Archives For Villanova

So…Bryce Cotton hit a game winner 3 point heave with 2.2 seconds left on the clock. This picture sums it up.

Credit to Twitter user @Bradling1215 for the pic! Give him a follow too!

Seriously, Bryce Cotton was a superstar. He hit the shot that got the Friars a second road win this season. Mind you, this was no easy feat – this same Villanova team took the loss to the Friars the first time around and used it to beat Louisville and Syracuse in the Pavilion. So this win was kind of a big deal.

How’d it happen? Let’s talk about it after the jump!

Continue Reading…

Friars Upset #7 Villanova

dave@friarblog —  January 26th, 2011 7:53 PM —  Comments

The Providence Friars got their 2nd straight victory over a ranked team for the first time since 1998 by beating Villanova 83-68 at the DUNK. Providence controlled the game from the very start, with strong offensive performances from Vincent Council and Gerard Coleman (16 points each). Marshon Brooks had a rough shooting night, but he still managed to get 20 points by being an assassin at the foul line down the stretch (12-14 from the line overall).

The Wildcats offense was as cold as the weather that kept many fans at home tonight, mostly relying on a three pointer that just wouldn’t fall (4-22, 18.2%). Providence ran all over Nova’s press, and the Wildcats couldn’t get results against PC’s shiny new man-t0-man defense.

  • Jerry: Yeah. Like Bizarro Superman. Superman’s exact opposite, who lives in the backwards bizarro world. Up is down, down is up. He says “Hello” when he leaves, “Good bye” when he arrives.
  • Elaine: Shouldn’t he say “bad bye”?
  • Jerry: No, it’s still goodbye.
  • Elaine: Does he live underwater?
  • Jerry: No.
  • Elaine: Is he black?
  • Jerry: Look, just forget the whole thing, all right.

We won’t forget this one any time soon. Enjoy the win Friartown!

(Image Courtesy of Kevin San)

The Providence Friars lost another tough one to another tough team, this time against #4/#5 Villanova at the Wachovia Center.  Despite losing their 5th game in a row, and dropping to below .500 on the season (12-13), Providence is showing improvement and fight.  The Friars hung tough until referee Doug Shows decided to shorthand PC by giving a ridiculous foul and unnecessary technical to Sharaud Curry, causing him to foul out of the game with 8 minutes left.  From that point on, the Wildcats ran over Providence like the picture below.

Believe it or not, this was called a blocking foul on Council (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

Read the rest after the jump!

LETS TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT ‘THE FOUR FACTORS’

More on the Four Factors

  • Providence’s eFG% was dragged down by their 2-point shooting in the first half.  The Friars were just 4-15 from the inside the arc, but 5-13 from behind the three-point line (mainly thanks to Sharaud Curry)!  Villanova did not have to rely on their three point shot, and used a 56% on 2-point shots in the 2nd half to pull away.  With many of Providence’s players in foul trouble throughout most of the 2nd half, Villanova scored inside easily with little resistance from defenders.  Providence definitely had a better defensive effort than previous games, but the foul trouble clearly limited them in the 2nd half.  For the record, Villanova has only had a lower eFG% in BIG EAST play against two opponents — Seton Hall and Marquette.
  • The Friars were not able to control the boards, getting out-rebounded on the offensive glass 16-12.  Peterson and Dixon combined for 5, but only other Providence players to get one were Curry and McKenzie, who grabbed one each.  The rest were “team”.  Even though Villanova had a 4 rebound advantage, they capitalized on them more, leading to a big 24-8 advantage in 2nd chance points.  No Wildcat player had more than two offensive rebounds, but EIGHT different players grabbed at least one.  Now that’s a team effort.
  • Most of the turnovers for both teams came in the first half (10 of PC’s 16, and 11 of Nova’s 15).  Greedy Peterson (who had all of his in the 1st half) and Vincent Council combined for 10 of the Friars’ 16.  The miscues evened each other out as both teams scored 16 points off turnovers.
  • With the way the whistles were going off every other second, it would have been a tragedy had PC not been able to get to the line often.  After troubles at the line against Georgetown, Keno must have made that a priority because the Friars looked great once they got there.  Vincent Council did not have his usual leaning after shooting habit, and hit 8 of 9 by drawing all sorts of contact with his drives.  Bilal Dixon had also been struggling from the charity stripe, and went a solid 5-7.  Apparently Greedy Peterson was off doing other drills, because he still had a disastrous time missing 4 of his 8 attempts.  Villanova also went to the line frequently since they played most of the game in a double-bonus.  Reynolds had a team high 8 foul shot attempts, 4 of which game on the ridiculous Curry double foul.

OTHER STAT NOTES

Possessions: 80

Efficiency Ratings

PC: 101.2

Villanova: 115.0

Interesting Plus/Minus numbers

Marshon Brooks: -16

Bilal Dixon: -5

Antonio Pena: +14

Scottie Reynolds: +14

Corey Fisher: -7

Let’s judge some performances by dishing out some pasta (from 1-4, 4 being awesome). My homage to the Star-Ledger.

Scottie Reynolds – I’m going to let SM from “The Truth About PC Basketball” handle this by way of his tweet during the game: “New NCAA rules. Scottie Reynolds can do whatever he wants.

Vincent Council – After his dud against Georgetown, he’s back baby.  Keno did mention that he was “sick as a dog” against the Hoyas, so no need to worry about the FRESHMAN WALL quite yet.  One can only hope that before he got over whatever it is he had, that he coughed on Brian McKenzie.  Woh, did I just say that out loud?  I’m already sick myself, so deal with that karma police.

Antonio Pena – Kept Greedy and Bilal off the boards with 10 defensive rebounds.

Sharaud Curry – I’m not sure if Curry has ever gotten teed up before (I’m guessing no), but this was only the FOURTH time in his career that he fouled out of a game.

Jamine Peterson – Eventually put up the 19-9 line, but wasn’t really effective in the first half and the stretch where Villanova pulled away.

Taylor King – I’m usually a fan of the goofy white guy who comes off the bnech, but something about this guy just rubbed me the wrong way.  After the Friars got whistled about 18 times in a row (including the Curry double foul), King BLATANTLY tried to hold Dixon to get a offensive rebound.  It was so obvious, even Tim Higgins would have called it if he was reffing in the DUNK.  After he was called, he looked incredulous and complained about the call.  Seriously dude?  No wonder this guy was previously at Duke — the guy has douchebaggery written all over him.

Marshon Brook – Marshon needs to get stronger and put on some muscle.  Eating one bowl game after game is not going to get the job done. 1-8 from the field?  Dude.

BOX SCORES FOR THE STATS NERDS!

Friars.com Boxscore

Friars.com Gametracker

StatSheet.com Boxscore

AROUND THE INTERWEBS

Friars.com: Men’s Basketball Defeated at Villanova, 92-81

The Providence College men’s basketball team (12-13, 4-9 BIG EAST) fell to No. 4/5 Villanova (22-2, 11-1 BIG EAST) by the score of 92-81 on Saturday, February 13 before a crowd of 18,622 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pa. With the Wildcats holding a 62-58 lead with 9:34 remaining in the contest, Villanova used a 17-7 run over the next 4:46 to take a 79-65 with less than five minutes to play. From there, the Wildcats held on for the victory.

Projo.com: Ejection costs Friars in loss to Villanova

Down just four, 64-60, with 8:07 left, Curry got tangled up in front of the Villanova bench with Scottie Reynolds. Curry was called for a foul and then was slapped with a technical foul by official Doug Shows after expressing some degree displeasure with the call. Those two fouls added up to Curry’s fourth and fifth of the game, knocking him out of the game.

Projo.com: Friars Journal: Brooks stays positive, despite results

The junior guard was referring to his 1-for-8, 5-point performance in the Friars’ 92-81 loss to Villanova. While Brooks certainly didn’t play up to his ability, he is perhaps the perfect Friar to ask important questions to. The most pressing for the team right now is how it is holding together after losing five straight games and seven of eight overall against as tough a schedule as anyone in the Big East over that stretch.

Projo Hoops Blog: PC loses at Villanova, 92-81

Playing Villanova at full strength is one thing. Trying to spring the upset of the Big East season after a questionable foul call that robs you of a leading player is doubly tough.

Philly.com: Reynolds rescues Villanova again

Reynolds did it again yesterday, scoring 17 of his 22 points in the final 20 minutes to lead the fourth-ranked Wildcats to a 92-81 Big East Conference win over Providence at the Wachovia Center, and giving Jay Wright his 200th career victory as Villanova’s head coach.

The Times Herald: Villanova grinds out win over Providence

“Not the prettiest victory, but Providence makes you play that way,” Wright said. “They’re scrappy and quick and every time we tried to play big, they were too quick for us. We wound up playing a little smaller with Tone (Antonio Pena) as the five man. Tone is experienced enough that he can play against smaller guys. They’re tough to match up with. We survived. That’s the best I can say about it.”

CSNPhilly.com: No. 4 Villanova Too Much for Providence in 92-81 Win

“Different players have different knacks,” Reynolds said. “I guess one of ours is, once you sense [that moment] in the game, you’ve got to take advantage of it, because it could go like that, and it might not be there anymore. Once they make adjustments, things like that, then you have to start over again. Once you find it, you have to take advantage of it.”

Friar Basketball: Villanova Notes

Curry has his flaws, and certainly his detractors, but he’s been a solid four year player at Providence.  He hit huge 3s in the first half when it looked as though the Friars were falling out of the game and when he fouled out Providence really missed him offensively.  Many will play the “he gives up more than he scores” card with Curry, but there aren’t many players on this roster than you can’t say that about.  He’s averaging 18 ppg, on 89% from the free throw line and 43% from 3 in Big East play.  Numbers that won’t be easy to replace next year, especially on a team lacking shooters.  Maybe Joe Young replaces him as our shooter next year and starts 23 games, scores 11.9 per game, shoots 36% from 3, and 89% from the FT line – Curry’s freshman year numbers.

VUHoops.com: Villanova Slides Past Providence, 92-81

Villanova (22-2, 11-1) continued its winning ways since last Saturday’s loss at Georgetown, taking Providence at Wachovia 92-81. However, this one was close for much of the game until Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher turned a tight game into another ho-hum double-digit win for the Cats.

ESPN Recap (AP)

FEATURED FAN TWEET

Steve Hartnett Tweet

OTHER TWITTER REACTIONS

TTAPCBBall Bogus technical on Curry was the end of this one.

JADuffy now let’s see what the 2010-11 Friars can do. #friars

rjsuperfly66 Text from my dad: “How does Curry get a t with his back to the guy? Did he fart?” Sounds like typical Friar hate going on at Nova

PhillyFriar I really loathe Villanova. Especially Scottie Reynolds. #Friars

UCBearcatsblog @friarblog I agree. The refs took that game over big time the second half. The technical on Curry turned it. Big East refs blow this year

BH_Orange44 @UCBearcatsblog @friarblog It’s sad. Last year BE refs were the best in the country and the most consistent. It’s a shame.

Friarso8 WE JUST TUK 1 IN THE AZZ FROM THE BIG EAST CONFERENCE!!

FriarBasketball @friarblog Any chance Reynolds gets a tech when he has four fouls? Not a big ref complainer, but this is just poor

CranstonStyle @friarblog Well- it was a game until that T. Too bad.

Providence-Villanova Highlights

dave@friarblog —  February 14th, 2010 2:40 PM

via BigEast.org

As I watch Villanova’s team, that’s kind of who I’d like to be. I’d like to play like Villanova. I like the uptempo style and they put five guys on the floor who can all play. They don’t have guys who are just screeners or rebounders. They can all drive, all shoot and all defend. And they all play very hard.

Keno Davis via Projo.com

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.

You can read my answers to his questions over on his site.

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.

Thanks Chris!

For the big season finale against Villanova tonight, I exchanged some questions with Chris from the Villanova blog “I Bleed Blue and White”.

Make sure to head on over to to his site to check my answers to his questions!

Friarblog.com: People are saying that this season has been the best job Jay Wright has done coaching.  What is he doing differently than last year?

IBBW: One of the biggest differences is his personnel. While it is literally the same core group of players, everyone is a year older and wiser. The freshman (Fisher and Stokes) aren’t making the same mental errors and have really grasped the team concept that Wright preaches. They play defense first and you can tell by thier body language that even if they don’t have a huge offensive night they are really happy with themselves when they play defense (the ND game was a great example of this). Moreover, there were no seniors on last year’s team. Now the 4 juniors from last year are seniors and that means a lot to a team. Cunningham, Anderson and Clark have really turned it on for their senior seasons.

Lately Jay Wright has been getting a lot of talk for Big East (and even National) Coach of the Year. While you won’t hear a word from me if he wins it, let me tell you why he shouldn’t (I’m going to get killed for this). The coaches picked ‘Nova to finish 5th this year. That’s where they currently reside, although they now control their destiny for the 4th spot. So Villanova in terms of the Big East is right on track to where they were projected.

On the national scale however, nobody thought Villanova would be this good, so I can understand some of the talk coming from there. In the end though, who else in the Big East deserves it? Buzz Williams was a sure thing but now Marquette is tanking down the stretch. Your boy Keno could get a look as well but Providence has been very up and down. And Jim Calhoun’s team was expected to be this good. So yes, in the end Jay Wright could be the guy, but I would feel like it would be because there isn’t another viable candidate, even though he has coached Villanova very well this year. Wow, that was a long answer. I’m sorry. Still on a LOST high right now.

Friarblog.com: Only West Virginia has scored more points (93) than the what the Friars put up against Villanova in their first meeting.  Are you worried about the Friars offense, or do you think it was a fluke due to hot three-point shooting?

IBBW: Well the West Virginia game was more the exception. Da’Sean Butler will remember that night for the rest of his life, and a lot of loose balls were turning into easy Mountaineer buckets. Just one of those nights where you catch the wrong team at the wrong time.

Providence on the other hand is an explosive team, which we all know. “Defense” is a foreign concept to Keno and the boys, and they rely on playing games in the 80s if they want to win. I think I remember hearing a Keno quote that went something like “I don’t care if they score 90 as long as we score 91.”

So yes, I’m worried about the Friars offense. They can really shoot it, and stopping the long range shot has not been our specialty for whatever reason. Reggie Redding shut down Kyle McAlarney, but Sharaud Curry is too quick for him, so the job is up to Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher.

Friarblog.com: In Villanova’s last two losses (WVU and Georgetown), Scottie Reynolds had very poor shooting performances.  What do you think are some other areas of the game that could lead to a Providence upset?

IBBW: When Scottie has nights like he had against Seton Hall (40 points), Providence (31 points) and Notre Dame (23 points on lethal shooting), Villanova is going to be very tough to beat. I thought the last time out the Friars did a reasonable job of controlling Dante Cunningham to 12 points. When he gets going inside, it only makes it easier for our plethora of guards to get going, so I think containing Cunningham will be another big priority for Providence.

Villanova hasn’t really developed that 3rd option yet. If it’s anybody, it is Corey Fisher, but his offense has been down the last few games. If Providence shoots well and can contain Reynolds and Cunningham, I’m worried. But the main thing is that they shoot well, because if they don’t this one won’t be close. Think the 1st half of our last game.

Friarblog.com: I hate Dwayne Anderson.  OK, more of a statement, than an actual question.  Discuss.

IBBW: You should hate him. What he did to you was mean more than anything. The only other game I can think of where he had that type of performance was the game at Syracuse. When Anderson has days like that, it usually spells good things for Villanova.

I know how you Providence guys get though. I’ve been to your chats and I’ve seen the stories. If I see Grey Man run out onto the court tomorrow at Anderson I won’t be surprised. I know it’s you Dave. And your spandex is too tight.

Good thing we have Blue Man! He’s better anyways, and won’t be afraid to throw down.

Friarblog.comA lot has been made over the fact that the Villanova students are on Spring Break.  I personally feel it’s not going to make any difference.  How do you think the crowd will be on Thursday?

IBBW: If you were at the Villanova-Georgetown game on Saturday, you’d think otherwise. I don’t want to trash the alums, because they are great. But when you take out nearly 1300 students sitting behind the basket and replace them with mostly alumni, you have lost significant homecourt advantage. The Wachovia Center was weirdly quiet last Saturday. The students that were there were loud, but definitely could not make up for the lost portion.

On his radio show last night, Jay Wright even made mention that the alums need to get up for this game. The Pavilion thrives on the students. We’ll see if the alumni are up to the challenge.

Friarblog.com: Final thoughts and Predictions.

IBBW: With the Marquette loss tonight both teams are now officially playing for something. A ‘Nova win locks them into the double-bye, while a Friar victory basically ensures them a bid to the dance. Last home game at The Pavilion for the seniors, even if it’s not senior night. How can I pick against that?

Villanova uses defense and a spirited effort from the seniors to lock up that double-bye. 82-73 ‘Nova.

——-

Thanks Chris!

Here is something important I learned last night: NEVER watch LOST hours after a painful Friars loss.  Just don’t do it.  The show does not deserve that from you, loyal LOST fan.  By the way, don’t worry, I will not give anything away for those who haven’t watched it yet.

“Oh shit Kate, someone wants to steal your weird looking baby who is not really your son?  Fuck that, we couldn’t stop Villanova from scoring you inconsiderate assholes!”

I did find it funny though that some of Losties’ noses started to bleed after TRAVELING through time and space with the Island and whatnot.  I could have sworn the same thing happened to me last night — Except I wasn’t skipping around time due to strange flashes in the sky.  I practically turned into Charlotte convulsing on the ground with a face full of blood after the phantom TRAVELING call on Jeff Xavier even though he got pushed to the ground.

With no help from the refs or their own rebounding skills, PC fell short 94-91.

After the sequence where PC missed about 3 shots in a row, including that Weyinmi Efejuku layup, Charlotte’s brain couldn’t take it anymore. Yeah, they get MSG+ on the Island.

LETS TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT ‘THE FOUR FACTORS’

more on the Four Factors

Stats by StatSheet.com

- The biggest disparity was clearly rebounding.  In the first half, Villanova was pretty much just making everything.  In the second, their shots were not falling, but they kept getting second chances.  Three Wildcats finished with over 10 rebounds (and they all had over 10 points too) – Dwayne Anderson (10 rebounds, 19 points), Reggie Redding (11 rebounds, 12 points), and Dante Cunningham (11 rebounds, 12 points).  Redding and Cunningham both had a game high 4 offensive rebounds, and so did Shane Clark.  The Friars got more offensive rebounds than I would have thought after watching the game – Kale lead the team with 4, and Jeff Xavier, Efejuku, and McDermott each had 3.  The big difference was that Villanova was able to capitalize better, finishing with 21 second chance points versus Providence’s 14.

- Turnovers were a wash, with Providence playing sloppy in the 1st half with 12 turnovers, and Villanova taking a turn in the sloppiness with 10 turnovers in the 2nd.  The Friars narrowly edged the Wildcats in points off turnovers 26-24.

Stats by StatSheet.com

OTHER STAT NOTES

For more information on advanced stats, check out Ken Pomeroy’s ‘Stats Explained’ and his ‘Stats Primer

Providence Offensive Rating by Half:

1st Half – 82.9

2nd Half – 132.6

Game: 108.3

Thanks to ferocious three point shooting in the last 7 minutes of the game, the Friars were able to put up really impressive numbers for the second half.

Their offensive rating for the game was similar to that of the Marquette loss.  Only the Seton Hall, Syracuse, and Away Cincinnati game had higher offensive ratings for the Friars in BIG EAST games.  Impressive, considering their first half stinker.

Villanova’s Offensive Rating by Half:

1st Half – 119.51

2nd Half – 107.1

Game: 113.3

Even though it seemed like Villanova was scoring at will, their ratings numbers aren’t as crazy as one would think.  Don’t get me wrong, 110+ is a great offensive night. However, Syracuse, Seton Hall, Marquette, and (obviously) UCONN all had higher rating numbers against the Friars.

Providence Effective FG % by Half:

1st Half – 45%

2nd Half – 56%

Game: 51%

Amazing.  17 three pointers made (12 in the second half), and the eFG% is still only 50%.

Villanova’s Effective FG % by Half:

1st Half – 60%

2nd Half – 41%

Game – 51%

It seemed like in the first half, Nova was hitting everything in sight.  They shot 8-15 (53%) from behind the arc, which was higher than their FG% of 48.6% for the half!  Even though Villanova struggled from the field in the 2nd (they shot 1-13 from 3-point land), they would still score by either getting the offensive rebound or getting a whistle.

LET’S SERVE SOME PASTA

Let’s judge some performances by dishing out some pasta (from 1-4, 4 being awesome). My homage to the Star-Ledger.

Scottie Reynolds - Did most of his damage from the line in the 2nd half.  How many players are going to score 30+ against the Friars?

Sharaud Curry – Played his heart out.  Those two insanely deep threes at the end were simply amazing.

Weyinmi Efejuku – Dominated in the 2nd half.  First half? Not so much.

Dwayne Anderson – I have no idea who you are, but I hate you.

Geoff McDermott – Sure, 11 rebounds…but we are going to need *some* offensive help

Brian McKenzie – Fouled out with 11 mins left in the game.  Seriously dude?

Randall Hanke – Authorities are still trying to determine if he actually played last night.

BOX SCORES FOR THE STATS NERDS!

StatSheet.com Boxscore

Friars.com Gametracker

Friars.com Boxscore

ESPN Boxscore

ROUNDUP AROUND THE INTERNETS

Friars.com – “Men’s Basketball Outlasted By No. 17 Villanova, 94-91”

The Providence College men’s basketball team (14-8, 6-4 BIG EAST) fell to No. 17/16 Villanova (18-4, 6-3) by a score of 94-91 on Wednesday, Feb. 4 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.


The Friars tied a school-record with 17 3-pointers made (they also made 17 vs. Loyola-Chicago, Jan. 19, 2004) and broke the previous record of 34 3-point attempts set against Connecticut on Jan. 22, 1992 with their 40 tries on the night. In BIG EAST Conference play, the 17 3-pointers made is a PC all-time high.

Projo.com – “PC’s furious comeback falls just short against Villanova”

After riding an explosive offense and outscoring opponents in the first half of the Big East schedule, the Providence College Friars have discovered that they cannot stop anyone at the other end of the floor. Those defensive woes ultimately doomed a spirited second-half comeback last night as Villanova outlasted the Friars, 94-91, in front of 11,212 fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

Projo.com – “Home wasn’t sweet for the Friars on this night”

The quickest way out of the NCAA Tournament mix is by not protecting your home court, and the Friars dropped a second painful game before their fans Wednesday night.

Philly.com – “Cats hang on to post a victory over Providence”

The sky appeared to be falling for Villanova last night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Providence was raining three-point baskets and its student section was raining noise and insults as the Wildcats tried to hold on to a lead that twice had reached 20 points.

Philly.com – “Villanova prevails over Providence”

The Sports Network – “Reynolds, Villanova hold off Providence”

Scottie Reynolds scored 31 points and three Wildcats recorded double-doubles, as No. 17 Villanova held a big enough lead in the second half to fend off a furious charge from the Providence Friars, escaping the Dunkin’ Donuts Center with a 94-91 victory.

Boring-ass AP Article

ESPN Highlights

AP Photos


BLOGS

KMac Halftime Blog post

KMac Post Game Blog post

I Bleed Blue and White – “postGame: Villanova 94, Providence 91”

VUHoops.com – “Villanova 94: :91 Providence”

Villanova by the Numbers – “Providence Post Game — Pace”

PC-Villanova ESPN Highlights [Video]

For the big upcoming game against Villanova on Wednesday night, I exchanged some questions with Chris from the Villanova blog “I Bleed Blue and White”.

Be sure to head on over to his site to check out my answers to his questions!

Friarblog.com: Nova just recently took down Pitt (only their second loss of the season) and blew out Cincinnati, yet it seems like no one is really talking about them (or underrated Dante Cunningham).   Do you think they’ve proved themselves enough so far this season?  Or is the media becoming numb to the carnage that flies around each night in the BIG EAST?

IBBW: I still think the general view is that Villanova hasn’t proven themselves yet. Before the win over Pitt, there was an article calling Villanova the most overrated team in the country, citing their 0-4 record against Top 25 teams (3 of them Top 10 teams mind you). In those 4 losses they never got blown out, and played well enough to win a couple (Louisville and UConn). I don’t think anyone expected a lot of love from the “experts” but nobody expected the “most overrated team in the country” statement either.

The win over Pitt in my mind changed that. Villanova really dominated the 2nd half and executed to perfection. And then they responded by running Cincy out of the building. So to me, they have definitely earned their current ranking, but I think a lot of people want to see more. What you so eloquently described as “carnage” is completely true though. The Big East is the best conference because any of the Top 12 teams can beat each other, and it wouldn’t shock anyone.

That’s why Providence and Syracuse are so important for Villanova. If they can manage to win both of those games, they’ll set themselves up nicely for the Big East and NCAA Tourneys.

Friarblog.com: Villanova has used excellent defense to win their last several games, while Providence’s (save for the recent UCONN game) offense has been pretty dangerous.   What’s going to bend?

IBBW: Villanova are at their best when they play up-tempo and are out and running, much like Providence. They showed off just how good the defense can be against Cincinnatti when they want it to be, but I don’t see this game going that way. In the past, ‘Nova has struggled to defend the 3 point ball, and up until recently it had become a HUGE problem. They seem to have rectified that issue, but it could rear its ugly head at any time.

As you stated in our exchange, Providence loves to get out and run and shoot the ball, so I definitely see this as an offensive shootout. This game will easily be played in the high 70s and possibly the 80s in my opinion.

One thing to watch however is Villanova’s defense down the stretch. The veterans like Dante Cunningham and Dwayne Anderson have really taught the younger guys that defense wins ball games. We saw that against Pitt and Cincy. Down the stretch, I definitely like Villanova’s defense over Providence’s.

Friarblog.com: I’m sure this has been talked about before, but give us the scoop on Scottie Reynolds.  After he dropped 20 against us as a Freshman, it seemed to me that he was on the path to becoming a dominant player in the league.  Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a great player (I mean, the guy scored 40 against the Hall last month) — it’s just that his overall numbers haven’t really improved since his Freshman year.  Is it because Nova has so many other offensive weapons, or just too high expectations?

IBBW: To the casual basketball fan (and even casual ‘Nova fan) Scottie Reynolds has been not living up to expectations so far this season. But if you look at little deeper and understand what his role is now, it’s understandable. In Reynolds’ freshman year, he had a seasoned PG in Mike Nardi. All he had to do was get the ball and put it in the hoop. Now he’s the mentor. Corey Fisher has seen his struggles and when that happens, Reynolds is forced to take over the point (not his best role at all).

Still though, Reynolds is a scorer, plain and simple. There are nights like his game against Seton Hall where he just puts the team on his back and carries them to victory. Then the next night, he’ll only take 4-5 shots. It’s maddening at times. In his defense, he’s not the #1 option for this team anymore. That’s Dante Cunningham without a doubt. But he is the clear #2.

I just think that Reynolds is confused about his role. He’s not a PG, but has been asked by Jay Wright to play a lot of it. In a perfect world, we’d all love for Corey Fisher to take over the PG spot full time and really mature quickly, but there will always be growing pains with young players. When Fisher takes on that role confidently, I think you’ll see Reynolds begin to show more of what he showed his freshman year.

Friarblog.com: What can we expect from Nova playing on the road?  So far this season they are 2-2… beating Seton Hall (in OT like Providence) and USF, but losing to Marquette and UCONN.

IBBW: Villanova has a lot of guys who have been through the wars. Dante Cunningham was on the magnificent ‘05 Villanova team, and really was thrown into the fire that year. He learned how to play in the Big East. Obviously Scottie Reynolds has never shyed away from the big game (40 point games @ UConn and Seton Hall in his career). Dwayne Anderson, Shane Clark and Reggie Redding are your ultimate glue guys and scrappers. They will play defense, get big rebounds, and ultimately, they know how to win.

The younger guys (Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes and Antonio Pena) are a little dicier. Fisher and Stokes are a huge part of ‘Nova’s offense and Pena is the only other legitimate frontcourt guy on the team. When they don’t show up, it’s a lot harder for Villanova to emerge victorious.

Although the way you described The Dunk earlier has me a little concerned, I don’t think it’s going to phase the ‘Nova team that much. Their two road losses were just a case of Marquette’s senior guards taking over down the stretch and AJ Price having a career night. I try not to put too much stock into the crowd affecting the game, but I know all too well that it does have a good effect, so hopefully Villanova can start fast and take the crowd out of thh game.

Friarblog.com: With similar conference records and big games looming for both teams, this is surely an important game.  What’s your prediction?

IBBW: Before the Pitt game, I had this game chalked up as a loss. Then Villanova looked very good in beating the Panthers and took Cincy to the woodshed. This will be a war from start to finish I think, but in the final minutes I like Villanova’s defense to step up and bring home a tough road win. Villanova 79, Providence 75.

Thanks Chris, and good luck tomorrow!