Chris runs the Villanova blog “I Bleed Blue and White”. We discussed our upcoming game on Saturday by exchanging questions and answers about our teams.
Friarblog.com: SCOTTIE REYNOLDS IS GRADUATING! SCOTTIE REYNOLDS IS GRADUATING!!!111one (*cartwheel*, *cartwheel*, *backflip*, aand landing). When I heard last year that he withdrew from the NBA draft I was seriously depressed. These aren’t really questions, but just discuss.
IBBW: That’s funny, cause when I heard he was coming back I think I reacted like that kid who got a Nintendo 64 for Christmas. I always pictured you more like this. And as part of his ongoing greatness, Scottie is actually offering consultation in a support group setting about all the things he’s made people resort to over the years. I don’t think we were expecting a big turnout from Providence fans (mainly was for Pitt, UConn, Georgetown and Syracuse people), but there’s always room for more.
Read the rest of the Q+A after the jump!
Friarblog.com: Believe it or not, despite PC’s poor defense, the opposing team’s star player is usually not the one to burn them (aside from Dominique Jones). I’m sure Scottie will blow this trend out of the water, but what unknown (to us Friar fans) / random player on Nova is going to have their career high in scoring?
IBBW: In addition to Scottie’s career night, I think I’ve got Maalik Wayns pegged for a possible 20+ point night. Seems like a great matchup for him. He loves to get to the tin and can finish as well as Corey Fisher and Scottie Reynolds. Then again, he didn’t do much against West Virginia. I just hope he’s not hitting the freshman wall. Other than him, I guess the only guy who hasn’t had that career night yet is Isaiah Armwood. He played great in Morgantown, so maybe he continues that trend.
Friarblog.com: Is the only way to beat Villanova is to have an incredible lights out shooting performance from all over the court?
IBBW: That seems to be a key ingredient. Both Georgetown and Temple had just unreal performances from the floor against us. It also helped the Hoyas that they had 27 more FT attempts than us. In the Temple game though, they played stifling D and we shot the ball like crap. So you can beat us that way. I personally don’t see Keno’s Boys playing that tight of defense tomorrow, but you never know! I think you’re on the Georgetown-plan. Take some cocaine and shoot the lights out (originally invented by your 1985 Villanova Wildcats).
Friarblog.com: Game after game, the Friars keep putting up impressive offensive rebounding numbers, allowing them to stay in some games. Who on Nova is going to keep Greedy Peterson and Bilal Dixon off the offensive glass?
IBBW: Antonio Pena is the rock in the middle for us. He’s had a breakout junior campaign in his 4th year in the program. He has the tendency to disappear sometimes though, but has been pretty steady all year. He’s the main man charged with that task.
Taylor King is your next man in line. He’s been a superb rebounder, which is something we were all hoping for but continue to be amazed by. Isaiah Armwood is a lanky, explosive freshman who is playing with more confidence as each game goes by. He’s a scrapper in the same mold as King. Mouphtaou Yarou and Mo Sutton will come off the bench to provide depth.
With the amount of 3’s you guys take though, there will be a lot of long rebounds, and probably a lot of offensive rebounds. The guards will have to help out as they always do.
Friarblog.com: Last year was the incredible Final Four run as a #3 seed. With Scottie’s last stand, is anything less this year going to be considered a disappointment?
IBBW: Before the year I was firmly under the belief that we couldn’t expect another Final Four. Last year’s seniors were so special. But then Scottie woke me up to reality. He’s good enough to take this team back, and he always plays his best ball come March.
I’d say anything less than Elite 8 is an obvious disappointment with the talent of this team, but deep down anything less than a trip to Indy is a disappointment with it being Reynolds’ swan song.
Friarblog.com: In Friartown, a lot of people point to Jay Wright and your Wildcats in terms of taking 3 or 4 years to develop an NCAA Tournament team after the coaching change. At what point did you realize Wright was building something special, and do you remember what your thoughts were in year 2 as we currently are with Keno Davis?
IBBW: The moment I really knew was in 2004 against #1 Kansas beneath 3 feet of snow in downtown Philly when we stomped them by 30 points. I realized we had the right coach and the right attitude in the program where we could become one of the nation’s elite on a yearly basis.
Back in Year 2, I still didn’t know what we had. There was the whole phone scandal thing (not sure if that was in Year 2 or not), but our program was still recovering from the Lappas era (which to be fair, wasn’t TERRIBLE). But it takes a coach having HIS guys for 4 years to really know what you have. I really do believe that. You need to get kids to buy into the program before they’ve even signed their LOI. That’s what Jay Wright has done for ‘Nova.
Friarblog.com: As you know, my all-time favorite Villanova player was Dwayne F$#@$ Anderson. Did you know he plays in Germany, in the same league as our former forward Jonathan Kale? Through the magic of google, I discovered that Kale’s Phoenix Hagen squad played Anderson’s MEG Gottingen team. I *think* Gottingen won (google translate doesn’t work that great), but Kale had 14 points, and Anderson only had 6. So THERE!
IBBW: Damn, no response. Except for the fact that he went to a Final Four and is a part of the winningest senior class in Villanova history. And because you’ve obviously hit a nerve with me, I’m leaving you his season highlights mix so you have nightmares.
Friarblog.com: What are you predictions?
IBBW: My friends get overly drunk in D-Lot pregaming and probably get kicked out of the game midway through the 2nd half. Sharaud Curry hits 4 rainbow three’s, each of which makes me curse out loud. Oh yeah, and Villanova wins by about 14. I’m thinking 95-81.