A young girl has to travel through the crystal meth-infested neighborhoods of the Ozark Mountains to find her father. Speaking of tough winter road trips, after a tough loss to a top-10 team at UConn, Villanova had to go up to the Carrier dome to face an even higher ranked top-10 team, then they had to travel to the always raucous Dunkin Donuts Center. Who would have figured that Villanova’s lone win in the 3-game road trip would come against the toughest opponent of the three, #3-ranked Syracuse. However, Nova followed that impressive win with a loss against a Providence team that started out 0-6 in Big East play, though the Friars are a much better team than that poor start would indicate.
I think Jim Boheim pulled some kind of inception, breaking into our minds and making us think that his Syracuse team was better than it actually is. The Orange started out 18-0, but have now dropped three straight, including a 22-point loss at home to Seton Hall. Or was I just dreaming about that?
The King’s Speech
The story of George VI overcoming a speech impediment to become the king of Britain. Maalik Wayns has seemingly overcome a 3-point shooting impediment that he was struggling with earlier this season to become the “king” of Villanova these past couple of games. Wayns has led the team in scoring in each of the past two games; 21 points (3-7 3pt) vs. Syracuse and 18 points (2-4 3pt) vs. Providence.
Toy Story 3
Fisher Price is one of the best toy companies out there. Fisher Price is also one of the best college point guards out there. However, against the Friars, Vincent Council played more like Fisher Price than Fisher himself. Council had 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists, including some impressive alley-oop passes. Meanwhile, Fisher shot 2-10 from the field to score just 7 points.
That’s about how much time Corey Stokes needs to spend practicing shooting. I thought he broke out of his slump for good with that 16 point (4-11 3pt) game against Syracuse, but then he went on to have his worst shooting night… probably ever. 2 of 16 from the field!? 1 of 9 from three!? At least he was perfect from the free throw line, and he grabbed a season-high 9 rebounds. But if he doesn’t improve that shooting stroke, he might have to cut his own arm off.
Maurice Sutton is a white swan who needs to embrace his dark side more often and play like a black swan. He showed he can play tough against Syracuse with 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks, but he had just 1 point and 2 rebounds in 9 foul-plagued minutes against Providence. Mouphtaou Yarou is another player who occasionally suffers from “white swan syndrome”. He’s had some stellar games this season, but he’s also had his share of sub-par performances, most recently against Providence (3 points, 2 rebounds, 1-6 FG). Embrace your inner black swans, big guys… just don’t lose your minds in the process.
Sutton can learn a thing or two from his teammate Antonio Pena who showed true grit against Providence with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Dominic Cheek also showed some grit, scoring 9 points and grabbing 9 rebounds in just his second game back from his knee injury. I hate to do it, but I have to credit Rick Jackson for his grit as well. He had 16 points and 15 rebounds in the loss to Nova, and he’s been a double-double machine all season.
Like boxers, Scoop Jardine (1-8 FG, 0-3 3pt) and Dion Waiters (2-12 FG, 1-7 3pt) went down swinging-- or shooting-- in their loss to Nova. Marshon Brooks’ Providence team may have won, and he still scored 20 points, but his 0 for 8 three-point shooting performance versus Nova was… interesting. When you’re 0 for 7 on the night, you’d think he would think twice before bricking that eighth three. But no, even when pinned against the ropes, Brooks went down swinging and threw up one last brick.
The Social Network
A story of friends turned enemies over millions of dollars… Just like former Wildcat teammates Randy Foye and Kyle Lowry, who now battle against each other in the NBA with their million dollar contracts. Lowry’s Rockets beat Foye’s Clippers Wednesday night, 96-83, while both players scored 20 points a piece. Foye looks like he’s finally healthy for the first time this season, and he’s stepped into the starting shooting guard role with the injury to Eric Gordon. Even though Randy and Kyle are enemies on the court, they still remain friends on Facebook.
The Kids Are All Right
This movie title sums up the state of Jay Wright’s squad right now. The young Wildcats will continue to have their ups and down throughout the grueling Big East schedule, but ultimately, they’ll be alright.