The conversation is turning to the coaching staff in the postgame thread of Villanova's shocking and gut-wrenching loss to Santa Clara last night. Having watched the final 2 minutes again this morning, I'm still in complete awe at what transpired.
Holding a 7-point lead with a little over a minute remaining should not result in a loss. Hell, it shouldn't even be a nail-biter. Get to the line, hit your FT's (which we're very good at) and get out of there. Nope, instead we opted for shitting the bed and continuing to garnish our reputation as late game floppers.
Wonderful. 'Cheers' (not many) & '/Facepalms' (several) are after The Jump.
Mouphtaou Yarou - 19 points and 7 rebounds and really the only guy who can say that he had a good game out there. Mouph was getting it done both on offense and defense. He had a couple of moments where he failed to hedge a screen and let a guy have an open jumper, but I can forgive that.
Markus Kennedy - Finally starting to show the talent that had all of us excited heading into the season. He's a horse on the glass and a load to deal with for anyone. And he's got a great report going with Mouph lately too in the high-low game. He had some excellent passes and a phenomenal spin move on the low block for a lay-in. As his confidence improves so will his production.
Maalik Wayns - At the end of the game, the best player on the team needs to make sure that what happened last night isn't even a possibility. Wayns had hit some big shots in the 2nd half after spending the 1st buried in foul trouble, but late in the game he took 2 charges and heaved a 30-footer for no reason. Only his strong defensive effort saves him from a straight /Facepalm.
James Bell - Completely absent in the 1st half before hitting some huge shots in the 2nd half. But after one of the best games of his career against Saint Louis he was far too quiet.
JayVaughn Pinkston - The best game of his season yet. He was aggresive yet under control on offense and did great work on the defensive boards. But missing a critical 1 and 1 and then inexplicably fouling and gifting Santa Clara the lead with 4 seconds left leaves a bad taste. You can see he's improving though.
The Coaching Staff - What a colossal embarrassment. First, they instruct their team to foul with 10 seconds left thinking they have a foul to give (they didn't). Nevermind that, fouling and putting them to the line was actually the right call I thought. Guarantees you keep the lead. Then they have a freshman inbounding the ball with no designed play to get it to our two best FT shooters (Wayns and Cheek), so Pinkston gets it. He predictably misses and apparently they didn't tell the team to not foul anyone, cause that's exactly what Pinkston did.
Then the cherry on top. Down 1 with 4 seconds left, they AGAIN do not bother to draw up an inbounds play and we scramble and heave a 60-footer at the buzzer. Just shameful, shameful stuff.
Tweet of the Game
Because I'm a masochist when it comes to my beloved sports teams, we're giving this one to friend of the blog Sean Donovan, who got a little too giddy when Darrun Hilliard drilled a 3 to put 'Nova up 64-55 with 3:35 left. Yes, that was the last bucket we scored in the final 3 and a half minutes.
I feel like I should give Sean a ceremonial /Facepalm for that gem.
GameThread Comment of the Game
You know what was sick about this? I was all alone in the game thread until things started to look bleak. Then 'Nova Nation came out of the woodwork. That's how bad we've been beaten down. Today's award goes out to BigEd14 who showed up with this beauty (which I immediately didn't understand, that's how much I've blacked out the memory of this offensive set).
THAT WAS THE BURN!
Yep, the burn offense returned last night. And we lost. Coincidence. Ab-so-f*cking-lutely not.