Villanova took control in the second half to cruise to a 90-72 victory over Notre Dame. At 19-1 (8-0) Villanova is off to its best start to a season ever. The Wildcats displayed their depth with seven players scoring at least eight points. Corey Fisher and Scottie Reynolds led the way with 17 points each. On the Fighting Irish side Luke Harangody, like a robot, put up 21 points and 9 rebounds. Reynolds and Harangody are two of the leading candidates for Big East Player of the Year, and I hope this game tape is sent to the coaches after the season because it is exhibit-A as to why Scottie Reynolds should win Big East POY over Harangody. Here are the reasons why:
1. Wins and losses matter.
Yeah, Harangody got his 21 and 9, but his team lost (again). The Irish are in the middle of the pack in the Big East (4-4), whereas Reynolds' Wildcats are in first place (8-0). I know last season doesn't factor into this year's voting, but Notre Dame had very high expectations (preseason #9), yet failed to make the NCAA Tournament. He's only one piece of the puzzle, but the team's best player deserves part of the blame for that. Oh yeah, and Scottie Reynolds just so happened to make a game-winning shot to send his team to the Final Four. Back to this season, if Nova finishes first in the Big East and earns a #1-seed in the NCAA Tournament, and Notre Dame fails to make the NCAA Tournament, it will be tough the give the award to Harangody over Reynolds.
2. Reynolds makes his teammates better, Harangody does not.
Harangody has taken almost double the amount of shots as the next player on his team, so obviously the offense runs through the big man. Yet he is averaging less than two assists per game (1.7), and he's averaging over two turnovers per game (2.2). Reynolds, on the other hand, dishes out 3.3 assists per game, despite Corey Fisher (4.3) being the primary play maker. Reynolds has also significantly reduced his turnovers since Big East play started (1.6). They both only had one assist in this game, but Reynolds had just one turnover compared to Harangody's four.
Scottie Reynolds isn't necessarily a lock down defender, but he gives full effort on the defensive end. I'm not sure Harangody even runs back on defense. For all I know he remains camped out under his own basket the entire game. Harangody is notorious for avoiding contact on the defensive end, afraid of getting into foul trouble. Need further proof? Look at the game the man Harangody was guarding, Antonio Pena, had. Pena had 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists, his first double-double of Big East play. The 14 points were the most he scored since he battled the ferocious front court of Fordham. It was the first time Pena reached double figure rebounds in Big East play. I love Pena, he's a very solid player, but he hasn't been the double-double machine that he was earlier in the season against the bigger athletic forwards of the Big East. Harangody may score and rebound like a Big East stud, but he defends like a mid-major dud.
4. Scottie is clutch, Luke is ???
Harangody scored 16 points in the first half, but disappeared in the second half where the game was decided, while Reynolds was busy scoring 13 of his points. Reynolds has made countless clutch plays and game-winning shots over his career, while Harangody's clutch factor is unknown because he hasn't played in enough big games during his time at Notre Dame.
5. Harangody is ugly.
Plain and simple. You don't want to see that mug on a plaque.