding is often called Villanova's most basketball-intelligent player, and for good reason. He doesn't seem to make a plot of mistakes in his role as a bigger guard, which is good news for Villanova with two swingmen on the injury list. Redding shot 3-4 from inside the arc, but is still looking for his three-point stroke after shooting 1-3 from there. He was perfect from the foul line, grabbed 4 rebounds, passed for 2 assists, and committed 1 turnover.
    Grade: B-

  • Casiem Drummond (17 min)

    Drummond was solid on offense and on the glass in his 17 minutes, but his defensive performance is of great concern. Drummond committed 4 fouls, averaging to a foul every 4 minutes, against an Albany team with little in the way of post threats. With Villanova's reduced depth, especially early in the season, the Wildcats cannot afford for Drummond to get in foul trouble regularly. Drummond shot 1-1 and 2-2 from the line for 4 points while grabbing 5 rebounds
    Grade: C+

  • Frank Tchuisi (11 min)

    It looks like Tchuisi's main value this year will be as a warm body in the paint and as a safe player to commit some fouls. Tchuisi is now a senior with three full years in the Villanova system, but his offensive skills are basically zero. He shot 1-4 from the field -- including a missed dunk and a missed layup -- and 0-1 from the foul line to finish with 2 points in 11 minutes. If Tchuisi is missing easy baskets against Albany, who had no one on the court taller than Tchuisi, how is he going to perform against Big East teams? It looks like he never will. Tchuisi added 3 rebounds, 2 fouls, and 2 turnovers in his brief run.
    Grade: D-

  • Incomplete grades: Russell Wooten (1 min), Jason Colenda (1 min)

  • Did not play: Dwayne Anderson (foot), Shane Clark (knee), Maurice Sutton (CD - RS?)

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14 November 2008

Watch Villanova-Albany online for free

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/14/2008 08:23:00 PM
Thanks to reader Sean Don for this tip. You can watch (video!) of the Villanova-Albany game right now live at http://www.channelsurfing.net/watch-villanova.html.

It works on PCs, Intel Macs, and PPC Macs, which is more than I can say for Villanova's All-Access, which only works on the first two of those platforms.


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Anderson out with stress fracture

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/14/2008 08:03:00 PM
Swingman Dwayne Anderson, Villanova's most improved player last year and a projected starter, has been sidelined with a stress fracture in his left foot, according to a story by ESPN.

Villanova coach Jay Wright said "Dwayne is one of our significant leaders and this is a great loss for our team," according to the ESPN article.

Anderson is said to be out indefinitely.

Shane Clark, another Villanova forward, is also out for 3 to 6 weeks after undergoing knee surgery.

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'Nova opens regular season tonight vs. Albany

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/14/2008 03:17:00 PM

Villanova will open a season of high expectations tonight with a home date against Albany. Tip time is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. at the Pavilion, an hour later than most Pavilion starts.

Albany finished 15-15 last year, 10-6 in the America East with a first round conference tournament loss. The Great Danes ended last season with an RPI rank of 206.

Villanova is such a strong favorite that a line for the game is not available at any of the largest sportsbooks. Expect a Villanova win by at least 20.

Villanova.com has the official game notes (PDF). Villanova is 80-8 in season openers, and is looking for its 200th win at the Pavilion tonight.

Greycat has an in-depth preview over at Villanova by the Numbers.

Radio coverage of the game is available on ESPN's 950 AM Philadelphia.

The game will not be televised, but Internet video and audio will be available to paying subscribers of "Nova-Nation All-Access," Villanova's usually inadequate broadband game tracking service.

According to a press release today, the free-version of Villanova's gametracker will be changed so that the play's result will not be written out until after the "animation" has finished, which is supposed to provide "a sense of anticipation," but will almost certainly be annoying for people trying to follow the game.

[UPDATE 2] Watch the game for free at http://www.channelsurfing.net/watch-villanova.html.

[Update] For those of you who don't want to deal with the foolishness of "all-access," which requires the awful Microsoft Silverlight plug-in, follow the game along at Yahoo's box score, which features full (text) play-by-play.

Predict the game's final score and let us know what you think of the new gametracker in the comment thread below.

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07 November 2008

Shane Clark out 3-6 weeks

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/07/2008 03:25:00 PM
According to a press release from Villanova, senior forward Shane Clark is out for 3-6 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery yesterday.

Clark underwent the procedure Thursday at Bryn Mawr Hospital to remove loose particles from his right knee.

"Shane has been bothered slightly by pain in his knee," said Jay Wright in the statement. "It has not prevented him from practicing. He feels it is best at this time to have a minor procedure to ensure that this problem doesn't persist during the season. He will be back quickly."

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'Nova easily handles Northwood

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/07/2008 03:15:00 PM
Just a short recap of the box score today, because I was not able to attend this game.

Villanova blew out Rollie Massimino and his Div. 2 Northwood Seagulls 75-37 yesterday at the Wachovia Spectrum. The Wildcats started off the game slowly against their less talented opponents, allowing the game to be tied as late as 10 minutes into the first half. Villanova had scored just 26 points and led by a mere five going into the half.

The 'Cats exploded in the second period, though, scoring 49 second-half points, outscoring the Gulls by 33.

Dante Cunningham led all scorers with 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting. Scottie Reynolds added 14 and 6 assists. Dwayne Anderson, Corey Stokes, Antonio Pena, Cunningham, and Reynolds were the starting five.

Villanova.com runs an official recap of the game.

The Wildcats open their regular season one week from today against Albany at the Pavilion.

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06 November 2008

'Nova opens season with Northwood exhibition

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
11/06/2008 01:32:00 AM

Villanova basketball is back this year as the Wildcats are set to open their season with an exhibition game tonight against Rollie Massimino's Northwood University team.

Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Wachovia Spectrum in South Philadelphia, directly adjacent to the Wachovia Center.

Villanova has scheduled two games at the Wachovia Spectrum and three games at the Wachovia Center this season -- as opposed to all five at the Center -- because the Center is an NCAA site this year. A program must play under an allowable limit of games at a tournament site during the regular season to be eligible to be sent there for the NCAA tournament.

Northwood University is a private college with campuses in Michigan, Texas, and West Palm Beach, Florida. The Florida campus Seahwawks are coached by Massimino, who led Villanova to its 1985 national title.

Northwood's Seahawks are ranked near the top of the NAIA's Sun Conference this season. Villanova last faced Northwood on Nov. 11, 2006, visiting the Florida campus and emerging with a 96-60 exhibition victory. Northwood's game against Villanova two years ago was also the school's first-ever men's basketball contest.

Though Northwood has come a long way since then, sitting atop its conference in preseason polling, the Wildcats should have no trouble rolling over the Seahawks. Expect a lot of minutes for Villanova's deep bench in this one.

Tickets for the game are not sold out and are available on the Web and at the door. The game will not be televised, but will be available on Villanova.com's game-tracker.

You may predict the game's final score in the comment thread below.

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