Well, like the rest of you, I'm pretty much at a loss for words at the latest Villanova Wildcats disaster, this time an 81-68 thumping at the hands of the St. John's Red Storm (who in all fairness, are a very good team). Dwight Hardy ramped up his campaign for Big East Player of the Year with 34 points, while Villanova's supposed go-to-guy, Corey Fisher, struggled through another awful performance.
For the 2nd straight game, you could only name a couple of Wildcats that actually showed up to play. To no surprise, Corey Stokes was yet again one of them, finishing with 20 points. Maalik Wayns was your other guy not asleep on the court, finishing with 19 points and FINALLY getting to the line on a consistent basis (9-11). That's his best asset, and I was glad to see him get back to basics.
The biggest problem in this series of unfortunate events was rebounding. The Johnnies killed 'Nova on the glass all day long, despite being undersized for most of the afternoon. They finished with a 37-23 edge in that category, including 10 offensive rebounds that were especially key late in the game as they polished off the 'Cats.
Another issue (which is becoming a frightening trend, was the FT shooting. This should be one of this team's biggest strengths, yet it is becoming one of it's bigger weaknesses. For a team playing a ton of tight games, you'd think we'd be a bit better in this category.
But still, I can't get past Corey Fisher's game yesterday. It was awful in every sense of the word. He was 1-10 from the field, including 0-8 from downtown. He took 2 shots from inside the arc. 2 shots! And he didn't get to the free throw line. The high number of assists are nice, but let's be honest - we need more.
And despite all this - I still have faith in this team. Don't ask me how. That's just the life of being a fan and loving a team.
Can we get out of this slump? Of course. Does it look likely? Not in the least. But for years this program thrived as the underdog. Nobody believes in this team right now. Not the experts, not fans around the country. Hell, most of the fanbase has likely given up on this team.
It's easy to pack it in and say, "There's always next year." That's not what we do as fans though. We don't give up. We ride this thing out to the end, for good or for bad. Because the bad makes the good all that much sweeter, and if this 'Nova team can somehow turn it around for a March run, this stretch here is going to make it better.
As a New York Mets die-hard, there is nothing more I want than to switch allegiances every year. Hell, buying expensive players and WINNING looks awesome. It really does. But I'm married to that abomination, just like I'm married to this crap basketball I've been watching lately.
Let's rally together on the road and kick the crap out of ND tonight.