Saturday, March 29, 2008

Kansas ends Nova's season

Final Score: #1 Kansas 72, #12 Villanova 57

Player of the Game: Russell Robinson 15 pts, 5 ast

Recap: Running Diary of the Game

- Seth Davis’ keys for the game: Nova’s inside guys, Casiem Drummond and Shane Clark, need to play well. It looks like Seth has been following this team…

- Stokes, Reynolds, Anderson, Pena, and Cunningham are the starters for Villanova.

- Nova wins the tip, but Scottie airballs his first 3... not a good sign.

- Dante scores the first points of game, Villanova is up 2-0. (Which was their only lead of the game)

- Nova gives up a 3, then Darnell Jackson gets an alley-oop slam. (Alley-oop count: 1)

- Stokes turns it over on inbound play, leading to an alley-oop pass from Robinson off the backboard and to Rush for the dunk (Alley-oop count: 2)

- Gus Johnson on Kansas: “They look like a pro team”. They have 4 or 5 guys that can play at the next level. Kansas has guys coming off the bench that could be the best player on most teams in the country.

- Too many turnovers early for Nova. Kansas is deflecting passes and forcing steals with their aggressive defense.

- Kaun with the alley-oop (Alley-oop count: 3)

- Nova is down 14 early to a very good team, it’s going to be difficult to come back this time.

- Kansas is sharing the ball beautifully. (11 assists in 1st half, 16 for game)

- Alley-oop off inbounds pass to Arthur (Alley-oop count: 4)

- Fisher is in, and Scottie makes back-to-back threes. Fish is taking away some of the ball-handling pressure from Scottie.

- Nova is leading in offensive rebounds (9-0). Shane Clark makes a put-back.

- Fisher forces up a wild double-clutch shot in the lane and misses.

- Kansas is playing pesky defense. They are all over Villanova’s players, not giving them any space.

- Nova can’t make any threes... and Kansas can't miss.

- Dwayne Anderson is not looking so good offensively… what happened to his 3-point shot? (He finished 0-3 from three)

- Redding and Cunningham miss their free throws.

- Dante is called for traveling. He is forcing too much down low. He needs to play within himself.

- The score is 41-22 at the half. Villanova has Kansas right where they want them. LSU, DePaul, Clemson... Nova is a comeback team.

- The Kansas seniors must remember that 2005 game in Philly… they’re looking for revenge.

- Robinson has 13 points and Rush has 11 at halftime, while Fisher and Stokes combine for zero points in the 1st half.

- Scottie only has 6 points in first half – 2-9 from the field, 2-3 from three. Kansas defenders are all over Reynolds, making it very difficult for him to get a shot off.

- At least Villanova didn’t look as bad as Michigan State in the first half. Memphis is up 50-20. No offense to Kyle Lowry, but I think the NCAA Memphis could compete with the NBA Memphis.

- Halftime report: the CBS guys are already looking ahead to the Kansas/Davidson match-up... come on Gumble, at least wait until the game is over.

- Len Elmore warns, “Don’t count out Villanova.” He mentions 21 point comeback at LSU?

- Stokes finally scores at 18 minute mark in second half.

- Dante has some designs shaved into his hair Anthony Mason style... I've never seen him with that before.

- Arthur gets another alley-oop, with some help from Dante on the finish. (Alley-oop count: 5)

- Scottie scores his first 2-pointer of the game on a driving lay-up with 15 minutes left.

- Arthur with a monster dunk off a spin move.

- ANOTHER alley-oop to Kaun. Villanova has no answer for their big men. This is reminiscent of the Horford/Noah dunkfest in 2006. (Alley-oop count: 6)

- Collins makes a toilet bowl shot that touches every part of the rim… everything is falling for the Jayhawks tonight.

- Fisher makes his first field goal on a double clutcher with 11 minutes to go.

- Shane gets blocked, gets his own rebound, lays it in, then down the floor he draws a charge. He is playing pretty good tonight.

- Bill Self takes a seat on his stool with a comfortable lead.

- Stokes misses a three.

- You can see Malcolm Grant leaning onto floor from the bench… he’s itching to get into the game.

- Almost another alley-oop for Kaun, but he is fouled.

- Pena goes down hard after jumping on Kaun’s back for the foul, but he gets up quick and seems okay.

- Russell Robinson and Kansas are all over Scottie… he is really struggling.

- Nova is down by 21 with 5 minutes left… I think it’s time for Jay Wright to unleash his secret weapon from the bench: Malcolm Grant. The only way Nova can win at this point is for Grant to come in with his comeback magic and start bombing threes.

- The energetic Gus Johnson has had to sit through two blow-outs tonight. I’m sure he’s used to it though, from covering so many Knicks games this season.

- Scottie gets in double figure scoring with 2:30 left. (He finished with 11 points)

- Dante Cunningham is named the player of game with 8 points and 7 rebounds… You know your team lost when 8 and 7 earns you player of game. (Although he did finish with 10 points).

- Fisher turns it over then fouls Kansas with 28 seconds left, down by 16… not even Malcolm Grant could pull off this comeback.

- Colenda and Tchuisi enter the game, but NO Grant? I don’t get it... poor kid.

- Now Stokes makes a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left.

- And that’s it. Final Score is 72-57.

Some more thoughts:

- Villanova shot the ball poorly from 3-point range (3-17). That’s simply not going to get it done for a team with no inside game.

- Scottie Reynolds had the same number of turnovers as field goals, four, and he had zero assists.

- Player of the Game award goes to Russell Robinson, not only for his 15 points and 5 assists, but for his tenacious defense, denying Scottie Reynolds all night.

- Redding played too many minutes (18). Some of that time should have been given to Fisher (19 min) or Pena (only 12 min).

- Louisville is the last Big East team remaining in the tournament. That should be a great game vs. North Carolina.

- Villanova can’t hang their heads too much after this loss. They are a very young team, and exceeded everyone’s expectations by making the Sweet 16. Kansas is super-good, and Nova may continue a recent trend by losing to the eventual national champion this year (UNC in 2005, Florida in 2006). They will likely return the entire team next season, and have scholarships to add two more players as well. Based on the way they persevered and finished the season strong, the future looks bright for this group of Wildcats.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kansas had its third straight cakewalk of the tournament, surging ahead of 12th-seeded Villanova early and never looking back in a 72-57 victory at Ford Field in Detroit. The Jayhawks were led by Brandon Rush with 16 points, and Russell Robinson, who had 15 and played excellent defense on Villanova's Scottie Reynolds, holding him to 11.

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