I hope everyone had a happy and safe Thanksgiving yesterday and was able to take in the 'Nova romp over UC-Riverside - but if you weren't, that's why we have this post.
It was one of the more interesting Villanova games I've ever watched, simply because our opponent was overmatched and I was more interested in individual performances and attitudes rather than the final score, which was never in doubt.
As always, there were some who stepped up, some who didn't, and some who were all over the place. We'll sort it all out after The Jump.
Maalik Wayns - The 1st half was atrocious, but clearly somebody woke you up and let ya know there was a game going on at the half, cause you came out guns blazing. 23 points and 7 assists and stepped up and put the game to bed after the break. This is his team.
Mouphtaou Yarou - 'Nova looked awful until Yarou got involved, and then the game was pretty much over at the half. 11 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals, including the most baller play you'll ever see from Mouph when he picked his man's pocket at the top of the key, ran the floor alone and finished acrobatically. Just awesome.
Darrun Hilliard - The freshman still looks lost on defense, but in a win like this it isn't as noticeable. His long range shooting (3-3) was good to see. He does look very confident
James Bell - Some quick foul trouble limited him in the 1st half but he looked really good while he was on the court. 3-4 from downtown and always crashing the glass and playing tough D. When he's playing confidently he's a legitimate presence on the floor.
Dominic Cheek - The leading scorer so far this season pulled an 0-for from the field and only got on the board through a couple of FT's. Not good. But the old Dom would
JayVaughn Pinkston - Still shaking the rust off, but he's doing the right things. Some silly fouls, but on offense he knows he's at his best driving to the hoop. He laid off some open jumpers in favor of a pump fake and drive. He'll get there.
Maurice Sutton - Defense was giving him no respect, literally playing under the hoop when he had the ball at the foul line. Nobody is saying to shoot the 12-footer Mo, but you finally figured out that you're 6'11" with hops late in the game when you took it hard to the rim. If they're giving you the space, take it.
Markus Kennedy - 6 rebounds in limited time is great. Easy to see he's a phenomenal rebounder. He still needs to learn how to finish when he gets them though. He's bigger than he realizes in comparison to other players. There's no reason to be fading away from 5 feet. Go up strong and get to the line.
Jay Wright's outfit - Stick to suits Jay. Nothing more to say.
Ty Johnson - Still not a ton of minutes but he looks really hesitant. Didn't think he did anything too bad out there, really. Don't know if it's the injury or Jay telling him to not push it, but I know he's capable of more. If Leek ever gets into foul trouble he'll be pressed into action and right now I don't know if anyone can feel even okay about that situation.
Tweet of the Game
This one goes to friend Joseph Dzuback, who runs the Villanova By The Numbers blog. Summed up tonight's demolition of an overmatched foe perfectly.
GameThread Comment of the Game
Only one other guy hanging around the game thread yesterday afternoon, which is understandable due to Thanksgiving. But hawkisdead (bonus points for an awesome profile pic) suggesting the obvious always hits home with us - especially since all of 'Nova Nation (except the players and coaches, of course) seems to realize this.
Villanova is back in action TODAY at 2:30 pm ET when they take on the Saint Louis Billikens in what is sure to be a great matchup. The game can be seen on ESPN2. See you in the game thread!