Big East (20-12, 9-9)
Big Wins: 1/6 Pittsburgh (64-63), 2/20 West Virginia (78-56), 2/23 Connecticut (67-65)
Bad Losses: 1/3 at DePaul (76-84), 1/12 at Cincinnati (66-69), 1/23 at Rutgers (68-80)
Coach: Jay Wright
Corey Fisher, Freshman, Guard, 9.1 ppg, 2.8 apg
Scottie Reynolds, Sophomore, Guard, 15.6 ppg, 3.3 apg
Dwayne Anderson, Junior, Guard, 6.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Antonio Pena, Freshman, Forward, 7.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Dante Cunningham, Junior, Forward, 10.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg
Malcolm Grant, Freshman, Guard, 5.8 ppg, 1.4 apg
Corey Stokes, Freshman, Guard, 6.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Reggie Redding, Sophomore, Guard, 4.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Shane Clark, Junior, Forward, 7.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Casiem Drummond, Sophomore, Center, 5.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Villanova has three talented scorers who can put up points in a hurry. Scottie Reynolds is the star and will take all the big shots for the Wildcats. He is a decent outside shooter, but more importantly Reynolds will get to the basket and finish. He gets to the charity stripe nearly six times per game and hits them with a 78.3 percent frequency. As if his scoring was not enough, Reynolds leads the team averaging 3.3 assists per game and will hit the glass quite effectively.
Freshman Corey Fisher has not looked like a freshman most of this season. He is not very efficient, but he can score in a hurry. Dante Cunningham, a 6-8 forward, is a match-up nightmare for opposing coaches. Cunningham is deceptively quick and will have little problem beating an opposing big man off the dribble. He has also developed into a decent low-post scoring threat and will use his strength and quickness to be effective in the paint.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The young backcourt might have a ton of talent, but they take some bad shots too. The team as a whole shoots just 42.9 percent from the floor and 34.2 percent from long range. Having the confidence to hit every shot you take is one thing, but forcing up a three will likely just turn into a wasted possession. Fisher hits just 33 percent of his long balls, but players like Shane Clark, Dwayne Anderson and Corey Stokes are hovering around the 30 percent range and will still chuck up some tough shots.
Who To Watch:
Nova commits a lot of fouls and luckily they have a lot of talented depth sitting on the bench ready to come in and commit some more fouls. Ten players average at least 13 minutes per game. Twelve of those players have even started a few games this year. The only player who has not started is Stokes and he has had a great finish to the season and will be a major force in the tournament. Not only does the depth help keep individuals out of foul trouble, but it has also kept the key players fresh down the stretch of the season and having fresh legs is huge in March.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.8 (99th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.3 (189, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.9 (223, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.8 (175, 12)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.1 (128, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.2 (104, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.3 (70, 2)
Rebound Margin: 2.7 (86, 7)
Assists Per Game: 13.7 (139, 12)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.2 (157, 12)
Joel’s Bracket Says: Sweet Sixteen loss to Kansas
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