Villanova 2010 NCAA Tournament Preview
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Villanova Wildcats - Big East Conference (24-7, 13-5)
Seed: #2 - South Region
Big Wins: 12/6 vs Maryland (95-86), 1/17 Georgetown (82-77), 2/8 at West Virginia (82-75)
Bad Losses: 2/15 Connecticut (75-84), 2/21 at Pittsburgh (65-70), 3/11 vs Marquette (76-80)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2009, Final Four loss to North Carolina
Coach: Jay Wright (11-7 in 7 NCAA appearances)
Probable Villanova Starters:
Corey Fisher, Junior, Guard, 13.7 ppg, 4.0 apg
Scottie Reynolds, Senior, Guard, 18.5 ppg, 3.3 apg, 1.5 spg
Corey Stokes, Junior, Guard, 9.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Reggie Redding, Senior, Guard, 7.4 ppg, 2.6 apg, 4.7 rpg
Antonio Pena, Junior, Forward, 10.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg
Key Villanova Roleplayers:
Dominic Cheek, Freshman, Guard, 5.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Taylor King, Sophomore, Forward, 7.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg
Maurice Sutton, Freshman, Center, 1.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Maalik Wayns, Freshman, Guard, 6.8 ppg, 1.2 apg
Mouphtaou Yarou, Freshman, Center, 3.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Why The Wildcats Can Surprise:
It is hard to find any team in the nation that has as much talent on the perimeter as Villanova. And, of course, it all starts with Scottie Reynolds. The 6-2 senior has always been a superb scorer, but this year he has been much more consistent. He is taking smarter shots both inside and outside the arc and that is why he is one of the best players in the Big East.
But there are a lot of other guards on this team too. Corey Fisher has turned into a solid floor leader who does a great job of attacking the basket and finishing or finding his teammates. Corey Stokes is knocking down the long ball much more efficiently this year and also gives the team some help on the glass. However, in this four guard lineup it is Reggie Redding who plays the four spot and is asked not only to score and grab a bunch of rebounds, but he must also often defend much bigger opposing power forwards. And that is just the starting four. Add Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek to the mix and Coach Jay Wright has a ton of options.
Why The Wildcats Can Disappoint:
Running a four guard offense usually hurts a team in the rebounding department, but that is not the case with the Wildcats. Antonio Pena has done a great job as the lone forward, averaging 10.9 points and 7.4 rebounds. With a little help from the rest of the team, Nova is actually one of the best rebounding teams in the nation. The problem lies in experienced depth in the post. Mouphtaou Yarou and Maurice Sutton are 6-10 and 6-11, respectively, but both are inconsistent freshmen. Coach Wright has given them opportunities to start, but neither is much of a scoring threat. But more importantly they need to be strong enough to play decent defense when Pena needs a break or the team needs another big body on the floor. Heading into the NCAA Tournament Yarou seems to be the answer, while Sutton’s minutes have diminished considerably.
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Who To Watch for Villanova:
The x-factor in the frontcourt is Duke transfer Taylor King. The 6-6 sophomore can give Villanova a more traditional look as long as Pena or one of the freshmen are in the game. Yet, King is not that much different from the guards when it comes to scoring. He can knock down the long ball with consistency or score with his back to the basket. However, what makes King such a dangerous player off the bench is his ability to hit the glass. He is second on the team with 5.6 rebounds per contest and his addition has made this team exceptional on the glass instead of a team that simply runs four guards around the floor without any chance of outrebounding the opposition.
Villanova By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 82.8 (3rd in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.6 (273, 14)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.3 (48, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.5 (55, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.7 (50, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.2 (52, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.1 (12, 1)
Rebound Margin: 5.2 (29, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.9 (108, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.8 (178, 12)
Joel’s Bracket Says: Finals loss to Kansas