March 29, 2016 |
Entering this NCAA tournament, the overriding question was not only whether Villanova could still succeed at the time of year when the games are the toughest, but whether the Big East Conference itself was constructed of more than just history and pom-poms. In the first two seasons after losing some of its mainstay schools and reforming as a basketball-first conference, the Big East was able to place several teams in the tournament but was unable to do well once it got there. What the league didn't need was for the tournament selection committee to get the notion that the only thing major about the conference was its level of disappointment in March.
March 26, 2016 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - On the narrowing ladder of the NCAA tournament, Villanova reaches for a very high rung Saturday night in an Elite Eight matchup against the Kansas Jayhawks, who merely happen to be the top-ranked men's basketball team in the country. The Wildcats have climbed this far with three tournament wins, one more impressive than the next. Their Thursday dismissal of Miami in the regional semifinal by a score of 92-69 was another thunder-and-lightning mix of rumbling defense and electric offense.
March 2, 2016 |
For the first time in three weeks, Villanova took to the basketball court Monday for practice at the Pavilion no longer the nation's No. 1 team. There was maybe a shrug or two, but no tears. The Wildcats (25-4, 14-2 Big East) yielded the top spot to Kansas in both the Associated Press poll of media members and the USA Today poll of coaches, dipping to No. 3 and No. 2, respectively, after a week that saw them lose, 90-83, at Xavier. Still, life went on. "It's not something that we were walking around like, 'Yeah, we're the No. 1 team in the country,' " junior guard Josh Hart said.
January 23, 2016 |
NEWARK, N.J. – Life on the road in the Big East Conference can be a real strain on players and coaches alike, and that applies to Villanova even with its lofty national ranking. For the third straight time on the road, the No. 4 Wildcats were extended for a full 40 minutes but somehow found their way out of it to stay unbeaten in the 2015-16 conference schedule and keep intact their year-long streak without a loss. While Villanova coach Jay Wright wasn't exactly pleased for most of the game with his team's defensive effort Wednesday night against Seton Hall, the defense made key plays in the final minute with the help of 6-foot-11 center Daniel Ochefu and squeaked out a 72-71 victory over the Pirates at the Prudential Center.
January 21, 2016 |
When the 2015-16 basketball season began, Villanova made it look like it was going to rely heavily on three-point shooting to be successful against a difficult schedule. In six of their first 11 games, the Wildcats knocked down 10 or more three-point baskets. The Cats shot more three-point attempts than two-point tries in seven contests, including the night they went 4 of 32 from distance in the loss to Oklahoma. However, since Penn limited Villanova to a season-low one three-pointer on Dec. 28, their last game before the start of the Big East Conference season, the Cats have been winning without an overwhelming reliance on the three-ball.
January 17, 2016 |
WASHINGTON - When Georgetown defeats Villanova at the Verizon Center - and that has happened four times in their last five meetings there - it's usually because the Hoyas come out of the locker room with fire in their eyes while the Wildcats look to ease into the game. It happened again last year when the Hoyas raced out to a 22-point halftime lead and took a 78-58 victory. That was on Jan. 19, and the sixth-ranked Wildcats haven't tasted defeat in a Big East Conference game since then.
January 8, 2016 |
In its first two Big East Conference games, Villanova captured a pair of wins fueled by excellent shooting, running an offense that could have been described as poetry in motion. But Jay Wright knows that on most nights, Big East games are 40 minutes of bumping and banging and diving to the floor and collisions without one second of poetry. Seton Hall provided that type of test Wednesday night at the Pavilion, but the 11th-ranked Wildcats were ready for the challenge. Daniel Ochefu scored 20 points, grabbed 18 rebounds, and set the tone on the defensive end, lifting the Wildcats to a 72-63 victory over the Pirates in a game played before more than a dozen NBA scouts.
March 25, 2015 |
B.J. Johnson, a former Lower Merion basketball standout who is transferring from Syracuse after two seasons, committed Monday to continue his career at La Salle. Johnson's father, Bobby, was a sharpshooting wing guard for ex-coach Speedy Morris and the Explorers from 1986 to 1990. "I couldn't be happier about B.J.'s decision," the Southern High School graduate said. "There's a legacy there which I think he'll eclipse. " A 6-foot-7, 190-pound sophomore forward, B.J. Johnson averaged 4.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 25 games for Syracuse in the recently completed season.
January 21, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - The target on Villanova's back appears to get larger when the Wildcats rise higher in the polls, and Georgetown came out Monday night with a purpose and made headlines by knocking off the No. 4 team in the country at the Verizon Center. The Hoyas blitzed the Wildcats with a 17-0 run in the first half, grew the lead to as high as 26 points and fought off a mild comeback try by 'Nova in the second half to run away with a 78-58 upset that knocked the visitors out of first place in the Big East.
January 1, 2015 |
Villanova coach Jay Wright vividly remembers his team's game at Butler last season because it opened the "new" Big East Conference schedule and marked the first visit by Wright and the Wildcats to legendary Hinkle Fieldhouse. "My first thought is just an epic battle we played last year at Hinkle Fieldhouse, sold out, an overtime game, a great game that it was a thrill to be a part of as a coach," Wright said of the Cats' 76-73 win in Indianapolis. The sixth-ranked Wildcats (12-0)