Sunday, January 3, 2010

Thoughts, Resolutions, and Predictions

Villanova won both their first game of 2010 and their first Big East game of the season with a thrilling 74-72 victory over Marquette. Scottie Reynolds hit a tough shot with 18 seconds left to give Villanova the lead, then the Cats followed that up with a good defensive stop on the other end. Redding sank one free throw, then with 2 seconds left Marquette failed to get a final shot off in time as Nova held on for the win. Now, to ring in the new year, for each player I will give my quick thoughts on their performance in the Marquette game, propose a new year's resolution for them, and make a prediction for their future in 2010.

Scottie Reynolds
Game Thoughts: Down by one, less than twenty seconds remaining, on the road in front of a hostile crowd, and Scottie Reynolds was as cool as a cucumber. He pulled a behind-the-back-and-through-the-legs dribble move, normally reserved for the playgrounds, then drew contact and made the shot. Game-winners are now becoming routine for Scottie.
New Year's Resolution: To cut down on turnovers. He's averaging over three a game, but is off to a good start in the new year with just one t.o. in 30 minutes against Marquette.
2010 Prediction: Scottie will finish second to Kerry Kittles among Villanova's all-time scoring leaders.

Reggie Redding
Game Thoughts: Shot a poor 3 of 11 from the field and missed his first 2 free throws, but like fellow senior Scottie Reynolds, Reggie remained calm and confident under pressure, making 5 of his final 6 free throws to help ice the game.
New Year's Resolution: To never be as dumb as the Tennessee players caught driving with marijuana, open alcohol, and a gun.
2010 Prediction: Redding will finish the season second in average scoring and rebounding. He is currently second in both, so what I'm basically saying is that this is no fluke.

Corey Fisher
Game Thoughts: Fisher was surprisingly benched at the end of the game, and he only played seven minutes in the second half. Wayns was playing well, but I wouldn't think that needs to come at the expense of Fisher.
New Year's Resolution: To shoot less threes and more free throws, like at the beginning of the season.
2010 Prediction: Fisher will at least test the waters of the NBA Draft this summer.

Antonio Pena
Game Thoughts: An underwhelming game from Pena, just 4 points and 5 rebounds. He was outplayed by the smaller 6'6 Lazar Hayward (17 points, 14 boards, 3 assists).
New Year's Resolution: To practice free throw shooting. (67%)
2010 Prediction: This number zero will get caught with guns in the locker room like the other Agent Zero, Gilbert Arenas... No, not those guns, I'm talking about Pena's massive biceps.

Corey Stokes
Game Thoughts: Stokes' shooting slump continued with a 2-point (1-5) performance. That's five straight games without multiple 3-pointers made or double-digit scoring.
New Year's Resolution: To just keep shooting. His stroke is too sweet, eventually he will catch fire.
2010 Prediction: Stokes will make 5+ threes, score 20+ points, and officially break out of his funk in Nova's first game at the Wachovia Center, 1/17 vs. Georgetown.

Taylor King
Game Thoughts: King had an average game (6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists), though he continues to impress with his rebounding ability.
New Year's Resolution: To stay patient on offense and let the guards create open shots. He is not as effective at creating his own shot off the dribble.
2010 Prediction: King will score 24 points against Duke in the NCAA Tournament, and two rounds earlier Villanova will beat Miami despite a heroic 37-point outburst from Malcolm Grant.

Maalik Wayns
Game Thoughts: Wayns looked like Tony Parker with his speed and ability to slice through defenders and get to the basket. He tied his season-high with 16 points and earned crunch-time minutes over Corey Fisher.
New Year's Resolution: To study tape of Kyle Lowry and imitate.
2010 Prediction: Maalik will make the All-Big East Freshmen First Team.

Dominic Cheek
Game Thoughts: Cheek played a season-low seven minutes, which was surprising for two reasons: 1) He has played well in his limited minutes all season, and 2) Jay Wright could have used his depth to exploit Marquette's 7-man rotation.
New Year's Resolution: Work on jump shot, it's too high-arcing.
2010 Prediction: Dom will have at least one 20-point game by the end of the season.

Isaiah Armwood
Game Thoughts: Jay Wright is trusting Armwood with more playing time (14 minutes), but he still looks very raw. He almost caused a couple of turnovers because he's so eager to get rid of the ball whenever he touches it.
New Year's Resolution: To bulk up. He makes Maurice Sutton look like Barry Bonds circa 2007.
2010 Prediction: With his super-athleticism, Armwood will have a highlight-reel dunk this season, worthy of Sportscenter's Top 10.

Mouphtaou Yarou
Game Thoughts: Mouph was finally cleared to play, although he didn't get into this game.
New Year's Resolution: To just stay healthy. (fingers crossed)
2010 Prediction: I say Yarou will return to game action next week.

Maurice Sutton
Game Thoughts: Mo didn't get into the game until the final 2 seconds. He wasn't needed because of Marquette's undersized team.
New Year's Resolution: See Armwood, Isaiah.
2010 Prediction: Sutton will block more than double the amount of shots as anyone else on the team.

Jay Wright
Game Thoughts: He got the win, but as I mentioned before, I think Jay could have used his bench and ran the press more often.
New Year's Resolution: To stop yelling at the refs after a bad call.
2010 Prediction: Jay Wright will be the first one to break his New Year's resolution.

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