Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nova Sinks Pirates into Davy Jones' Locker

Villanova survived a scare from the hot-shooting Jeremy Hazell to defeat the Seton Hall Pirates 81-71. The game sparked some meaningful questions, which I will attempt to answer below.

Is Scottie Reynolds the greatest Villanova Wildcat of all time?
Scottie scored 15 points, and in the process reached the 2,000 career point milestone. Regardless of whether or not he catches Kerry Kittles (2,243), Scottie is certainly in the discussion for the best Wildcat of all time. It's always difficult comparing players from different eras, but Scottie has a big edge in Tournament success. If he can somehow lead his team all the way, like Ed Pinckney in 1985, it would be hard to argue for anyone else in a Villanova uniform being better than Reynolds.

Why won't Nova lose in the Pavilion?
Villanova extended its Pavilion win-streak to 36 games in front of someone else who knows a thing or two about long streaks, Cal Ripken Jr. Villanova has only one more game in the Pavilion this season, February 24 against South Florida. The Bulls have Dominique Jones, a scorer that I fear even more than Hazell, but I like Nova's chances to carry the streak into the 2010-2011 season. So why is the team so dominant in its on campus home?
1. The Campus Food - They never have to worry about playing on an empty stomach with the all-you-can-eat buffets at the Pit and Spit.
2. The Proximity - No planes, trains, or automobiles. They can just roll out of bed and walk to the game.
3. The Banners - I bet the team gets a little extra motivation when they look up to the rafters and see the 1985 Championship banner, the 2009 Final Four banner, and all the retired jerseys.
4. The Student Section - It's always difficult for opponents to focus in the second half when they have to deal with this behind their basket:

5. The Quality of Opponent - It's no secret Villanova plays most of its bigger games at the Wachovia Center. Many of the wins have come against easier opponents, but the streak is impressive nonetheless.

Has Antonio Pena turned a corner?

Pena followed up his double-double against Notre Dame with 16 points and 8 rebounds, but I think it has more to do with the quality of the opponents. Seton Hall only had one player over 6'6 (Herb Pope) play more than 3 minutes, and even he is only 6'8. Pena has proven he can dominate average big men, but he has struggled against the elite in the Big East like Greg Monroe, Samardo Samuels, and Mac Koshwal.

Is Jeremy Hazell an NBA player?

He may get drafted, but I don't think Hazell's game will translate to the next level. He reminds me of Adam Morrison, in that he is an elite college scorer, but is a one dimensional player. He is the star of his team and excels by taking lots of shots (12-23 for 32 points last night). In the NBA he won't be the best scorer on the team, and he won't have the luxury of chucking it up every time he touches the ball.

Is Villanova the deepest team in the country?
Nova certainly has the deepest back court in the country. Jay Wright had 10 players log over 10 minutes in the game. Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher seem to be the constants, but Redding, Pena, Stokes, Wayns, King, and Cheek are all capable of lighting up the scoreboard. Aside from Pena, it was Stokes who stepped up in this game. When Seton Hall was making a run in the second half, Stokes hit three dagger 3-pointers and scored 11 points to help bury the Pirates.

Are there actually any pirates in New Jersey?

Surprisingly, yes. Famous pirates such as Blackbeard, Captain Morgan, and Captain Kidd patrolled the waters between Sandy Hook and New York City during the 17th and 18th centuries. According to legend, Kidd buried treasure somewhere in central Jersey. Rumor has it season two of "The Jersey Shore" will have the cast members searching for the treasure.

What the hell is going on in Lost?
Sorry, I've got no answers for that one.

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