Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nova takes care of Rhode Island, wins Philly Classic

Final Score: #22 Villanova 78, Rhode Island 65

Player of the Game: Dante Cunningham: 19 pts, 12 reb, 3 blk

: I was a little worried about how Villanova would respond to their first quality opponent of the season, but they were up to the challenge. Nova handled Rhode Island with ease. It wasn't a blowout, but Nova was in control for most of the game.

Both Dante Cunningham and Reggie Redding had to change jerseys after getting blood stains. Dante wore #44 and Reggie wore #31. Redding looked like a warrior out there, wearing a bandage over his forehead. The jersey change didn't bother either player. Both had double-doubles, which is consistent for Cunningham (19-12), but a bit of a surprise coming from Redding (11-12). Reggie was especially effective on the offensive boards where he grabbed 7 0f his 12 rebounds. Redding has done an excellent job filling the void of Dwayne Anderson so far this season.

Fisher Price
Corey Fisher was outstanding in the first half, where he scored all of his 14 points. He was toying with defenders on his drives to the basket, finishing and1's.

Sharp Shooters
Rhode Island's Jimmy Barron put on a show in the first half, scoring 16 points off of some deep jumpshots. Nova did a great job shutting him down in the second half, holding him to only 7 points. Corey Stokes, Nova's sharp shooter, was a little gun shy tonight. He had 3 points on 1-5 shooting and only attempted 2 threes, missing both. After missing a couple of shots tonight, he may have been hesitant to shoot after his poor performance last game.

Stokes' off-night didn't matter because of Nova's balance. They had five players in double figures for the third time this season. Dante had 19, Fisher had 14, Scottie had 13, Redding had 11, and Pena had 10. Shane Clark also chipped in 8 points off the bench. The balanced scoring has been a constant theme this season, and I'm loving it.

Wildcats Slay Tigers, Prepare for Rams

Final Score: #22 Villanova 64, Towson 47

Player of the Game: Scottie Reynolds: 14 pts, 6 reb, 6 ast

Recap: Villanova beat Towson, advancing in the Philly Hoop Group Classic to play Rhode Island Saturday night. It was a tale of two halves. The first half was ugly. Nova struggled beating Towson's press and scoring against their zone. The second half was all Nova, however. The Wildcats locked down on defense and scored more efficiently on offense. Nova led by only 5 at the half after a buzzer-beating three by Corey Fisher, but they pulled away early in the second half to beat Towson by 17.

Scottie "Scoot" Reynolds looked to be back in form. He had a great all-around game with 14 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, a steal, and a block.

Corey Stokes came back to earth shooting-wise after his ridiculous start to the season (.59 3PT% through first 4 games). He was 3-12 from the field and 2-10 from 3-point range. Even the best of shooters have off nights. Look for him to bounce back versus Rhode Island.

The big guys down low both played great. Dante and Pena had 12 points and 7 rebounds each. They both ran the floor well to finish in transition. Dante had a monster block on Junior Hairston as he went up for a dunk. Most importantly they played good defense while staying out of foul trouble.

Corey Fisher was the fourth Wildcat in double figures with 11 points. Villanova only got 7 bench points, with Reggie Redding having more turnovers (5) than points (2). Shane "Shizzy" Clark added a deuce and Frank Tchuisi had 3 points and 5 boards. Casiem Drummond was apparently available but did not play.

"We're Off on the Road to Rhode Island"
Nova now advances to play Rhode Island in the championship game of the Philly Classic. They will be Nova's first real test of the season. Rhode Island nearly upset #5 Duke at Duke, and although the Blue Devils are probably overrated at #5 in the nation, it was still an impressive performance by the Rams. This could be a dangerous game for the Wildcats because the schedule has been so easy thus far and they might be caught off guard. With that said, Villanova is a better team and should win, especially since they are playing close to home.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Towson Tigers

Tonight Villanova will take on the Towson Tigers at the Palestra in Philadelphia as a part of the Philly Hoop Group Classic. This is their first game of bracket play, meaning that if they win, Nova will play the winner of Penn St./Rhode Island tomorrow.

I'll be honest, I don't know anything about Towson's team or the university in general. Head over to Villanova by the Numbers for an in-depth preview. However, through my extensive online research I discovered that Towson's dance team has won nine consecutive national championships. So they got that going for them, which is nice.
Basically this should be another easy win for Villanova. The game is scheduled for 8:30 pm, but may start a little late because of the earlier games in the Palestra. There is no television coverage, but Nova Nation All-Access will have the radio broadcast.

Preview links: VBTN, IBBW, VUhoops, Let's Go Nova, ESPN, Villanova, Towson

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nova Owns Monmouth

Final Score: #22 Villanova 71, Monmouth 48

Player of the Game: Corey Stokes: 18 pts, 7 reb, 3 ast

Recap: This one was over before it started. Villanova completely dominated the first half, jumping out to a 32 point lead (45-13). Monmouth actually won the second half by 9 points, but that was a result of Jay Wright showing class by stopping the pressing and sitting Reynolds and Cunningham for most of the second half.

I'm Stoked
Every time Corey Stokes shoots a three, the entire building expects it to go in. That's because it usually does. Allan Ray was the same way, but the scary thing is that Stokes is an even better shooter. Corey was red-hot early, but cooled off later in the game. He hit five longballs tonight to finish with 18 points.

Livin' at the Line
All great players get the free throw line consistently, and that's exactly what Scottie Reynolds has been doing. Scottie's shot wasn't falling, but he was 7-8 from the line to finish with 9 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. He has made an impressive 23 of 25 free throws through four games this season.

Five on One
Dante Cunningham might as well have been playing by himself because no one on Monmouth could stop him. He had 19 and 7, including 6 offensive boards. He scored inside and also hit a few mid-range jumpers.

Mr. Perfect
Shane Clark was perfect from the field (4-4 Fg, 2-2 3pt) to score 10 points. This is his first game of the season in double figure scoring.

Bringing the Pena
Antonio Pena fouled out for the second straight game, once again versus an undersized, less talented team. It was a non-factor in tonight's game, but his foul trouble could come back to haunt Nova later in the season.

You Lack Discipline
Casiem Drummond was suspended for the game because of a minor disciplinary issue, but he will be at practice on Wednesday. It shouldn't be anything to worry about.

Links: Box Score, ESPN

Monmouth vs. Villanova

Villanova (#22 Coaches, #20 AP) will play the Monmouth Hawks tonight at 7:30 in the Pavilion. This is Villanova's second game of the Philly Hoop Group Classic, and will most likely be their easiest. Monmouth is 0-4 to start the season. Nova last played Monmouth in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tounament. The game will not be televised, but Nova Nation All-Access will have the radio broadcast.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Foye Dishes Career-high 14 Assists

Randy Foye had a career-high 14 assists in a 106-80 Minnesota Timberwolves win over the Detroit Pistons.  It was Minnesota's first road victory of the season.  Foye also had a season-high 23 points on 9-12 shooting (3/4 3-pt) and only two turnovers in 37 minutes.  

Randy got off to a slow start to his third NBA season, and even lost his starting point guard position to Sebastian Telfair.  He has since earned his starting spot back, and after tonight's performance, will likely remain there for some time.  Foye was averaging over 21 points per game over his final five games last season, yet his scoring dropped down to about 10 points per game through the first month of this season. He was especially struggling from 3-point range, where his average dropped from about 40% to 20%.  Also, Foye is only averaging 1.5 trips to the free throw line a game.  Randy received comparisons to Dwyane Wade when he was drafted, but if he wants to be like Dwyane, he needs to attack the basket more often.

Despite his shooting woes, Foye's assist numbers have improved to over five a game this year.  The increase in assists indicate Randy's continued transformation into a complete NBA point guard.  Foye is trying to become a pass-first point guard, and tonight he proved he can score while also setting up his teammates.  He helped lead the team to victory, which is nice, but his Timberwolves appeared to be destined for another trip to the lottery this season.

Allan Ray Mentoring Jennings in Italy

Here's an interesting piece from ESPN The Magazine about Brandon Jennings' transition from high school to professional ball in Italy.  The 18-year-old Jennings is playing for Lottomatica Virtus Roma, which is the same team Allan Ray plays for, and A-Ray is helping the young point guard both on and off the court. 

After Jennings was thrown out of the gym by his coach for dogging it during practice"After practice, Allan Ray, the former Villanova star who is in his second year with Virtus Roma, gave Jennings a pep talk. Ray got kicked out of several practices last season. "

"Jennings leaves the crib for three things: basketball, food and visiting those famed Italian landmarks—Gucci, Prada and Versace. He usually hits those hot spots with the 24-year-old Ray"

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tim Thomas back in NY

Tim Thomas will be traded from Los Angeles to the Knicks along with Cuttino Mobley for Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins.  Thomas played in New York for one and a half seasons from 2004-2005.  He was averaging 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds for the L.A. Clippers this season.  Tim has career avaerages of 11.8 points and 4.2 rebounds.  Thomas has changed NBA teams seven times since being drafted 7th overall in 1997 after his one year at Villanova. He averaged 16.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.1 assists for Nova.  

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Niagara Falls to Nova (pun intended)

Final Score: #23 Villanova 77, Niagara 62

Player of the Game: Corey Fisher: 15 pts, 6 reb, 5 ast, 3 stl

Recap: The Purple Eagles were definitely the toughest opponent Villanova has faced so far this season, but the game was still a little too close for comfort. Nova was only up six at halftime and the lead was cut to two in the second half. Eventually Villanova was able to outlast Niagara and pull away late in the game.

There were fouls, fouls, and more fouls. SIX players fouled out, including three Wildcats: Antonio Pena, Dante Cunningham, and Shane Clark. Those three were in foul trouble all of the second half, forcing Nova to play a four-guard lineup. This wasn't too bad because Niagara also played a four-guard lineup. However, Villanova's big men cannot afford to give up so many fouls, especially against an undersized team like Niagara. The foul trouble is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately if Villanova expects to contend in the Big East.

All Aboard the Redding Railroad
Corey Stokes sat to start the game with a sprained left thumb, and Reggie Redding stepped up in a big way. He always brings the defense, but last night he delivered on offense as well. He had 14 points, 3 assists, and knocked down two 3-pointers.

Balance the Force
Once again the scoring was balanced with four starters in double figures (Reynolds-19, Fisher-15, Redding-14, Cunningham-11). Pena had 8 points and 7 rebounds in basically half of a game and easily could have had a double double if his time wasn't limited by fouls. Stokes also had 8 points and surely would have had more if it wasn't for the sore thumb. Scottie Reynolds led the team with a season-high 19 points (4-14 FG, 9-10 FT), but he had 2 assists to 5 turnovers, a step backwards in that department after a strong first two games.

Return of the Prodigal Benn
Bilal Benn had a solid game (11 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals) in his return to Villanova. Best of luck to him for the rest of the season.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Niagara vs. Villanova

Bilal Benn returns to the Pavilion tonight as his Niagara Purple Eagles (1-0) take on the #23 Villanova Wildcats (2-0).  This is Nova's first game as part of the Philly Hoop Group Classic. The game will be televised on ESPNU. Nova Nation All-Access will have the radio broadcast.

For in-depth previews of the game check out:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Villanova Slaughters Rams

Final Score: #23 Villanova 107, Fordham 68

Player of the Game: Dante Cunningham: 31 pts, 11 reb

Dante's Inferno
Dante Cunningham had a career night. With Fordham's lack of size, Dante dominated the interior en route to a huge double-double (31 points and 11 rebounds). Cunningham looks like he's turning into a big-time player, but we'll have to wait and see if he can keep it up against the Big East's elite like Hasheem Thabeet and Luke Harangody.

The Two Coreys
Stokes and Fisher scored 17 points a piece. Both put on great shooting performances. Corey S. was strong on the glass with 8 rebounds, while Corey F. dished out 4 assists. Wouldn't it be great if you could combine them to create a hybrid 6'5 point guard with a ridiculous handle, speed, penetration, and 3-point shooting.

Making a Point
Scottie Reynolds' scoring has been down so far this season, but his assists are up. He had another 7 assists tonight and has 13 assists to 2 turnovers on the season. Not only does this mean Scottie is developing into a true point guard, but his teammates are becoming better scorers, which helps take some pressure off of him. 

Balanced Attack
For the second straight game all five starters scored in double figures. Dante - 31, Fisher - 17, Stokes - 17, Reynolds - 11, Pena - 10.

Iron Man
Shane Clark entered the game only ten days after arthroscopic knee surgery. He's understandably a bit out of shape, but he still managed to score 8 points. It's a good thing he's back so soon because of Dwayne's Anderson's injury. On another injury note Casiem Drummond did not play because of foot pain, but he should be fine. You can't help but draw parallels to Jason Fraser's injury-ridden career.

Fordham had the green light all game, jacking up 26 3-pointers and only making 8. Brenton Butler was an embarrassing 3-11 from behind the arc.

There were a total of 48 personal fouls in the game, including a double technical on Reggie Redding and Jio Fontan. Two Rams fouled out. The first half was brutal to watch at times because they would just go back and forth shooting free throws.

On a Role
Nova's role players had nice games. Reggie Redding chipped in 9 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds off the bench. Frank Tchuisi had 4 points in 14 minutes. Jason Colenda and Russell Wooten even played 5+ minutes each.


Fordham vs. Villanova

The #23 Villanova Wildcats (1-0) take on the Fordham Rams (0-1) tonight at 7:30 in the Pavilion. Like the Albany game, this should be an easy win for Nova. Fordham is from the stronger Atlantic-10 conference, but they are a young and inexperienced team. (Photo: Smush Parker, the lone Fordham Ram in the NBA)

More information on the game:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Name's Wright... Jay Wright

In honor of the new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, opening this weekend I thought I'd write a 007-themed recap of Villanova's first victory of the season.

"Dr. No" starring Reggie Redding
Redding, Villanova's lockdown defender, said "no" to the Great Danes as they tried to score. He grabbed 4 rebounds and picked up a steal. He also had a nice offensive performance scoring 11 points, even knocking down a 3-pointer. He will see a lot of playing time early this season because of the injuries to Shane Clark and Dwayne Anderson, and last night he seemed up to the task.

"Moonraker" starring Antonio Pena
Pena nearly jumped to the moon on one put-back dunk off a missed shot. This is exactly the kind of performance I was expecting from 'Tone this season. 12 points, 5 boards, 2 assists, 1 block... he looks poised for a breakout year.

"From Cameroon With Love" starring Frank Tchuisi
I love him, but Frank is simply not there yet. Again, because of injuries he played 11 minutes, grabbing 3 rebounds and hitting a signature Will Sheridan baseline jumper for 2 points. However, he was a liability on the floor, missing a couple of dunks and committing 2 turnovers.

"The Man With the Golden Shot" starring Corey Stokes
Corey was stroking it from deep once again. He hit three of four 3-pointers to finish with 13 points.

"License to Foul" starring Casiem Drummond
Casiem had as many points as fouls (4) in 17 minutes off the bench. He has been foul-prone his entire career at Villanova. On the bright side he was 2-2 from the free throw line and had 5 rebounds and a blocked shot.

"On His Coach's Secret Service" starring Dante Cunningham
As usual, Dante did everything Jay asked of him. He scored (13 points), defended (1 steal), rebounded (6 boards), and was unselfish (3 assists).

"The Point Guard Who Dished Me" starring Scottie Reynolds
Scottie went scoreless in the first half, electing to set up his teammates. He had 6 assists and only 1 turnover. He looked for his shot more in the second half, scoring 13 points to tie Cunningham and Stokes for team-high.

"Goldfinger" starring Corey Fisher
Fisher had the magic touch on both ends of the floor last night. He dished out 5 assists and grabbed 4 steals. His jump shot wasn't falling, but he looked strong attacking the basket and getting to the foul line. He was the sixth Wildcat to score in double figures with 10 points. He was inserted into the starting lineup for Anderson, and more Fish is always a good thing.

"Die Another Day" starring Dwayne Anderson and Shane Clark
Dwayne and Shane may be out now, but they will both come back strong when the team needs them most.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nova wins, Anderson out

Villanova came out firing on all cylinders to defeat Albany in their season opener. Play got a little sloppy in the second half, but Nova went on to win easily 78-60.

News came in before the game that Dwayne Anderson suffered a stress fracture in his foot and will be out indefinitely.  Dwayne is a key player and this especially hurts since Shane Clark is also injured.  Luckily Villanova is a deep team with guys like Corey Fisher and Reggie Redding that can step up.  It's also better to be hit with injuries now than later in the season, as Anderson and Clark should both be back by the time Big East play begins.

I will post a full game recap later tomorrow.

Foye Posterizes Azubuike

Randy Foye is averaging 10 points and 5.9 assists through 7 games with the Timberwolves.

Season Opener: Albany

Villanova opens its 2008-2009 season tonight against the Albany Great Danes of the America East Conference. Albany was 15-15 last season and they are projected to finish sixth in their conference this season. #16 seed Albany gave #1 UConn a bit of a scare in the opening round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, before UConn regrouped and pulled away to a 72-59 win. Senior Jimmie Covington is the only remaining player to play in that game. Villanova is 1-0 all-time against Albany, the only meeting coming in 2004.

Villanova should overpower Albany with their athleticism. I don't expect this one to be close. Albany should be more competitive than Northwood, but Villanova should play better after shaking the rust off in the exhibition game. Plus they are back in the comforts of the Pavilion, with the always intimidating student section.
Projected starting 5:
PG - Scottie Reynolds
SG - Corey Stokes
SF - Dwayne Anderson
PF - Antonio Pena
C - Dante Cunningham

The game will be televised online via Nova Nation All-Access.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Apprentice Defeats the Master

Final Score: #25 Villanova 75, Northwood 37 (Exhibition)

Player of the Game: Dante Cunningham 20 pts, 8 reb

Recap: Jay Wright took on his former coaching mentor for the second time of his career, and once again was victorious over Rollie Massimino and the Northwood Seahawks.  Rollie received a warm reception as he and several former Wildcat players were honored at halftime.

The Starting 5
PG - Scottie Reynolds
SG - Corey Stokes
SF - Dwayne Anderson
PF - Antonio Pena
C - Dante Cunningham

I think this is the Villanova's best starting five right now.  They have size, are strong defensively, and have three-point shooting.  Corey Fisher was the sixth man, which is probably his best role, for now at least.

1st Half
The first half was downright ugly.  Villanova could not score, and they continually turned the ball over.  Villanova put on a horrendous shooting performance: 37 FG%, 2-11 3PT, and 4-13 FT. You can blame the poor 3-point shooting on adjusting to the newly extended line, but that doesn't explain the rest.  Perhaps they were just rusty, with this being the first game they've played in about eight months. Their only saving grace from the first half was the defense, which held Northwood to 21 points, but Villanova was only up by 5 at the half.

2nd Half
Villanova came out firing in the second half with a 13-0 run.  They were forcing turnovers, which led to easy baskets in transition.  Northwood had 31 turnovers in the game.  The shots began falling for Nova in the second half as well.  Villanova shot 58.6% from the floor, 7-9 from three, and 8-12 from the line to make up for the poor first half numbers.  In the second half the defense was just as good, if not better.  Nova held Northwood to only 16 points on 18.8% shooting. Northwood isn't exactly a powerhouse, but it's a good sign for the defense to be this good this early in the season.

The Players
Villanova went to Dante Cunningham early and often, as he seemed to be the only player who could score in the first half.  He had 13 points in the first half and finished with 20 points and 8 rebounds.  He was especially active on the offensive glass with five offensive rebounds. Dante scored inside and out, hitting a couple of jumpers and slamming a couple of dunks. 

Scottie Reynolds got off to a cold start.  He had as many points as turnovers (3) in the first half.  He didn't really look for his shot early in the game, but he came out firing in the second half to finish with a very respectable 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists.  He also took much better care of the ball in the second half with zero turnovers.  Despite the slow start, Scottie seems to be picking up right where he left off last year, playing at an elite level.

As I said earlier, Corey Fisher was the sixth man in the game.  I like that role for him because he should be able to bring instant offense off the bench, but he failed to do that last night.  Like most of the team, he got off to a very slow start, not scoring until midway through the second half.  He hit a couple of late threes to finish with 10 points, 2 assists, and 3 steals.

Corey Stokes had a solid all-around game with 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals.  He looked good on defense, but on offense he is still relying too heavily on his outside shot.  He was 3-7 from three, which is not bad, but he only took one 2-point shot (and missed).  He needs to learn how to drive to the basket if he wants to become an elite scorer in the Big East.

Antonio Pena, like Corey Fisher, did most of his scoring late in the game.  He finished with 8 points, but had only 2 rebounds in 23 minutes.  He also picked up four fouls, an area he struggled with last season as well.  He was a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line, but overall I was expecting a little more Pena this year.  Hopefully he'll pick it up in the games to come.

Dwayne Anderson played like his usual self, making all the hustle plays and playing strong defense.  He had 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal.  Not overwhelming stats, but Dwayne did what he's supposed to do.

Reggie Redding played a decent game off the bench.  He had 6 points, 3 assists, and 3 steals, but was careless with the ball, committing 4 turnovers.  He played strong defense, but he tried to do a little to much offensively, leading to the turnovers.

Casiem Drummond did not have a very good night.  He fouled out in only 10 minutes of play.  He had 2 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal, which aren't horrible numbers for 10 minutes, but he needs to stay on the floor.  The two areas he needed to improve most this season were free throw shooting (0-4) and avoiding fouls, and it appears he is still struggling at both.

The two walk-ons, Jason Colenda and Russel Wooten, got into the game in the final minutes and picked up a steal each.

Two players that did not play were Shane Clark and Maurice Sutton.  Clark had right knee surgery yesterday and will be out for three to six weeks.  It's a shame. Another injury for Shane, who is yet to play an entire season fully healthy at Villanova.  Sutton not getting into the game, which seems to confirm the belief that he will redshirt this season.

Overall you have to be pleased with the Wildcats' performance.  The defense was dominant and hopes are high on the Main Line this year.

Next Game: Friday, Nov. 14 at 8:00 pm - Regular season opener at the Pavilion vs. Albany

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Northwood Preview

The 2008-2009 season kicks off Thursday with an exhibition game against the Northwood University Seahawks.  The game is at 7:00 pm in the Wachovia Spectrum.  The Seahawks are coached by Villanova legend Rollie Massimino.  Villanova played Northwood two years ago in Florida in a exhibition game and won 97-60.  Northwood may have a size advantage up front with three seven footers (7'0, 7'0, and 7'4), but this shouldn't be much of a contest.  Expect Jay Wright to try several lineup combinations in preparation for the regular season.  It will be interesting to see who will be in the starting lineup because there are eight players who could legitimately start.  The only real locks for the starting five are Scottie Reynolds and Dante Cunningham.  Jay tends to favor seniors so I wouldn't be surprised if Shane Clark and Dwayne Anderson started as well.  Then there are the talented sophomores Corey Stokes, Corey Fisher, and Antonio Pena.  Also, Jay might elect to start Casiem Drummond because of Northwood's size.  The two key players to watch are Shane Clark and Casiem Drummond.  If they are back to 100% this season it will be a huge boost to the team.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Rest of the Roster

In continuing with the weekly player evaluation segment, let's conclude by looking at the rest of the roster.

Player: Taylor King

2007-2008 Review: This former McDonald's All-American played his freshmen year at Duke before deciding to transfer to Villanova. King most likely became disgruntled with Coach K over his decline in playing time as the season progressed. He scored 20 points in his first game at Duke on November 9 versus N.C. Central. On November 25 he scored a career-high 27 points after making six 3-pointers versus Eastern Kentucky. He scored in double figures six times last year and shot a .377 3-point percentage. However, in mid-January is minutes dropped, lowering his season average for points to 5.5.

2008-2009 Preview: Because of NCAA regulations, Taylor King will have to redshirt this season after transferring. He has shown that he can shoot the ball, so he should focus this time on getting stronger in the weight room and improving his defense and rebounding. At 6'6 he has good size for the shooting guard or small forward position. It will be fun to see him and Corey Stokes on the floor together in 2009-2010 because they can stretch defenses out with their 3-point shooting.

Player: Maurice Sutton

2007-2008 Review: Maurice played his high school ball at Largo High School in Maryland. In his final season he averaged 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 blocks per game. Largo was 48-5 during his final two seasons and earned the Class 3A Maryland state championship. He chose Villanova over Indiana and Seton Hall.

2008-2009 Preview: Sutton is the lone freshman on this year's squad, and at 6'11 he is the tallest Wildcat player. I have yet to see Sutton play, so I am not entirely sure what to expect from him. From "Brings an intriguing skill set ... Possesses athleticism and the ability to run the floor at 6-11 ... Excellent instincts as a shot-blocker ... Can finish around the basket ... Rebounds well ... Needs to add strength." From I Bleed Blue and White's Hoops Mania account: "Sutton, however, did not impress. He has nice size, but he rarely made a good play. He probably had 4 fouls in the first 6 minutes. Offensively, he wasn't given any chances. So I guess the jury's still out on him, but I think he's relegated to the bench for the majority of his career here." There were reports that Sutton might redshirt this year to develop his game, but I haven't heard anything final. From most reports it seems like Sutton is a Chris Charles type of player; very tall, but not very skilled. The size will help, especially with shot-blocking, but Sutton might not be ready to contribute for another season or two.

Player: Jason Colenda

2007-2008 Review
: Jason got into five games last season: vs. Stony Brook, vs. Penn, vs. Syracuse, vs. West Virginia, and vs. Siena. He failed to score and never attempted a shot, but he did have one assist and one rebound.

2008-2009 Preview: Jason Colenda will continue the tradition of Tommy Grace and Ross Condon as the Villanova walk-on. He will work hard in practice and cheer the team on from the bench. If there's a blowout, the student section will chant "COL-EN-DA!" until Jay puts him in, then they will cheer for him to shoot every time he touches the ball, and if he does score, the Pavilion will go crazy.