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30 March 2009

\V/ for \V/endetta?

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
3/30/2009 01:48:00 AM
Well, not really.

Although Villanova's 2009 Final Four opponent, North Carolina, represents a loaded memory to most Wildcat fans, none of the current Villanova players were around for the 2005 team's Sweet 16 loss to the eventual national champion Tarheels.

The 2005 loss is a particularly brutal memory for Villanova fans, because the game turned on a very questionable -- "phantom," even -- traveling violation on star Villanova shooting guard Allan Ray, just as he put in a basket that would have brought the 'Cats to within one point.

Instead of calling an "and-one" foul, as many fans expected, the official whistled Ray for traveling, thus ending the season of the upstart 2005 Sweet 16 Villanova team.

Then, as now, Villanova was a heavy underdog to what looked to be an unstoppable Carolina team, loaded with future professionals at nearly every position.

That didn't faze the 'Cats so much in 2005; let's hope the 2009 team can play with a similar swagger on Saturday.

The 2009 version of Villanova-North Carolina is scheduled for an 8:57 p.m. (EDT) game time on Saturday.

Video highlights of the 2005 game embedded below.

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At 2:44 AM, March 30, 2009, Anonymous Jay's Personal Chef said...

Watching that video gave me chills. Jay gets his boys ready and they always have a great attitude. I love these teams. Can't wait for Saturday.

And not to harp Pete, but Redding admitted his fault in the pass at the end of the Pitt game. I just want to make sure you know Jay did not design that play. Redding admitted panicking and not following the plan. Makes for a great ESPN instant classic though right...and only cost me 5 years off my life watching the pass fly towards me out of bounds under the basket.

At 2:48 AM, March 30, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

Still remember that game 4 years ago like it was yesterday.

On the Redding play -- Makes sense, Chef. I agree It was primarily Redding's error -- but maybe you can see my point of view that although it was pretty clearly Reggie's error at the time, it still goes partially back to the coach for not stressing that the plan should be to inbound the ball safely and hit free throws -- especially in the timeout. And if Reggie ignored it and made a mistake fine -- but even that goes back to the coach a bit, do you know what I mean?

At 6:59 AM, March 30, 2009, Anonymous IMKL said...

Still to this day cannot see the travel.

At 9:56 AM, March 30, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the outset let me say that Thursday killing Duke and Saturday beating Pitt for the Final 4 are my 2 happiest days since April 1, 1985. Congrats to Jay, the staff and players. Well done!

However, I want to correct Jay's personal chef......

I have been very defensive of every criticism here of Jay over the last 6 months.....

However, Saturday night was almost the biggest Coaching disaster of all time by Jay. What bothers me most is that for the first time in 8 years, Jay said the wrong thing. Instead of manning up, Jay let Reggie take the sword.

Lets be clear, in the huddle Jay talked about the options. One of the options was Dante "long...only if he is in the wide open." I know this because the players were talking about this option last night before and after their CBS interview at half-time of the Carolina game. Its not to the point of questioning the coach but they are talking about it. In at least one interview, Jay admitted the long pass as being one of the options (if Dante was open) but then on National TV he indicated that "Reggie is the smartest player we have...but we can give him one mistake." That is the wrong answer Jay! The right commment would be for you to take responsibility.


Again, for the first time in 8 years Jay said the wrong thing. He needs to step up.

A 38 year fan --

At 9:58 AM, March 30, 2009, Blogger Coal Region Voice said...

If you go back to the 2005 game, didn't Curtis Sumpter go down in the middle of the Florida game? So the Cat's go play UNC without Sumpter on offense and defense. Only a few days to adjust? Maybe Jay Wright's finest hour???

At 10:34 AM, March 30, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...


In your words, referencing the inbounds play, "even that goes back to the coach a bit, do you know what I mean?"

By that same token, then doesn't the winning inbounds play go back to the coach as well? Along with the OVERWHELMING SUCCESS and upward trend of this program over the last 5+ years?

EVERY SINGLE COACH AT EVERY LEVEL IN THE NATION MAKES MISTAKES. When you read the Carolina boards, their fans think Roy Williams is stubborn with his substitution patterns and calls boneheaded timeouts. And the guy just won them a national championship.

We are lucky to have Jay.

I like your blog and will continue to read it, but you must understand that you really do nitpick at Jay. It is disheartening because the "Jay is not a good coach" theme overwhelms the blog at times which makes it less readable and less credible.

At 11:19 AM, March 30, 2009, Blogger pete said...


Um, yes, by the same token, the winning play goes back to the coach as well.


Did you not read the 1800 word post praising the victory, or the line saying Wright did a good coaching job?

This is what happens when you pick and choose your arguments. You end up looking dumb.


Thank you for writing all that out. That's what I was trying to get into, but I didn't have the patience to type it all out.
Thanks for reading, but please try to read closer next time before you make a comment like that.

At 12:20 PM, March 30, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

\V/oilĂ ! In \V/iew, a humble \V/aude\V/illian \V/eteran, cast \V/icariously as both \V/ictim and \V/illain by the \V/icissitudes of Fate. This \V/isage, no mere \V/eneer of \V/anity, is a \V/estige of the \V/ox populi, now \V/acant, \V/anished. Howe\V/er, this \V/alorous \V/isitation of a by-gone \V/exation, stands \V/i\V/ified and has \V/owed to \V/anquish these \V/enal and \V/irulent \V/ermin \V/an-guarding \V/ice and \V/ouchsafing the \V/iolently \V/icious and \V/oracious \V/iolation of \V/olition. The only \V/erdict is \V/engeance; a \V/endetta, held as a \V/oti\V/e, not in \V/ain, for the \V/alue and \V/eracity of such shall one day \V/indicate the \V/igilant and the \V/irtuous. \V/erily, this \V/ichyssoise of \V/erbiage \V/eers most \V/erbose, so let me simply add that it's my \V/ery good honor to meet you and you may call me \V/.

At 12:37 PM, March 30, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

During yesterday's interview I cringed when Jay didn't step up and accept responsibility for the inbounds play. Even if it was completely Redding's fault (and it mostly was, though you can argue that the option to throw the ball the length of the court shouldn't have even been on the table) it seemed petty and unprofessional to throw him under the bus. How do you think Jay would have spun it if that play cost them the game? I think the usually media saavy Wright would take the blame himself.

At 1:46 PM, March 30, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 5:46 PM, March 30, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from the great Dick Jerardi in the Daily News today....

"...the lead official in the 'Nova-Pitt game was Tom O'Neill, the same man who made the infamous travel call on Allan Ray at the end of the Wildcats' loss to UNC in the 2005 Sweet 16 . . ."

Think Mr. O'Neill held his whistle a little both ways on Saturday night?

At 8:51 PM, March 30, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a junior in '05 who made the trip up to Syracuse for the Sweet 16 that year, I was lucky enough to be sitting a mere 10 rows back from the basket. One of the most thrilling games I've been to in my 7 years of Nova fanhood, which only could have been made better by an "and-one" and not a traveling call.

Its clear from the replay that the drive to the basket itself was not a travel. The only logical explanation I've heard since was that the travel was called on Ray's first spin move after getting the inbounds pass. If you look, he MAY have shuffled his feet, and the whistle was just late. I don't know though. Tough to make that call there if there was even one to make.

On a side note, I'm now in my last year of law school up at Syracuse and I've been lucky to be at a few games at the Dome since then where the Cats have taken it to the Orange. Needless to say, its pretty tough being a Nova fan up here in Central New York, and I've caught a bunch of flak for it the last three years. A redeeming quality though: I walked into a local campus bar after beating Duke on Thursday wearing my Reynolds jersey, and was greeted with applause and high fives by SYRACUSE FANS. Never underestimate how much people hate Duke. I also got a similar greeting after beating Pitt on Saturday.

'Cuse fans buying a Nova fan shots for beating those two teams: priceless. Big East love.

At 11:37 PM, March 30, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We would have won that game if Lappas was the coach

At 10:10 AM, March 31, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

by 20 points, at least.

At 7:21 PM, March 31, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You lappas fans are so modest...we would have had a shutout if Lappas was coaching.

At 8:57 PM, March 31, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary Parrish is an ACC Douche. Listen to his 'preview' and try to find one original or insightful point:


At 10:19 PM, March 31, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is 32 on the Pitt/VU post, .. again. I posted this in an separate topic on the Pitt/VU game.

Pete did not respond. Maybe Pete did not get a chance to respond because that topic was dated and he has not read it. So to give Pete a chance to
comment I am excerpting it here.

Today, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, there were two separate articles on the positive atmosphere Jay has created at VU, in contradistinction, solely based on the chronology of it all, to Lappas as his predecessor, from what existed before Jay arrived

Jay was able to mend fences with the Philadelphia High School and Big Five basketball communities and as featured in a separate article do similarly with the former players at VU including the '71 team

Funny, how it was that the VU coach of Pete's dreams, Steve Lappas, was notidentified as this coach who was about making such goodwill.

Now, as Pete, says about Jay I am sure Pete is a good person who loves his family, his pets, his country and his alma mater but, still, really, are there any objective measures that would support the conclusion that he knows anything about basketball, absent the positive endorsement from his grade school coach that he can X and O with the best, the best being any Big East coach but Jay Wright ?

At 10:50 PM, March 31, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...


As much as I hate to offer even a qualified defense of Pete, he has, more than once, credited Wright with being a good face to the program, which I think covers a lot of what you are talking about.

Now, how he squares that with his indefensible claim that Lappas is a better coach than Wright I have no clue. My guess, honestly, is that he was ignorant as to just how bad Lappas was; that combined with his extreme anti-Wright bias led to his ill considered Lappa preference. Probably even he now realizes what a stupid comment he made, but one of Pete's defining characteristics is an inability to ever admit error of any kind.

At 12:49 AM, April 01, 2009, Blogger pete said...

You people are so funny. Do you not understand that this whole Lappas thing stemmed from a JOKE made by Pat Forde? Do you not understand what a joke is?

I responded to Forde's joke with my own, self-deprecating joke about how I am perceived to have an anti-Wright bias.

At 9:59 AM, April 01, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what Pete? While I don't believe for a minute that you meant the Lappas comment as a joke at the time (especially given your responses in comments to the post), I'll take that as an admission that you were wrong, and (try) to resist ribbing you about that particular stupid comment anymore.

At 2:38 PM, April 01, 2009, Anonymous I LOVE PETE said...

OK Pete, to clear up the joke, can you give us a serious, once-and-for-all answer to the following question:

Was Steve Lappas a better coach than Jay Wright?

(serious answer, no April Fool's joke...)

At 6:32 PM, April 01, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

21 and 22,

How can you say I am WRONG?

Yes, I think Lappas was a better coach than Wright. BUT, I never said I wanted Wright replaced by him. There is a difference.

Second, you can't say I was "wrong" or made an "error." There is no objective way to compare coaches. You can disagree with me, but you can't say I am incorrect on a matter of opinion.

All of the comments, however, that misquote me as saying I'd prefer Lappas over Jay are wrong. I never said that.

So let's clear it up right now.

1. I think Lappas is a better coach than Wright.
2. I don't want Lappas to replace Wright.
3. I didn't say I'd prefer Lappas to coach instead of Wright.

Do you see the subtleties in these three statements? It's possible for me to think that Lappas is a better coach and still realize that Wright at Villanova is a much better situation for the team.

Got it?

At 6:33 PM, April 01, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

For example, I could also say that I think John Wooden is a better coach than Wright, but I still would want Wright coaching the team instead of being replaced with Wooden.

At 7:22 PM, April 01, 2009, Anonymous I LOVE PETE said...

Fair enough Pete. Why, exactly, do you think Lappas is a better coach than Wright? It's not out of line to ask you to back up your opinion with reasons.

We know your opinions of Wright so you don't need to rehash them. But please explain what was so great about Lappas, because you are in an even smaller minority with that opinion than with your opinion on Wright.

At 7:23 PM, April 01, 2009, Anonymous I LOVE PETE said...

Also, you said a few weeks ago that you would replace Jay Wright with Buzz Williams right now. Do you still hold that opinion?

At 10:05 AM, April 02, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete, Pete, Pete, you had a chance to get out from under the stupid Lappas comparision, yet you dig yourself a deeper hole. Really, pretending that it was a joke was a master stroke, and you should have stuck with it. Interesting that you haven't even tried to justify your comment.

Yes, we understand why you might prefer Wright even though you think Lappas is a better coach - you have never spelled it out, but my guess is it's because Wright is a "better face of the program," perhaps also recruiting if you are treating that as seperate and apart from "coaching."

But even so, I'd be real curious to see a justification for your opinion. Upon what metric is Lappas a better coach than Wright? I can't think of even one area where Lappas was better (and I can think of several areas where Wright has a HUGE advantage). Even in the areas where you are most critical of Wright, Lappas (deservedly) had an even worse reputation.

And we've talked about NCAA tourney performances, where Lappas, despite higher seeds and (I would argue) more talented NCAA teams overall, had a dramtically worse tournement performance. How did that happen if Lappas was a better coach? Luck? Please. The players? Apart from the fact that players change but (in both cases) tournement performance was fairly consistent (good in Wright's case, bad in Lappas'), don't you think that player performance in the College game reflects pretty strongly on coaching performance?

At 10:10 AM, April 02, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also Pete, you seem to have a misapprehension about whether "opinions" can be "wrong." It simply isn't the case that an opinion on a point that has a subjective component can't be "wrong." I mean, I'm sure that a few people still hold the opinion that Stalin was a good and just man, but I feel pretty confident saying that people who hold that view are "wrong." You seem to have this wierd idea that all opinions that have a subjective component are equally valid. That simply isn't the case.


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