The Week In Review (Updated)

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I Have a Dream …. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes about new Big East Commissioner, Mike Aresco’s vision for the league. "As executive vice president for CBS, Aresco handled the network's contract negotiations with the NCAA for the rights to the NCAA men's basketball tournament. He also negotiated CBS's 15-year deal with the Southeastern Conference. "I think my job is to make this a state-of-the-art conference in every respect." His first task will be to lead the Big East in television negotiations for a long-term deal. The conference will meet with ESPN, which has an exclusive 60-day window. If no agreement is reached, the Big East would be free to negotiate with other networks. Keeping the conference intact is Aresco's second priority. After the announced departures of Pitt, Syracuse and West Virginia and rumors that Louisville and Connecticut would welcome invitations from the Big Ten and ACC respectively, Aresco says, "I wouldn't have taken the job if I didn't feel there was a commitment."

Shift & Replace … As reported last night on VUHoops, Jeff Goodman at CBSsports.com sent out a tweet this morning reporting that Jay Wright is looking to fill the vacancy on his staff with Raphael Chillious.

What Was Jay Thinking? … Here’s what Coach Jay Wright tweeted this week: "Tough situation with Doug Martin - good man - made a mistake, took responsibility - we all learn! Shout out to Jerry Colangelo, Coach K and the USA Basketball staff-the ultimate in leadership. The world is getting better in hoops - USA is responding with teamwork! Welcome to our new commissioner of the Big East Conference, Mike Aresco. We are excited about the future! Great story Wednesday by Mike Kern on tragedy Tony Chenault and his family have faced this summer with the loss of Mike Jay. Thought NovaNation would love this image as much as I do - Wali Jones with some former teammates from the 60s."

Possible identifications from readers Bill’62 and Squeaky Sneakers: Left to Right: George Leftwich, Jim O’Brien, Bill Melchioni, Hubie White, Jim McMonagle, Wali Jones, Unknown, Unknown.

Cause for Optimism … Daniel Carp of the Philadelphia Daily news writes, "Not only does Villanova quarterback Chris Polony believe the Wildcats have the potential to become a winning team, he believes that Villanova can be a winning team today. The Wildcats will return 20 of 22 starters from last year's team. Entering his second year at the helm of the Villanova offense, Polony considers himself to be a completely different quarterback. Through his rigorous offseason workouts with his receiving corps, Polony has worked to develop the necessary skills to live up to his new role as the full-time starter. The Wildcats will be more experienced as they head into the 2012 campaign, but more importantly, they will be healthy. Polony will have the Wildcats' biggest offensive weapon at his disposal, as wide receiver Norman White returns to action. While another run at a national title seems unlikely this season, there is little doubt that Villanova will be an improved team this year. The Wildcats get set to open their season against Temple in the Mayor's Cup at Lincoln Financial Field."

What to Expect from 'Nova Hoops … Mike Pickett of BleacherReport makes "seven bold predictions" about Villanova’s upcoming basketball season in an article published this week. He writes:

1. JayVaughn Pinkston Will Have a Breakout Year: Averaging 9.6 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game last season, Pinkston was able to make his presence felt inside the key and also showed the ability to step back and hit the long ball. With a year’s worth of experience under his belt, he should know what to expect this season and will be even better, potentially becoming one of the conference’s stars as a sophomore.

2. James Bell Will Stay Healthy: Bell may not be called upon to put up gaudy numbers every night, but he’ll stay healthy this season and be a solid contributor.

3. Front Court Will Be Villanova’s Strength: The team’s top returning scorer with 11.3 points per game, the 6’10" Yarou also averaged 8.2 rebounds per game. With 6’11" Maurice Sutton and 6’10" newcomer Daniel Ochefu coming in off of the bench, Villanova should have plenty of strength and talent up front.

4. Guard Play Will Shift Focus: The emphasis could be on solid play and strong defending this year instead of star power.

5. Villanova Will Trend Towards the UNDER: Coach Wright knows that he doesn’t have the personnel this year to shootout with the top teams in the Big East and will emphasize smart play and team defense.

6. Villanova Will Be an ATS (Against The Spread) Winner: Those brave enough to bet on Villanova should get some great lines and turn a nice little profit

7. Villanova Will Win 20 Games: This is a proven basketball program with a proven track record. Programs like this deserve a mulligan. Wright will make the necessary adjustments this year and Villanova will return to at least the middle of the pack in the Big East with 20 wins.

Yet Another List … David Fox of AthlonSports lists the seventeen most intriguing questions about college basketball teams in the eastern region. His question No. 10 is: "Where does Villanova go from here?" with the commentary, "Marquette, Pittsburgh and Villanova were the only Big East teams to make the NCAA Tournament each year since the league reorganized in 2005-06. Now Marquette stands alone with that superlative. Pitt reloaded with Adams and other newcomers, but Villanova may be in a precarious position after going 13-19 last season. Normally a haven for point guards, Villanova has questions in its backcourt with Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek gone (though neither lived up to his billing). The rebuilding job could be a multi-year project." Other questions on the list involving Big East teams were:

"No. 2: What’s next for Jim Calhoun?" … Answer: he’ll stick around to get his 900th win).

"No. 3: Was Louisville ’s Final Four run a sign of things to come or an aberration? Answer: sign of things to come."

"No. 6: Are Michael Carter-Williams and DaJuan Coleman ready to take charge for Syracuse ?" Answer: Yes

"No. 7: Will Steven Adams be a rare freshman star for Jamie Dixon? Yes "

"No. 8: Has Notre Dame moved from overachiever to Big East frontrunner? Answer: Big East Frontrunner"

"No. 12: Who will be the Big East’s 2012-13 version of USF?" Answer: USF.

"No. 16: What does the new-look bench mean for St. John’s ?" Answer: Expect Lavin to face growing pains with a young team.

"No. 17: Who should I get to know in the Big East?" Answer: Cincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick, Marquette’s Trent Lockett and Jamil Wilson, and Georgetown’s, Otto Porter.


Bros Go Separate Ways... NBC Sports’ Raphielle Johnson dashes any long-shot hopes that Dylan Ennis might help Jay Wright land brother Tyler Ennis to the Mainline. He writes, Tyler Ennis (St. Benedict’s Prep) announced his decision to attend Syracuse. "The main thing where I knew where I wanted to go there was when my brother Dylan asked me what’s the one school that if someone committed there before you, you’d be mad at. I thought about it and the only school I could think of was Syracuse."

Check Diallo On The Radar … Adam Zagoria reports that a "slew of high-major Division 1 coaches came to watch the 6-foot-10 McCullough at the Peach Jam, but couldn’t help but notice Cheick Diallo, a sleek, 6-9 2015 forward on Team Scan. He had a breakout summer at the Peach Jam with Team Scan 16 and under and currently holds offers from Arizona, Washington, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Iowa State and UConn. He has interest from Villanova and a bunch of other top programs.

DeFilippo Calls It Quits … Associated Press reports that Gene DeFilippo, the athletic director for Boston College who held the same position at Villanova until 1997, is stepping down on September 30. He is credited with stabilizing BC’s program in the aftermath of a gambling scandal involving 13 football players, led BC’s switch to the ACC, and collected four NCAA men's hockey championships. BC has also annually ranked near the top of the NCAA graduation rates for athletes during his tenure. Prior to Boston College, he was the athletic director at Villanova, overseeing most of the Lappas years in basketball and notably butting heads with Andy Talley over football. He significantly improved athletics revenues during that time, however, but left in 1997, in the midst of Villanova's first flirtation with a move to FBS football (and may have left over Fr. Dobbin's opposition to the move).~Assist to Brian Ewart

Vaya Con Dios Señor Fisher ... As reported her earlier this week, former Villanova great, Corey Fisher, will play for Spain’s FIATC Joventut next season. SlamOnline writes, "Fisher last played professionally in Turkey, where he averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 30 games. He played this summer for the Minnesota Timberwolves during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas , appearing in five games and collecting 6.4 ppg, 1.6 apg and 1.4 rpg.

Life Goes On … Mike Kern of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote a feature on the story behind the shooting death of Michael Jay, the 29-year old brother of Villanova point guard Tony Chennault. He writes, "They said some guy with a bandanna and a hoodie just came up and let off 11 shots. I don't know the whole story, but I assume the target wasn't my brother. People knew he wasn't involved with that stuff. He had a good job with an insurance company. He helped my mom a lot, so me and my brother [Sean] could go to college. "My first thought was, 'Wow, this poor kid,' " Wildcats coach Jay Wright said."I know transferring wasn't easy on him. Then this. But he hasn't missed a beat. He's just taken care of business. He lost his role model. I talked to him about the fact that there is no answer for this. It becomes part of you. It's another responsibility you take on. But he's been an inspiration to all our guys. He checks on his mom all the time. Then he's back here doing whatever he needs to get done. He never uses it as an excuse. He just gets it."

Big East Crime Blotter: Daniel Martin of NBC Sports reports, "Seton Hall commit Aquille Carr was arrested by Baltimore City police Friday on a warrant for assault around 8 a.m. Friday morning. Carr, 18, is a Top-100 recruit in the Class of 2013 who committed to Seton Hall in December."

Maalik’s Odds … PhillySportsNut.com explores Maalik Wayns chances of making the Philadelphia 76ers' roster, writing, “Maalik Wayns is seeking to join the list of other Wildcats who have played guard for the Sixers. Wali Jones and Billy Melchionni were on the 1967 Championship team. Wayns was signed shortly after Xavier Silas suffered sinus fractures requiring surgery to repair the facial injuries. So the timing of Wayns signing would suggest that he is insurance in case Silas is unable to start the season. In either case, the two players could be competing for the third point guard spot on the team. If this happens, Wayns might have the advantage because he is a natural point guard, whereas Silas’ has been mostly a shooting guard. However the Sixers might need to give a lot of attention to the defensive side of the game. Silas is 6′ 5″ while Wayns is 6′ 2″. So this might give Silas the edge for defending shorter point guards. [Editor’s Note: PhillySportsNut never makes makes a prediction between Wayns and Silas. What do you think?]


Slow Start for Savon … For those who still feel jilted by the Savon Goodman’s decision to renounce his Villanova scholarship in favor of the desert of Las Vegas, here’s a peek at how he’s doing at UNLV. Taylor Bern of the Las Vegas Sun reporting from Canada, where UNLV played Carleton University in a exhibition game on Saturday, writes, “Goodman scored 2 points on1-2 shooting, had 2 turnovers and 2 personal fouls in 11 minutes of play. He often looked like he wasn’t quite sure where he was supposed to be on the court. Not lost, necessarily, just slightly off-balance. He could be a very useful weapon for UNLV this year, but it may take being paired with a veteran lineup, at least in the beginning, to help him find his footing. Overall, Goodman didn’t do much to stand out from the crowd but he also didn’t embarrass himself by any means. He’s a raw talent and it’s going to take some time for his game to come into form.”

Dante At the End of the Timberwolves’ Bench? … Kurt Helin of NBC Sports writes, “The Timberwolves have a pretty set front line — Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic will start, with Andrei Kirilenko and Greg Stiemsma behind them. And you can throw Dante Cunningham in the mix if you want.”

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