March 16, 2015 |
Villanova coach Jay Wright begins every March by restating his love for the Big East tournament, the annual Madison Square Garden stroll through the history of a conference that helped transform the program into a true national player. "I like this tournament better than any other tournament," Wright said on more than one occasion this past week. "I just love being in New York, love being in the Garden. " It had been a while, but the tournament loved him back this time, and the Wildcats captured their first conference championship since 1995 with a 69-52 title-game win over Xavier on Saturday night.
April 1, 2016 |
THE BASKETBALL worlds of 76ers coach Brett Brown and Villanova's Jay Wright couldn't be further apart. Brown is guiding a team that might tie the NBA mark for worst record in an 82-game season. If his club loses its remaining seven games, it would tie the futility mark of 9-73 set by the 1972-73 Sixers. Brown's team is riding a 10-game losing streak, part of a 23-game stretch in which it has lost 22. Wright, of course, is the toast of the town as he and his Villanova Wildcats left for Houston on Wednesday afternoon for their national semifinal game against Oklahoma on Saturday and a possible trip to the championship game on Monday against the winner of North Carolina-Syracuse.
September 30, 2015 |
Brett Brown and Jay Wright were sitting in the front seat of the bus as it crossed back from the West Bank and into Israeli territory in late July. They had just given a basketball clinic in Ramallah and were returning to do the same in Jerusalem as part of an outreach program sponsored by a group called PeacePlayers International. At the checkpoint, two young Israeli soldiers boarded the bus and this part was not about games. "People come through and they're checking passports and there's two 18-year-olds with AK-47's.
March 17, 2014 |
Once he completed his media obligations after Villanova's loss to Florida in the finals of the 2006 NCAA Minneapolis regional, Jay Wright entered the locker room at the Metrodome and swelled with pride at seeing how much his players had given in defeat. "It wasn't a bunch of guys sitting around crying," the Wildcats coach recalled a few days ago. "It was guys laying down dehydrated with IVs in their arms. They were just shot. I know it sounds sick, but I just felt so good about our guys and that they played until they had nothing left to give.
March 11, 2011 |
Jay Wright's voice was scratchy as he greeted writers and broadcasters Thursday at the Davis Center, and the Villanova coach explained that the hoarseness came from being under the weather, not from yelling at his players. "This isn't a group that needs yelling," Wright said. "This is a group that needs loving. " The Wildcats have been off from practice for two days, or since their dramatic collapse in the first round of the Big East tournament, when they blew a 16-point lead and were upset by South Florida for their fifth consecutive loss.
March 18, 2015 |
When the Villanova Wildcats got home from their successful trip down the long tunnel of the Big East tournament, Jay Wright started noticing all this stuff in the papers and on television about the Eagles. Apparently, there had been some moves or something. "I said, 'Arch, did you know they traded Foles?' " Wright said to point guard Ryan Arcidiacono. "He keeps up with all that. He just looked at me and nodded. " It's easy for a coach to get lost in the basketball at this time of year, particularly one at a relatively small school in a relatively new conference alignment that happens to become the second-seeded team in the entire country.
March 11, 2015 |
Jay Wright could be asked about a goal for Villanova in this postseason, such as capturing a No. 1 NCAA seed or a regional final or the national championship game and his answer would be the same: "Next game," which is where he wants the focus of his team to be. Next game is in the Big East tournament for the fourth-ranked Wildcats. But their coach conceded Monday that it would be nice to walk out of Madison Square Garden Saturday night with the championship trophy and give Villanova just its second tournament title in league history.
April 25, 2012 |
Jay Wright knows that last season wasn't just a failure on paper for Villanova, but an unwatchable debacle. When Wright's past teams made deep NCAA runs, "the stars all aligned," as the Wildcats coach put it. This time, it was more like space junk falling from the sky. "There were some recruiting decisions, there were some decisions on style of play for this year, there was development of players . . . a little bit of each," Wright said of...
March 5, 2009 |
The college experience could have gone so differently for Shane Clark. Had it not been for a clerical error, Clark would have spent the last four years exhibiting his versatile basketball skills and easygoing manner at Maryland. He'd be grabbing rebounds, draining the occasional basket, and guarding the likes of Tyler Hansbrough. Instead, the pleasure of Clark's talent and personality over that time has belonged to Villanova, the school he initially spurned but where he was accepted by his teammates and coach Jay Wright after fate intervened.
March 14, 2011 |
The more Jay Wright watched television in the days after Villanova's stunning 70-69 loss to South Florida in the Big East tournament, the better he felt about the Wildcats' chances of advancing to the NCAA tourney for the seventh consecutive year. And when Wright and his players watched Villanova come up as the fifth team on the 68-team bracket during the televised selection show, he felt better still. Despite a five-game losing streak, the 11/2-point underdog Wildcats drew a No. 9 seed in the East Region and will meet eighth-seeded George Mason of the Colonial Athletic Association on Friday at 2:10 p.m. in Cleveland.