May 8, 2015 |
ONE OF THE FIRST things Jay Wright does after every Villanova game is go back over the video. "You always want to see, immediately, what we can improve for the next game," said the man who has the third-most wins in school history. Except when that game is suddenly another eight months away, which is what happens when you unexpectedly get ousted in the first week of the NCAA Tournament. "Once there's not a next game, you know it's going to hurt to watch," Wright said. "So you kind of delay it. "I probably didn't watch for a couple of weeks.
May 5, 2015 |
Megan Hodgson's name is a familiar one in circles associated with the Owen J. Roberts High School softball program. As a member of the Wildcats from 2006-10, she helped Roberts to the PIAA state tournament, capturing a District 1 title and three Pioneer Athletic Conference championships along the way. When Hodgson played shortstop for the Wildcats, Sam Garritano was in middle school. She remembers hearing about the star player who went on to a standout career at La Salle University.
May 1, 2015 |
IT WILL BE a four-day homage to the day that lives in infamy. And Philly will be well-represented. Fox Sports is staging a salute to the troops commemorating the 74th anniversary of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor from Dec. 4-7. Among the nationally televised events will be games featuring the Eagles and the Villanova men's basketball team. On Sunday, Dec. 6, Fox will air an NFL doubleheader, culminating with the Eagles at Patriots at 4:25 p.m. The next day - the actual anniversary of the 1941 attack - Villanova will take on Oklahoma at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports 1 in the opening game of a doubleheader at Bloch Arena in Honolulu.
April 24, 2015 |
VILLANOVA'S football team lost three times last season, by a total of five points. Quarterback John Robertson won the Walter Payton Award as the Outstanding Offensive Player in FCS. Linebacker Don Cherry finished second in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award, which goes to the top defensive guy. Both are now seniors. If Robertson hadn't suffered a concussion in their first playoff game and missed the quarterfinals, which the Wildcats lost by three to Sam Houston State at home, they might have made a serious run at their second national title in 6 years.
April 22, 2015 |
Marcus O'Sullivan seems pleased to have "a lot of depth, more than ever before" on his Villanova men's track team that will attempt to handle both the pressure and some of the nation's best teams at Franklin Field in this week's 121st Penn Relays. Now the Wildcats' coach has to make sure he selects the right runners for each race and runs them in the correct order to maximize their chances against strong opponents like Oregon, Georgetown and Penn State. Just because he has a lot of depth, O'Sullivan said Monday at a Penn Relays news conference, "it doesn't mean you're going to get it done.
April 2, 2015 |
The subsequent three decades merely have confirmed what Villanova's national championship team learned for certain on the memorable night of April 1, 1985: Jake Nevin not only looked like a leprechaun, he was one. Since his death in December 1985, some visitors to his unmarked Ardmore grave insist that if you put a cigar in the ground, the diminutive Villanova trainer, who was rarely without one, will begin puffing on it. A night watchman once...
March 31, 2015
THE THREE No. 1 seeds in the Final Four are 106-7. And then there is Michigan State (27-11), a team that can't be evaluated off regular-season performance because its coach, Tom Izzo, has developed a formula to get the Spartans to peak in mid-March. Saturday's second national semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis will not only be a rematch of last year's semi (won by Kentucky, 74-73), with many of the same participants, it will match the nation's most efficient offense (Wisconsin's)
March 25, 2015 |
For Villanova this week, as the reality of the Wildcats' early exit from the NCAA tournament settles in, the magic of 1985 and the possibility of a repeat performance drifts one year further into the rearview mirror. As long as that banner is in the rafters, however, the dream remains alive that Villanova will not merely play with the big boys, but could once again be the last boy standing at the end of the tournament. It's a nice thought, and certainly possible, but the philosophy of team-oriented, patient program-building that has developed under Jay Wright, while admirable in every other way, is not the likeliest path to the next championship.
March 25, 2015 |
WHEN YOU LOSE in your second NCAA Tournament game for the second time in 2 years as a 1 or 2 seed, and third time since 2010, there will be fallout. Maybe even a whole bunch. And much of that will be directed at the guy in charge. That's the way the world spins. In the last 27 seasons, Villanova has made it to the second week of the Madness four times. All of those happened from 2005 to '09. Jay Wright was part of that, too. Now, everyone wants to know what he's doing wrong, even though the Wildcats have won 62 of their last 70 games.
March 24, 2015 |
PITTSBURGH - The game never felt right from the start. Villanova was getting shots near the basket, the shots North Carolina State essentially was conceding, so concerned were they with the three-point line. If the Wildcats had not missed so many of those early, easy shots, they would have been playing with a working margin and their body language would not have given away their predicament. Instead, they started rushing shots against a defense that could have been moved around with the extra pass that had been this 'Nova team's signature all season.