Knicks Give Cheek A Peek ... Tony Williams of the Metro reports, "Dominic Cheek wasn’t supposed to be at the Knicks’ pre-draft workout on Thursday, but he got a phone call around 9 a.m. that morning asking if he was available when a spot opened because former Georgetown forward Hollis was injured. "I wanted to show them that I’m competitive, that I can knock down the jump shot and I’m improving my ball-handling. I’m a great defensive player, too. I couldn’t really prove it too much in college, but that’s one thing that I did in high school and I still can do it right now." Although most scouts said Cheek needed another year of seasoning at Villanova, he insisted he’s gotten solid reviews from teams like the Heat and 76ers. When prodded if he’s heard any promises from teams that he’d be picked if still on the board, Cheek said no but added it’d be a "dream" to be a Knick."
... While Some Fancy Wayns a Sixer ... Alec Nathan of Bleacher Report writes, "The 2012 NBA draft has afforded the Philadelphia 76ers a great opportunity to target some intriguing prospects. Mr. Nathan lists Villanova’s Maalik Wayns as one of seven bold options the Sixers might exercise in the draft. He writes, "With Lou Williams recently opting out, Wayns could fill a need as a bench scorer but would likely not see much action in his rookie season. Wayns has fallen out some mock drafts, which means he would likely garner pick No. 54 from the Sixers, if he garners one at all. A good sign for Wayns, the Sixers are not opposed to drafting local talent in the second round. Last year's second-round selection Lavoy Allen was more productive than any Sixers' second-rounder in recent memory, and his play has earned him a spot in Doug Collins' rotation for years to come.
Most Think Chennault Will Help, Not Star ... Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reports, "Villanova got tremendous news this week when the NCAA cleared Wake Forest transfer Tony Chennault to play next season thanks to a waiver. The 6-foot-2 Chennault will add much-needed back court experience to the Wildcats, who could start freshman Ryan Arcidiacono at the point when the season begins next fall. The biggest issue for Villanova heading into next season? Outside shooting. The highest returning 3-point percentage of any player that was on the Wildcats last season was JayVaughn Pinkston, who made 36.6% from deep in 2011-12." [Editor's Note: See the end of this post for a head-to-head 2012 statistical comparison between Wayns and Chennault.]
Michael Rogner of Run the Floor writes, Tony Chennault struggled both seasons at Wake Forest and has a lot of work to do if he's to help out Villanova. He has no outside shot to speak of (25% 3-point shooter), struggles making 2s (43.7%) and is below average from the line (64.8%). He does draw fouls at a decent clip (4.0 per 40 minutes) but even there he was only better than one starter for Villanova. These offensive struggles diminish the allure of multiple point guard sets since Chennault really isn't much of a threat to score. His 9.0 ppg were due to volume, as his offensive rating was poor (90.0). Defenses can sag off of him and dare him to shoot. From a ball handling perspective, his assist rate (20.9) was slightly behind Ty Johnson, while his turnover rate (20.1) - though poor - was much better than Johnson's. Neither Chennault nor Johnson compare favorably with Maalik Wayns. So what to expect from Chennault? If he's running the team that is probably not a good sign. His ideal role would be contributing off the bench and helping to mentor Arcidiacono, who is the future point guard for the Wildcats."
ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan writes, "Tony Chennault isn't likely to be an All-Big East candidate right away, but he is a nice cog in what could have been a much more difficult backcourt rebuilding process. Chennault brings extra built-in experience, and Wright will hope that experience dovetails nicely with the arrival of Ryan Arcidiacono and rising sophomore Ty Johnson. The strength of the 2012-13 Villanova Wildcats will be in the frontcourt, where Mouphtaou Yarou and JayVaughn Pinkston loom large. No, it may not be enough to compete for a Big East title, but with Chennault in tow the massive gap in Villanova's backcourt became considerably smaller."
Dark Horse Dylan ... Sean Burke of Prime Timing Sports writes, "I really like Dylan Ennis as a dark horse for this Wildcat team. His long range shooting is better than Chennault’s. Ennis is a better passer and has a better handle than Dominic Cheek, and a better shooter than Maalik Wayns."
Bell The Answer From Deep? ... Andy Edwards of City Of Basketball Love.com writes, rising junior "James Bell made a big leap in his sophomore season, averaging 7 points and 3.8 rebounds in 23 minutes of action. The 6-foot-5 swingman was the Wildcats’ most reliable three-point shooter, reaching double figures eight times, and will be counted upon to shoulder more of the scoring load this season. Bell’s sweet stroke will be all the more important as Wright likely will keep JayVaughn Pinkston down low. Another player who figures to assume an expanded role in the 2012-13 season is Maurice Sutton, who saw his playing time increase dramatically over the second half of last season. Sutton averaged 24.5 MPG over the final 11 games, compiling 6.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest. He shot 52.6% from the floor and notched a pair of double-doubles during that span. Mouph Yarou averaged 11.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last year, and could be the Wildcats’ leading scorer in 2013. The multi-talented JayVaughn Pinkston is expected to make another big leap this season. Daniel Ochefu and Sutton may split time when the Wildcats employ a bigger lineup - Sutton and Ochefu would play center, with Yarou at power forward and Pinkston at small forward."
Certainly We Hoped for More From Mouph ... Fox Sports listed the twenty centers that will be competing for First-Team All American honors. Villanova’s Mouph Yarou comes in at #13 on their list.
Move Over Jimmy Dugan ... The National Journal reports, "Female Capitol Hill reporters and congresswomen faced off during the fourth annual Congressional Women's Softball Game Wednesday night to raise awareness about breast cancer. The game ended with the press team, the Bad News Babes, winning 13-10 despite quite a stunning comeback from the members late in the game. Memphis Grizzlies player, Dante Cunningham, coached the Press Team.
Do You Want The Good News Or the Bad? ... Fact on Villanova Sports reports that "according to a report from Serbian Newspaper Večernje novosti, 2006 Villanova graduate Marina Muncanis headed to the 2012 London Olympics to compete in the 1500 meters. Muncan is the Serbian national record holder in the event. This will be her first Olympic Games." The bad news comes from The Register-Guard, which reports that Villanova’s Shericka Ward was disqualified by a false start in the second heat of the women’s 100-meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympic trials." ~Assist to Brian Ewart
Justice Served ... Associated Press reported that "former Penn State assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years, a swift and emphatic end to a case that shattered Penn State University's Happy Valley image and brought down Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno. Sandusky, a 68-year-old retired defensive coach who was once Paterno's heir apparent, was found guilty of 45 of 48 counts and is almost certain to spend the rest of his life in prison. The jury of seven women and five men, including nine with ties to Penn State, deliberated more than 20 hours over two days." Former Villanova Assistant Coach and now Penn State’s Head Basketball Coach, Pat Chambers, recently joined Penn State Head Football Coach Bill O’Brien O’Brien and a group of Penn State coaches from various sports traveling in a caravan to meet with alumni and fans at 18 stops along the East Coast and in the Midwest. The coaches hoped to begin repairing the severe damage to PSU’s image caused by the Sandusky scandal.
Loyden an Olympian ... The Press of Atlantic City’s Susan Lulgjuraj reports that former Villanova All-American first team women’s goalkeeper, Jillian Loyden ’06, "is headed to the Olympics. Loyden recently was named one of four alternates for the U.S. Women’s National Team headed to London this summer. Loyden’s 23-year-old sister, Britton, was killed in February, pushed to her death in what police have characterized as a domestic violence attack. Britton Loyden’s former boyfriend is charged with her murder and is awaiting trial. After taking months off to grieve and be with her family, Loyden is back on the field, constantly thinking about her sister but knowing she’s in the right place. The team’s first Olympic game is July 25 against France. Loyden has experienced a nomadic career in search of Olympic glory. After graduating from Villanova, she competed in Women’s Professional Soccer along with many of the best players in the world. Several of them are now her teammates." ~Assist to Brian Ewart
Strong Showing in APR Rankings ... Villanova reported on Thursday, "The Wildcats have seven teams receiving public recognition for a multiyear APR score that ranks in the top 10 percent nationwide within their sport. In addition, Villanova has 21 teams with a multiyear APR that ranks in the top half among their respective sport. Seven teams receiving public recognition are perfect multiyear APR scores of 1000 for the men's lacrosse, softball, men's tennis and women's tennis teams. In addition the men's soccer, women's indoor track & field and women's outdoor track & field teams also ranked within the top 10 percent of their sports. The men's and women's basketball teams each rank in the top 20 percent nationwide within their sport, while the football team ranks fourth out of all CAA schools and is in the top third of all football teams in the country."
Huskies Need Tickets To See Big East Tourney ... Daniel Martin of NBC Sports reports "the Connecticut Huskies are the most prominent of the ten Division I institutions that will be banned from the 2012-13 postseason for a non-qualifying Academic Progress Rate, according to a report released by the NCAA Wednesday. Schools face the ban for falling below the NCAA-mandated 900 mark, which was calculated over the years between 2007 and 2011. Connecticut is the first BCS school to face a postseason ban."
Brey To Stay ... ESPN’s Andy Katz reports that "Notre Dame coach Mike Brey has a new 10-year contract with the Fighting Irish. The school announced the deal Tuesday. Brey's new contract will run through June 2022. Financial terms were not disclosed. Brey had three years left on an extension he signed in 2008 that ran through the 2014-15 season. "It's looking more like we've handled it the right way and I'm honored and thrilled that this can be the last stop," Brey said Tuesday."
Tale of the Tape ... How does Tony Chennault's sophomore season compare with Maalik Wayn's junior season? Not well. Here's the comparison (Source: Statsheet.com):
|Min Per Game||30.2||33.6||3.4||Wayns|
|Effective FG Pct||42.5||47.1||4.6||Wayns|
|True Shooting Pct||46.8||54.7||7.9||Wayns|
|3pt FG Att||48||151||103||Wayns|
|3pt FG Pct||25||29.8||4.8||Wayns|
|Free Throw Rate||42.5||40.4||-2.1||Chennault|
|Pts Per Game||9||17.6||8.6||Wayns|
|2pt FG Point Pct||62.5||45.8||-16.7||Chennault|
|3pt FG Point Pct||12.9||26.4||13.5||Wayns|
|FT Point Pct||24.4||27.6||3.2||Wayns|
|Off Rebs Per Game||0.8||0.5||-0.3||Chennault|
|Off Reb Pct||3.3||1.7||-1.6||Chennault|
|Def Rebs Per Game||2.3||3.3||1||Wayns|
|Def Reb Pct||8.6||10.6||2||Wayns|
|Assists Per Game||2.8||4.6||1.8||Wayns|
|Steals Per Game||1||1||0||-|
|Blocks Per Game||0||0||0||-|
|Fouls Per Game||2.8||2.7||-0.1||Wayns|
|Plus Minus Wins||9||10||1||Wayns|
|Plus Minus Losses||19||12||-7||Wayns|
|Plus Minus Ties||1||2||1||Wayns|
|Plus Minus Win Pct||32.8||45.8||13||Wayns|