The day after the Villanova football team beat Montana 23-21 for its first ever national championship, the basketball team followed suit with a 96-58 victory over the Fordham Rams. The football team probably doesn't get the attention and respect it deserves within the Villanova community, and I'm as guilty of that as anyone. First off, the FCS actually uses a playoff system to determine its champion, rather than voting on who gets to play for the championship like the BCS does, and that alone makes it a thousand times better. Secondly, Villanova has a legitimate superstar in Matt Szczur. He had 270 total yards and two touchdowns in the game. He is not only a NFL prospect, but a major league baseball catching prospect as well. I mean, they guy plays football during the day and saves babies lives at night. As a Villanova fan, I'm ashamed to say that I never even heard of Szczur until a few days ago.
As for the basketball team, they followed up their loss to Temple with a 38 point win over Fordham. Villanova now has the same number of wins at the Izod Center this season as the New Jersey Nets. They let Fordham hang around for a little too long in the first half, but Nova completely dominated the second half. The Rams had no answer for Nova's full court press, which led to turnovers and easy baskets for the Wildcats.
Reggie Redding made his 2009-10 season debut and didn't miss a beat. While suspended, he was still able to practice with the team, which enabled him to step right in and start. He had 15 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks.
Scottie Reynolds, Antonio Pena, and Corey Fisher led Villanova with 17 points each. I was at this game, and let me tell you, Fisher Price looks so much better in person. He always seems two steps ahead of the defender. I could see him getting drafted in the late first round like Kyle Lowry. By the way, Lowry had his best game as a pro the other night in a 116-108 overtime win over Dallas. He had 26 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, and a block.
Joining Redding in the starting five was Taylor King, while Corey Stokes and Maurice Sutton were relegated to the bench. Stokes had a rough shooting night (2-11), but pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds. In years past Stokes seemed to disappear when his shot was off, but now he is finding other ways to help the team. I don't know whether it's a result of defenses focusing on him more, but after taking 15+ shots in the two games previous, King has attempted under 5 shots in the last two. Meanwhile, Sutton has fallen out of the rotation completely. After playing just 6 minutes at Temple, he played 5 against Fordham, most of which came during garbage time. Isaiah Armwood has apparently taken over as the first big off the bench. He played a season-high 17 minutes, and although he failed to score, he grabbed 4 rebounds and made a couple of nice passes. Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek had nice bounce-back games, combining for 18 points off the bench.