April 1, 2016 |
IT WAS 15 YEARS ago and one of those basketball weekends you never forget. And not for just what happened on the court. Like last weekend, the East Regional was in town, a regional that would send Shane Battier, Jay Williams and Duke on to win the 2001 national championship in Minneapolis. The rumblings about Steve Lappas' job at Villanova began during the Thursday evening Sweet 16 games. They become a full-blown fire the next day, the off day between games. By late afternoon, Lappas was out, officially a resignation.
March 20, 2015 |
PITTSBURGH - So what can go wrong? It's hard to spin the ball that way when you're looking at Villanova right now. There may not be a more confident team in this NCAA tournament - on merit. The Wildcats easily solidified their No. 1 seed, they haven't lost since January, didn't lose before January, and are more than 20-point favorites Thursday in their NCAA East Regional first-round game against No. 16 seed Lafayette. So expect a free ride to the Final Four? Didn't all the pundits declare the East Regional to be the easy regional?
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.
February 5, 2015 |
Even when Steve Lappas was coaching at Villanova, it seemed plausible, to me anyway, that Lappas could have a future in television for the simple reason that Lappas not only knew how to game plan but also how to articulate that game plan. Yeah, he has a clear New York accent. But good TV guys have a voice. You hear Lappas, you know it's Lappas. He's been at it for 10 years now as a mainstay on the CBS Sports Network, typically working a couple of games a week and also getting to New York to work as a studio analyst.
November 5, 2014 |
Walk the hallways of the Pavilion where Villanova plays basketball, or the Davis Center where the team trains and practices, and it is always 1985. Ronald Reagan is the president. Something called WrestleMania is holding its first event. Nelson Mandela is in a South African prison. Pete Rose is closing in on Ty Cobb's major-league hit record. It is 1985 and the Villanova Wildcats are the national champions of college basketball. The photos aren't grainy, but many of them are black-and-white.
February 20, 2012 |
Injuries, inexperience, inconsistency . . . it's all eating away at Villanova en route to what likely will be its worst season in the Jay Wright era. For the second time in five games, the Wildcats coughed up a big lead against a nationally ranked opponent and lost Saturday night, dropping a 74-70 overtime decision to 23d-ranked Notre Dame at the Wells Fargo Center after holding a 20-point lead in the final two minutes of the first half....
March 18, 2011 |
CLEVELAND - Villanova has been playing basketball since 1920. Only twice have the Wildcats finished a season worse than this one. In 1943-44, they lost their last six games to go 9-11 for the legendary Al Severance. And you have to figure World War II had something to do with that, since that was the first of three consecutive losing seasons for a man who had only two others in his quarter-century on the Main Line. And in 1992-93, Steve Lappas' first season, they lost their last eight to end up 8-19.
January 22, 2011 |
STEVE LAPPAS got the job late, after Rollie Massimino had surprisingly left Villanova for UNLV. One of his first tasks was trying to convince Kerry Kittles that Villanova was still the right school for him. So he went to New Orleans. "As soon as I walked in [to the Kittles' house], he wouldn't even look at me," Lappas said yesterday at the Palestra before the Big 5 Hall of Fame inductions. During the meeting, Kittles warmed up to Lappas. When Lappas left, the local media were waiting on him. He told them he thought the time with Kittles and his family went well.
December 15, 2010 |
Villanova is playing seven games at the Wells Fargo Center this season, starting Saturday against Delaware. Why more games there this season than ever? "It's a combination of available dates, Saturdays are better than Tuesdays, opponent and a mix of games between the Pavilion and there in terms of the quality and the timing," Villanova athletic director Vince Nicastro said. "This year, we stretched it a little bit. We felt like we had a better number of Saturdays and felt like we could stretch the package and still have balance between the quality of the games on campus and at the Center.
December 23, 2009 |
RON WILSON did all the grunt work when he played for Villanova in the mid-1990s. Diving for loose balls, rebounding, defending, blocking shots, boxing out, all those nasty things you don't find in a box score but lead to victories. The 1995 Villanova graduate wants to instill some of that work ethic into his first head-coaching job at Chichester High School. Wilson's once lean 6-11 frame is a little paunchier these days, but his attitude is still the same. He's trying to add stability to a program that has had three coaches in the last 4 years.