Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Righting the Ship

Villanova is in an apparent Charlie Sheen-like nosedive. They have lost three in a row and five of their last seven, all culminating in the 21-point loss to Notre Dame on Monday night. With only one regular season game left, you can look back and criticize the team for all of their shortcomings over these past few weeks, or you can look ahead and try to figure out what the team needs to do to right the ship before Tournament time. I choose the latter.

Corey Fisher: Forget about the 3-16 FG, 0-8 3PT game vs. Syracuse and the 1-10 FG, 0-8 3PT game vs. St. John’s. It’s in the past. Fisher is still the best player on the team, and in most games he’s the best player on the floor. He needs to remember that and play like he did in the second half of the Notre Dame game when he scored 17 points in 17 minutes. This is Corey Fisher’s team. He’s a senior. It’s now or never.

Corey Stokes: Well, Stokes doesn’t need to change anything offensively; he's made 14 of 26 threes and scored 53 points since his return from injury. He just needs to stay healthy.

Mouphtaou Yarou: Mouph has only attempted 8 field goals total over the past 3 games, after averaging about 8 field goal attempts per game for most of the season. The guards need to get the ball to Yarou in the low post more often. Most teams don’t have anybody that can stop him one-on-one. Feed the big man!

Maalik Wayns: At times he is unstoppable on offense, but Wayns can also kill the team with poor shot selection and careless turnovers. He’s still young, and eventually he will put it all together. However, for now, it’s probably best for Fisher to handle the point guard duties full-time until he hands the keys to the offense over to Wayns next year.

Antonio Pena: Okay, he had a hot streak for a few games in the middle of the season, but Pena is not a jumpshooter. I’m tired of seeing him shoot from the worst spot on the floor, just inside the arc. Either take a step back for the three or take the ball inside.

Dominic Cheek: He finally scored in double figures with 11 points against St. John’s, but it didn’t result in a win. Cheek is talented and full of potential, but he just needs to be smarter with his shot selection. For example, on one possession against Notre Dame he passed up an open three, to take a couple dribbles and chuck up a long contested fade-away 2-pointer.

Isaiah Armood: At this point in his career, Armwood is purely a hustle and energy player. He needs to watch some Dwayne Anderson game tape. Whenever he is on the floor, Armwood needs to play tenacious defense, chase down every rebound, and dive after any loose ball.

James Bell: He’s displayed a nice shooting stroke, but as the eighth man, Bell needs to step up his defensive game if he wants to get more playing time.

Jay Wright: Coach needs to do something about this team’s perimeter defense. 13 threes to DePaul, 10 to St. John’s, 20 to Notre Dame!? I can understand the Irish running some picks and getting hot from the outside early in the game, but how were Abromaitis and Hansbrough still getting wide open looks in the second half? There’s a hole in this defense, and Jay needs to fix it fast before the entire ship sinks.

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