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Jay Wright

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November 26, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - Villanova discovered Monday night how much easier the game of basketball can be when you make shots. The 12th-ranked Wildcats entered the Legends Classic semifinal against No. 14 Virginia Commonwealth hitting just 26 percent of their three-point attempts. But they found their shooting stroke from deep in the second half and rolled to a 77-53 victory over the Rams at the Barclays Center. Villanova (4-0) advanced to the championship game Tuesday night against No. 19 Michigan, a 70-63 winner over Oregon.
SPORTS
November 26, 2014 | BY DICK JERARDI, Daily News Staff Writer jerardd@phillynews.com
BROOKLYN - Villanova had gone the entire first half without a live-ball turnover against "Havoc. " Then, the Wildcats started the second half against Virginia Commonwealth with an open-court giveaway, followed quickly by another turnover. The Rams scored six consecutive points. An explosion seemed imminent at the Barclays Center in the first semifinal of the Progressive Legends Classic. Villanova coach Jay Wright obviously sensed a big run coming, so he called timeout. And he was dead on. There was an explosion - from his team.
SPORTS
November 22, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The statistics and the rankings suggest that 12th-ranked Villanova isn't supposed to have that much trouble defeating a team from the Patriot League, but don't tell that to Jay Wright. As with Lehigh last Friday, the Wildcats sweated out another tight one against a Patriot League squad, this one a Legends Classic contest Thursday night at the Pavilion against Bucknell, and they needed a 9-0 run at the end to take a 72-65 victory over the upset-minded Bison. Bucknell (1-2) was coming off a 24-point loss Monday night at Michigan, but it appeared to have all the answers on the Main Line, taking a 65-63 lead with 1 minute, 51 seconds to play on the last three of 10 straight points by junior Chris Hass, who had a game-high 32 points on just 12 shots from the floor.
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November 20, 2014 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Columnist
When Phil Martelli got his job as head basketball coach at St. Joseph's, the men in charge of the city's pro outfits were named Ray Rhodes, Jim Fregosi, John Lucas, and Terry Murray. It's been a while. The Sixers have had 11 coaches during Martelli's two-decade stint on Hawk Hill. (The Flyers a mere nine.) It's not just Martelli. Philadelphia's Division I college basketball coaches are on an unprecedented run in terms of the combined longevity of their jobs. Even the least tenured among them is pretty much at the national average for a stay at a school.
SPORTS
November 19, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The rules said that 12th-ranked Villanova had to play 40 minutes of basketball Monday night against Maryland-Eastern Shore, even though the Legends Classic first-round game ceased being competitive well before halftime. So Wildcats coach Jay Wright worked on different things on offense and defense and made sure he gave everyone in his regular nine-man rotation plenty of playing time. One of them was 6-foot-6 sophomore forward Kris Jenkins, who played 20 minutes and posted team highs of 15 points and four steals in the Wildcats' 81-44 victory over the Hawks at the Pavilion.
SPORTS
November 18, 2014 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
IT BECAME clearly evident very early last night that Maryland-Eastern Shore wasn't another Lehigh. On Friday, the Mountain Hawks led 12th-ranked Villanova by five with 14 minutes to go in Allentown before reality took over. This time, there would be no such issues at the Pavilion. These Hawks (0-2), who lost every starter from a team that won six games in the MEAC, have a new coach in Bobby Collins, who spent the last eight seasons at Winston-Salem (and four at Hampton before that)
SPORTS
November 17, 2014 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
ALLENTOWN - Four years ago, Darrun Hilliard came to Villanova from Liberty High School in Bethlehem, where he says football is really bigger than hoops. He was part of a class that included three four-star recruits: lead guard Tyrone Johnson, big man Markus Kennedy and shooting guard Achraf Yacoubou. Hilliard, a 6-6 wing, was rated as a three-star prospect. But 'Nova was the only place he wanted to be. Turns out, he's the only one from that group who stuck around. All the others are long gone, having moved on to other programs for whatever reasons.
SPORTS
November 16, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
ALLENTOWN - The excitement for Darrun Hilliard, a native of nearby Bethlehem, began when he boarded the bus from Villanova to the Lehigh Valley and PPL Center, where he wanted to put on a show for his hometown fans. However, his shot couldn't find the basket Friday night when the 12th-ranked Wildcats found themselves in a season-opening battle with Lehigh. He missed his first five shots and his first seven attempts from three-point range. But the Wildcats found others to pick up the slack, namely Dylan Ennis and Ryan Arcidiacono, and picked up a hard-earned 77-66 victory over the pesky Mountain Hawks before a crowd of 8,751 in the first college basketball game at the two-month-old arena.
SPORTS
November 15, 2014
Name: Darrun Hilliard School: Villanova Class: Senior Position: Guard Height/weight: 6-6/215 Hometown: Bethlehem High school: Liberty Last season's stats: Averaged 14.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 29.1 minutes a game. Shot 48.6 percert from the field, 41.4 from the arc and 71.8 at the foul line. Also had 17 blocks. Career highlights: Started each of the last two seasons . . . Shared Big East Most Improved Player Award with teammate Daniel Ochefu . . . Made second-team All-Big 5 and Honorable Mention all-conference . . . Has scored 1,010 career points . . . Had a career-best 26 points in a 73-56 win over Marquette at the Wells Fargo Center last March . . . Has averaged 15.7 points in three NCAA Tournament games . . . His career high is seven assists.
SPORTS
November 15, 2014 | By Mike Kern, Daily News Staff Writer
VILLANOVA PROSPECTUS It all comes down to: Can all of the promising pieces be playing their best as one when it matters most. Last year they had that elusive "it" factor, at least through the regular season. And only James Bell, who was the leader, is gone. Yet this roster might actually be deeper. That doesn't mean it'll translate into better. Still, once again there's no denying the possibilities. Shouldering the load: Take your pick. Jay Wright has two seniors, one a fifth-year guy, and two juniors who've been starting since they arrived.
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