March 25, 2013 |
Villanova experienced a wide swing in its level of play all season, from the embarrassing 18-point home loss to Columbia in November to the March win over Georgetown - its third over a top-five team, which enabled the Wildcats to virtually punch their ticket to the NCAA tournament. Even though two of their weakest areas were exposed in Friday night's 78-71 NCAA South Regional loss to North Carolina that ended their season in Kansas City, Mo., the Wildcats look ahead with optimism after posting a seven-win improvement over the previous year and returning to the tournament.
March 19, 2013 |
When Villanova stood at 13-9 after the first weekend of February, it was looking at a second consecutive year away from the NCAA tournament and probably many raised eyebrows from critics wondering whether the program was losing its mojo four years removed from a Final Four appearance. But coach Jay Wright thought he had a team that was improving, one that always recovered after bad stretches. The Wildcats won seven games the rest of the way, including quality victories over Marquette and Georgetown, and learned Sunday that they would be returning to the NCAA tournament.
March 11, 2013 |
At the Pavilion just after this season's Villanova opener, a ho-hummer over Division II District of Columbia, a longtime Big Five stat-crew member mentioned: "This team is going to win 11 games. " The guy knew what he had been looking at and seemed prescient in the weeks just ahead as 'Nova hit bottom - forging a new bottom below the one established the year before - when the Wildcats lost at home by 18 points to Columbia, which later struggled to stay out of the cellar in the Ivy League.
April 2, 2016 |
The words on the walls of Villanova's campus practice facility are nothing remarkable. Attitude. Defend. Rebound. Run. Execute. College basketball players at elite programs across the country are bombarded by the same subliminal mantras in their own gyms. Maybe the message sinks in. Maybe it doesn't. Play with Pride. Play Smart. Play Together. Play Hard. What has made Villanova different - at least to the extent that the entire program, and especially the players, actually live the words - is the guy who put them on the walls in the first place.
April 1, 2016 |
Considered the best-dressed coach in college basketball for seven years now, Villanova's Jay Wright is clearly a man of style. That said, Wright's tailor, Gabriele D'Annunzio - the man largely responsible for Wright's courtside look - has a key piece of advice for the coach when he chooses the suit for his team's Saturday-night Final Four game against Oklahoma. Go with the dark-blue double-breasted. That would be one of the four suits D'Annunzio made for Wright at the beginning of the season at his Newtown Square bespoke men's shop, D&B Tailors.
June 24, 2016 |
JAY WRIGHT arrived home from an event so late Tuesday night - 2 a.m. to be specific - that as he groggily dressed Wednesday morning for the Wanamaker Award luncheon, he slipped into a blue suit with dark-gray pinstripes, thinking the stripes were white. "That's why I'm not wearing a tie," he said sheepishly before the banquet began at the Crystal Tea Room in Center City on Wednesday. "The one I picked didn't match. " Wright, categorically debonair, said between sleep deprivation and the beaucoup lunches at the slew of events he's attended since Villanova's national championship win April 4, he's worried he's put on a few pounds.
March 11, 2016 |
Villanova coach Jay Wright, who led his team to its third consecutive regular-season Big East championship, was named conference co-coach of the year, the fifth time he has received the honor. Wright, who also won the award in 2006, 2009, 2014 and 2015, guided the Cats to a 27-4 overall mark and a 16-2 record in the league. The selection is made by the league's coaches. Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard also was honored. Villanova has posted a 48-6 record since the Big East was reconfigured in time for the 2013-14 season and a 51-7 mark counting its games in the postseason tournament.
October 18, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Until Villanova plays a basketball game, many questions pointed at the Wildcats will be pointed backward, toward what went wrong. The good news: There are plenty of ways to answer that question for Jay Wright and his players. "I knew we could be committed to our core values and we could still slip," Wright said Wednesday at Big East media day. "I didn't think we'd lose our core values. " When you bounce toward the bottom, to a 13-19 record and 5-13 in the Big East, above only Providence and DePaul, the questions keep coming.
March 24, 2013 |
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - He played his last game as he did so many of the others, with unending hustle and an undying spirit. This was it for 6-foot-10, 250-pound Villanova senior Mouphtaou Yarou, who ended his career with another strong effort, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds during the Wildcats' 78-71 loss to North Carolina in a second-round NCAA South Regional game at the Sprint Center. During his time at Villanova, Yarou was as respected as much for his genial personality and leadership as he was for his game.
February 9, 2014 |
On the topic of reaching 400 career victories as a head coach, Jay Wright said he really didn't think too much about it. "Some of it makes me feel old," the 52-year-old Villanova head coach said Friday night after reaching the milestone when the sixth-ranked Wildcats downed Seton Hall, 70-53, in a Big East game at the Pavilion. "Some of it, I just think about the next game. It's humbling when people talk about it. I'm lucky to coach at Villanova," he said. "If you look at everybody that coached before me, they won a lot of games.