Villanova Wildcats - 2016 National Champions

CoRP

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Losing Arch and Chef will hurt but returning everyone else means this team should remain a force. Hart and Brunson (probably one of the top-5 PGs returning) will run the show with some combination of Booth, and red-shirt (injury) Donte DiVincenzo backing them up. Jenkins, Bridges and Reynolds will all get their minutes with Reynolds stepping in for Chef. 5-star recruit Omari Spellman looks like he has the tools to replace Chef and be a force on the block with the added ability to shoot the three that Chef didn't have. He looks able to compete with Reynolds for minutes. If everyone can stay healthy, this team is built to make another deep run in the tournament.

edit: I forgot Eric Paschall. A-10 rookie of the year in 2014-2015 was a red shirt last year as well. Holy shit this team is good.

edit 2: yeah I was typing that at the same time you were.
 
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MillarTime

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Don't forget about Eric Paschall who transferred from Fordham after winning the A10 freshman of the year in 2014. Paschal has apparently used his red shirt year to get into unbelievable shape (scouts are saying he has the look of an NBA wing) and reportedly beasted on both the offensive and defensive ends during practice last year.
 

CoRP

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Yeah, Paschall is legit. I don't know how his efficiency has been in practice...but I know that was a knock on him at Fordham. But I imagine that he's no small reason that this team was so good last year. Having to face him in practice couldn't have been easy for Hart and Jenkins.

 
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CoRP

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Which is why I am so bummed about Spellman. That said, they handled Tacko Fall pretty well.
 

bandito0

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Which is why I am so bummed about Spellman. That said, they handled Tacko Fall pretty well.
Not only that, but they were only out-rebounded by 3 against Purdue. Purdue was trotting out 7'2" Issac Haas and 6'10" Caleb Swanigan in that game. In my mind, Purdue has one of the best front courts in college basketball and Nova held their own on the glass because all 5 guys crash the boards. It was beautiful to watch.

Their guards also attacked the bigs early and got Swanigan/Haas on the bench throughout the game due to foul trouble. While the lack of size is a legitimate concern, their drive and attack offensive mentality combined with how hard they play will be enough to overcome the size disadvantage most nights.
 
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CoRP

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It was bound to happen sooner or later. Lack of depth is hurting the Cats as evidenced by last night's game. Donte DiVincenzo was completely outplayed all game trying to back up Jalen Brunson.

Phil Booth is sorely missed in that role and it sounds like he may end up having to redshirt this year due to his knee not responding well after surgery in the off season.
 

MillarTime

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Phil Booth is sorely missed in that role and it sounds like he may end up having to redshirt this year due to his knee not responding well after surgery in the off season.
Hadn't heard this - total bummer.

As for the loss, they didn't play well and as you mention DD is a sieve on the defensive end. That said, no shame in losing at Butler (who had 4 top-25 wins already). Mentally, I expected them to split at Butler/at Creighton.
 

CoRP

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I thought same re: splitting those two (it's like the ManilaMetric(tm) of College Basketball). Was happy to have Creighton in my pocket going into last night. Marquette and Xavier at home coming up. Big East is deep.
 
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MillarTime

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Another BE regular season title. Ho-hum.

They're not nearly as good as last year and they have an extremely thin rotation but they have enough to make a nice run. The ascension of Brunson into a star has been huge but they really need Divincenzo and Paschal keep up they're recent strong play.
 

CoRP

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Not nearly as good? They may well be better than last year's team. Brunson is definitely a better player than Arcidiacano (even comparing Sophomore to Senior). Chef was solid in the paint but it's hard to say he's that much better than Reynolds. Sure they miss Booth but the emergence of Donte, Paschall and an improved Bridges make up for his loss.
 

MillarTime

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They're not as good. Jenkins has regressed and Reynolds isn't nearly as good as Ochefu (provides ZERO offense). Agree on Brunson, the gap between him and Arch is not a big one. Donte is probably the most critical player to them make a run.

Ugly first half tonight, but woke in the 2nd. Another shitty game for Jenkins is troubling though.
 

CoRP

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Offensively they are a more efficient team than last year. Defensively, they have been steadily improving all year and recently cracked the top-10.

Optimism!

edit: that all said, I can only imagine how good this team would be with both Booth and Spellman. Scary.
 
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MillarTime

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Meh. Not so much a meltdown as a physical game that didn't go out way.
Borrowed from game thread:

After going up 7, Nova had 8 possessions. Five empty trips, two of four missed free throws, and one two point basket.

It was a meltdown. They missed Arch badly.
 

Clears Cleaver

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They lost to a pretty crappy team. That isn't even well coached. Shot horribly in the first half and got beat inside on defense late. as was said, a ton of empty trips down the stretch, NBA scouts who said Hart has a tough time creating his own shot against athletic players affirmed that view.

what happened to Jenkins? He was awful and looked slow/fat

good news is that they will be good again next year. lose hart, jenkins and reynolds. I cannot see a way Brunson goes pro, he likely wouldn't be drafted or would be a second rounder. should have spellman et all plus decent recruiting class. Maybe more athletic if can replace Jenkins and Reynolds...
 

MillarTime

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what happened to Jenkins? He was awful and looked slow/fat
He had a sneaky bad year, which was a huge development and really limited their ability to be dynamic on offense down the stretch.

Agree they should be a top 15 team again. Brunson will be back and the emergence of Divincenzo was a great surprise. Add in Bridges, Paschal, Spellman, Booth, and a good recruiting class and the program should continue to be excellent.
 

Clears Cleaver

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2010 2nd round #2 seed
2011 1st round #9 seed
2012 no tourney
2013 1st round #9 seed
2014 2nd round #2 seed
2015 2nd round #1 seed
2016 - Champions! #2 seed
2017 2nd round #1 seed

I know Wright is a great coach, but anyone can see where the outlier is. yeesh. He doesn't win last year and the hot takes crowd would be all over this.
 

MillarTime

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2010 2nd round #2 seed
2011 1st round #9 seed
2012 no tourney
2013 1st round #9 seed
2014 2nd round #2 seed
2015 2nd round #1 seed
2016 - Champions! #2 seed
2017 2nd round #1 seed

I know Wright is a great coach, but anyone can see where the outlier is. yeesh. He doesn't win last year and the hot takes crowd would be all over this.
Agree but you really didn't need to omit the first half of his career at Nova to make the point.
 

Clears Cleaver

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its certainly better, he overplayed his seed twice, in 2008 and 2009

2001-2004 no tourney
2005 sweet 16 #5 seed
2006 elite 8 #1 seed
2007 1st round #9 seed
2008 sweet 16 #12 seed
2009 Final Four #3 seed

I'm not saying he's a bad coach, I think he's great. his teams play solid D and its not like he has a ton of NBA players. and he usually great at game management. Only blemish is his tourney record, its really not great relative to his regualr season/seed

actually, his tourney record maybe is a refleciton of the lack of NBA players? Lowry and a couple others, not sure Hart or Brunson are NBA players? I don't know, just throwing shit against he wall
 

CoRP

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Hart's a first round pick but he's going to need to step up his game if he's going to have a long NBA career. Jury's out on Brunson but he has had brief flashes of brilliance in his first two seasons.

They missed their free throws. That's really all it came down to.
They shot 71% from the line. That's manageable (Wisconsin shot 44%(!) from the line).

What killed them was shooting 41% from the floor. Jenkins (2-9) and Bridges (0-4) were the culprits.
 
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tims4wins

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By my count, based on their seed each year, we would "expect" them to have won 24 games in his tenure (assumption is 1 seed makes F4; 2 seed makes E8; etc.). They have won 21. Not egregiously bad. Their runs as a 12 and 3 seed partially offset the early exits as a 2 and 1 seed. But they have been a 1 or 2 seed six times and have only made the Sweet 16 in two of those years. That is kind of ugly. Most big programs have some hiccups, it happens, but that is a high percentage.
 

MillarTime

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By my count, based on their seed each year, we would "expect" them to have won 24 games in his tenure (assumption is 1 seed makes F4; 2 seed makes E8; etc.). They have won 21. Not egregiously bad. Their runs as a 12 and 3 seed partially offset the early exits as a 2 and 1 seed. But they have been a 1 or 2 seed six times and have only made the Sweet 16 in two of those years. That is kind of ugly. Most big programs have some hiccups, it happens, but that is a high percentage.
Two things:

1. The fact that Nova is even considered a "big program" at this point is a testament to Wright. Keep in mind we are talking about private Catholic school with 10k students, no football and high academic standards. They haven't been landing very many top, top-end recruits (save the occasional Brunson) and yet they're a top 10-15 program (somewhere in the 2nd tier after Duke, Kentucky, UNC, Kansas, etc.). I can't imagine anyone getting better results than that.

2. No question that they've lost early as #1 or #2 more often than average. However, getting it done last year does take a lot of the sting out of those losses. I'd rather have their current resume than a few more Elite 8'a and no title.
 

MillarTime

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I don't disagree with anything you wrote. Was just trying to add some context and analysis.
Like the "expected wins" analysis as it provides an objective view. Agree with everything you laid out.

Another disappointing showing in the tourney, but I try to take a step back and look at the big picture. When I do, it's hard to beat Wright up too much because I'm not sure there's anyone that Nova could actually land that would be better.
 

tims4wins

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Right it is kind of like Duke when K was getting going. They lost in the Final Four in 86, 89, and 90, and I think some wondered if K would get over the hump. Obviously at that point in time Duke was thrilled to be great and going to Final Fours but it took a title to solidify things.
 

CoRP

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Drocca

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I don't understand how you can call someone the Number 1 overall seed and then make them play a historically experienced top-25 tournament team in the second round and give them the best 2 seed. The committee annoys me.
 

CoRP

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Wisconsin was probably a 5-seed in a sane world but regardless the Cats lost. And they likely would have lost to Duke too.

The East is a minefield.
 

Drocca

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Wisconsin was probably a 5-seed in a sane world but regardless the Cats lost. And they likely would have lost to Duke too.

The East is a minefield.
Agreed, I just think the number one overall seed should be rewarded.
 

johnmd20

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Agreed, I just think the number one overall seed should be rewarded.
Reminded me of Wichita a few years ago when they got stuck with Kentucky in the 2nd round. That Wichita team was legit, that matchup was ridiculous.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Hart's a first round pick but he's going to need to step up his game if he's going to have a long NBA career. Jury's out on Brunson but he has had brief flashes of brilliance in his first two seasons.


They shot 71% from the line. That's manageable (Wisconsin shot 44%(!) from the line).

What killed them was shooting 41% from the floor. Jenkins (2-9) and Bridges (0-4) were the culprits.
Yeah, I looked at the overall stats afterwards and realized it was just more a timing thing. I only caught the last ten minutes or so and just seemed like the worst possible time.
 

CoRP

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Reminded me of Wichita a few years ago when they got stuck with Kentucky in the 2nd round. That Wichita team was legit, that matchup was ridiculous.
I remember that! Mostly because I have an affinity for the Shockers. 99% of that affinity is due to the name. SHOCKERS!
 

bandito0

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Villanova people...please tell me what kind of coach we are getting at Quinnipiac with Baker Dunleavy?
Jay Wright's right hand man. Strong X and O guy. Excellent recruiter. Reports have him as beloved by Nova's players.

I think you guys got a good one. He's been given a lot of credit for being instrumental in getting Nova to where they are now.

Jay Wright (Feb 2016):

"He oversees complete day-to-day operations," Wright said. "Our whole basketball operation. Everything we're doing recruiting, with the players off the court - everything I need to know about, he's on top of it."

Wright makes it clear he can't have a yes man in the job.

"I think he learned that your responsibility is to tell what I don't want to hear, tell me when it's not going to be comfortable," Wright said. "He'll always tell me the truth, which is the most valuable thing, and usually the hardest thing for a former player to do, but that's why I respect him."
And the link to that article http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/colleges/villanova/20160208_Baker_Dunleavy__Nova_basketball_s_chief_of_staff.html

Edit: Added the last link
 

MillarTime

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Huge get on the 2018 recruiting trail, nabbing top-50 forward Cole Swider over Duke, Xavier and Syracuse. Joins fellow top-50 wing Brandon Slater in what has the makings of a monster class for Nova.
 

pdaj

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Once it was established that Swider wouldn't be a Friar, I was just hoping he'd end up in the conference. Misson accomplished. Love seeing the Big East continue to compete well with the ACC for top players. Congrats on the huge addition.
 

MillarTime

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Once it was established that Swider wouldn't be a Friar, I was just hoping he'd end up in the conference. Misson accomplished. Love seeing the Big East continue to compete well with the ACC for top players. Congrats on the huge addition.
100% agree. Same sentiment with the Friars landing AJ Reeves. Love seeing the BE continue to kick ass.