Thursday, January 7, 2010

Nova and DePaul in Avatar

With James Cameron's 3-D epic grossing over a billion dollars worldwide, I decided to do an Avatar-themed recap of the DePaul game. Plus, let's be honest, there's only so much you can say about a 99-72 shellacking, I have to spice it up somehow. If you are not one of the millions to have seen the movie yet, don't worry, there are no spoilers.

Jay Wright's Avatar...

... starring Mouphtaou Yarou as Jake Sully

Jake Sully is a paralyzed marine who is given a chance to walk again through the Avatar program. Yarou was given a second chance at Villanova after being sidelined with Hepatitis B for almost two months. Moupth had 4 points, 2 rebounds, and a block in 14 minutes, as Jay Wright will ease him back into the rotation gradually.

... and Jerry Wainwright as Colonel Quaritch

Potentially facing another winless Big East season, Wainwright's days as DePaul's head coach may be numbered, and that's a shame because the guy is a quote machine. Here's what he had to say about Taylor King after the game, "he has range that might start back in Piscataway. He is insane."

... and the DePaul Blue Demons as the Na'vi blue aliens

Memorable Quotes:

"They've sent us a message... that they can take whatever they want. Well we will send them a message. That this... this is our land!" - Jake Sully
A message was sent to DePaul... that this is our house! Villanova extended its Pavilion win streak to 34 games. The Wildcats had a little extra motivation because their last loss in the Pavilion came against DePaul three years ago.

"You should see your faces!" - Trudy Chacon
You should have seen DePaul's faces on defense as they watched shot after shot go in for Villanova. Nova shot a staggering 61% in the first half, taking a 25 point lead into the locker room.

"You have a strong heart; no fear. But stupid, like a child." - Neytiri
Maalik Wayns is fearless on the court, but he is young and still susceptible to freshmen mistakes. Wayns had a season-high 18 points in just 20 minutes off the bench. I've never seen someone go coast-to-coast and score so easily. However, he also led the team with 4 turnovers.

"One life ends; another begins." - Jake Sully
Corey Stokes sat out with a sore hamstring, and Isaiah Armwood took his spot in the starting five. Aside from his game-winning shot against George Mason, this was Armwood's best game as a Wildcat. He had just 6 points, but led the team in rebounds (7) and steals (5). Jay Wright really likes Armwood because of his length and athleticism, and he will likely continue to log major minutes, even when Stokes comes back.

"You haven't got lost in the woods, have you? You still remember what team you're playing for?" - Col. Quaritch
Although he had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Mac Koshwal may have forgotten which team he was on because he turned it over to Villanova seven times.

"You are not in Kansas anymore. You are on Pandora, ladies and gentleman." - Col. Quaritch
You are not playing out of conference cupcakes anymore. You are in the Big East. With DePaul out of the way, the schedule gets a whole lot tougher from here on out. Expect to see more down-to-the-wire games like last weeks against Marquette, especially with a rematch against the Golden Eagles coming up next. Their three Big East games have been decided by a total of
six points.

Some more thoughts on the game that I couldn't finagle into Avatar comparisons:
  • Scottie Reynolds scored 21 points, his tenth straight game in double figures and seventh game of the season scoring 20+, boosting his season average to 17.9 ppg. Jay gave Scottie some extra playing time in the final minutes to pad his stats and help him catch Kerry Kittles on the Villanova all-time scoring list.
  • Corey Fisher had a great bounce-back game, running the point flawlessly: 15 points, 6 assists, 0 turnovers. He also made a DePaul defender look silly with a Fisher Price crossover.
  • Jay Wright used the blowout to rest his big men Antonio Pena and Taylor King, 19 minutes each, though they did play well while on the floor.
  • Reggie Redding had 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists. For my 2010 predictions, I should have said Redding will record a triple-double. He has the best chance of anyone on the team because of his rebounding and passing versatility.

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