Reid Secures Place Among 'Nova’s Greats … Sports Illustrated reports that "Villanova dominated down the stretch and showed it can still beat the elite at the Penn Relays, winning the signature event -- the women's distance medley in 11 minutes, 1.03 seconds. Emily Lipari, Christie Verdier, Nicky Akande and Sheila Reid brought the title back to Villanova for the first time since 2006. Reid, the senior anchor, ran a fantastic final 400 meters, urged on by yells of "Go Nova!" Most of the fans that came out to the ancient stadium were there to root on the Wildcats. Reid became the fifth Villanova woman to have won an individual cross country national championship, at least one indoor national title and outdoor national title, as well as at least one Penn Relays title. "She was definitely feeling pressure to not leave Villanova without a Penn Relays victory," coach Gina Procaccio said.
‘Nova’s LAX Bubble Burst? Sixteen teams will play in the 2012 NCAA LAX tournament, comprised of 7 automatic qualifiers (champions of America East, Big East, Ivy, Patriot, Colonial, ECAC, and MAAC) and 9 at-large teams. LAXPOWER had projected Villanova as one of the 9 teams earning an at-large bid by virtue of wins against three top 20 RPI teams, but that was before the Cats were upset yesterday at Providence. The Big East Championship will be decided at Villanova Stadium on May 3 - 5. In the May 3 Semifinal games, No.2 Villanova faces No.3 Syracuse at 7PM (ESPN3) and at 4:30 PM No.1 Notre Dame takes on No. 4 St. Johns (ESPNU). The winners of the Semifinal games face off in the Final on Saturday at Noon to decide the championship (ESPNU).
Body Slam of the Week: Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote this week, "Jay Wright knows that last season wasn’t just a failure on paper for Villanova, but an unwatchable debacle. When Wright’s past teams made deep NCAA runs, "the stars all aligned." This [year], it was more like space junk falling from the sky."
Doing Us Proud ... The Memphis Grizzles' Dante Cunningham will face Randy Foye and the LA Clippers in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Cunningham played in 64 games, averaging 18 mpg, 5.2 PPG with a .516 FG%, and 3.8 RPG, and earned $2 million this season. With teammate Marc Gasol recovering from a bone bruise in his right knee, Cunningham has seen increased PT the last two games following four straight contests with less than 10 minutes of court time. He's taken advantage, averaging 7.5 points (on 54.5 percent shooting), 3.5 boards, and 1.5 swipes in 19.7 minutes. Foye played in 65 games, averaging 26 MPG, 11.0 PPG with a .398 FG%, 2.1 RPG and 2.2 APG, and earned $4.25 million this season. Foye got the start in place of the injured Chris Paul (groin) Wednesday, dropping 28 points, five boards, four assists, three steals, and a quartet of treys in the loss to the Knicks. The other former Villanova Wildcat playing in the NBA, Kyle Lowry, (Houston Rockets) played in 47 games, averaging 32 MPG, 14.3 PPG with a .409 FG%, 6.6 APG, 4.6 RPG and 1.6 SPG and earned $5.75 million this season. Lowry suffered a sports hernia injury that forced him to miss the final games of the season, including the loss to Miami on April 22 that eliminated the Rockets from playoff contention.
Hot Start in Dayton ... David Jablonski of the Dayton Daily News reports that former Villanova pitcher, Kyle McMyne, is off to a hot start for the Dayton Dragons, a Class A minor league baseball team affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds. McMyne, a reliever for the Dragons, "can hit 96 miles per hour on the radar gun. He was a fourth-round pick a year ago and is off to a great start this season. Through Sunday, he had thrown 7 1/3 scoreless innings in five appearances with nine strikeouts, four hits and one walk." McMyne started 10 games last season in Billings, but he was never healthy. He went 1-1 with a 8.00 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 27 innings." Hat Tip to VUHoops Reader, Bill’62
'Nova's Derrick May Has Great DNA ... Kevin Tresolini of The News Journal reports that Derrick May Jr. has signed his letter of intent to play baseball for Villanova. May, who chose Villanova over Maryland, is batting .471 with .500 on-base and .882 slugging percentages this spring for Tartnall. "His grandfather, Dave May, had played 12 big-league seasons. His father, Derrick May Sr., was a first-round pick of the Chicago Cubs -- and ninth overall -- out of Newark High., and played 10 seasons in the big leagues.
Well-Healed .... Villanova.com published a feature this week on Villanova wideout, Norman White, who missed last season with a foot injury. "White’s return to the field this fall is one reason why Head Coach Andy Talley’s team believes it will soon be back to the form that helped deliver an FCS NCAA title to the Main Line. Everything feels good," says White, who collected 69 receptions and 11 touchdowns as a first team All-CAA choice in his junior season. "It gets a little sore after practice but they told me that was going to happen. I feel like I'm right back to where I was before the injury."
Griffith to Hall of Fame ... Jim Lane of the Altoona Mirror reports that Allen Griffith, "a three year starter for Villanova’s basketball team from 1954-57, will be inducted into the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame. The Wildcats were 18-10 in his sophomore year and reached the NCAA Tournament. They went 14-12 and 10-15 in his next two seasons and he captained the team as a senior when he led them in scoring with a 13.2 average. He was named to the Big Five/Quaker City all-star team and inducted into Villanova's Hall of Fame in 1993. He finished with 735 points and 502 rebounds over his Villanova career."
No Place Like Home ... Mike Kern of the Daily News reports that recent Villanova signee, Dylan Ennis wanted to be closer to home. And he wanted to play in the Big East. [Ennis] averaged 8.5 points and 4.1 assists as a freshman starter last season at Rice. His brother, Tyler, is a highly regarded senior at St. Benedict's Prep in Newark. The Wildcats are one of the schools in the recruiting mix for Tyler. But as their father, Tony McIntyre, said: "If you have one, you don't need the other." Says Dylan about his brother, "If we play together, that's great. But we like to compete. So maybe we'll play against each other."
Ochefu Earns Local First Team Honors .... The West Chester Daily Local News selected Daniel Ochefu to its first team, saying "The Villanova-bound center averaged 13 points per game and led the Moose in rebounding."
April Showers Bring Freeman & The Harrisons ... VUHoops' Brian Ewart reports that top 2013 recruits Andrew and Aaron Harrison visited 'Nova this week, and fellow top recruit Allerik Freeman will visit on May 4.
‘Cuse Nabs Gbinije … Brian had reported that Duke transfer, Michael Gbinije counted Villanova among the schools he was considering after receiving permission to transfer from Duke. However, Daniel Martin of NBC Sports reported today that "while on a visit to Syracuse last night, former Duke forward Michael Gbinije committed to play for Jim Boeheim and the Orange."
A Little Prep Never Hurt ... Mike Miller of NBC Sports reports that "most signs have pointed to 2013 one-time Villanova commit, Savon Goodman, prepping for a season and therefore reclassifying to the class 2013. "I'm not sure yet," Goodman said [last] weekend. "I'm waiting to make a decision." Goodman said waiting a season to go to college would give him another year to work on his game, while it would also shore up any academic or eligibility issues that might come up. Goodman plans to visit St. John’s [next week]. He met with Temple coaches last week. The Seton Hall Pirates could have immediate playing time, too, because guard Sean Grennan will transfer.
Cassell a Terp ... The Associate Press reports that Sam Cassell Jr. has signed a letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Maryland, coach Mark Turgeon said Monday. Cassell is the son of former NBA guard Sam Cassell. He chose Maryland over the University of South Florida, Villanova and Florida State. Cassell says he picked Maryland because "it’s close to home so all my family and friends can see me play."
Harold's Boy ... The University of Portland announced the signing of guard Bryce Pressley to a National Letter of Intent. "Pressley (6-4, 190) averaged 14.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.4 blocked shots and 2.0 steals per game during his senior season. Bryce’s father, Harold, played four years in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings after a successful collegiate career at Villanova, which included being a key member of the 1985 NCAA Championship team."
Fall of the Empire … ESPN reports that "five underclassmen have left the Huskies since last month [when the NCAA] denied the school's request for a waiver of new academic requirements. Two left for to the NBA draft -- sophomore guard Jeremy Lamb and freshman center Andre Drummond, and are transferring – junior Alex Oriakhi (Missouri), sophomore forward Roscoe Smith (undecided) and redshirt freshman center Michael Bradley (undecided). Jim Calhoun did not appear with his players Thursday as they were honored by lawmakers at the state Capitol's annual "Husky Day." Shabazz Napier says the team is hopeful the coach will be with them on the sideline next season. Associate head coach George Blaney said he doesn't believe Calhoun has made a decision yet about whether he will return next season."
Wanted: Brain-Mouth Filter … Associated Press reports that the presiding judge "expects to announce his decision in two weeks after hearing arguments on a motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit against Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim. Former team ballboys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang claim Boeheim slandered them when Boeheim called Davis a liar and opportunist looking to exploit publicity surrounding the Penn State sex-abuse scandal when the allegations surfaced in November. Boeheim later apologized."
NBA Commish Stern Favors Two-And-Done ... Raphielle Johnson of NBC Sports reports that NBA Commissioner, "David Stern’s preference would be that players have to be at least two years removed from high school in order to be eligible for the NBA Draft. Stern said, "Everyone I hear from- players actually, college coaches, NBA teams- everyone says its a good idea except for the [NBA Players] Union, whose consent is necessary to change it. So what I tell people to do is, ‘Don’t call me, call their union."