Villanova turned out to be too much for the Mountaineers. The Wildcats won easily by a score of 90-59. Here are some things I liked and disliked about the blowout.
Villanova scored 71% (64-90) of their points in the paint. After shooting 5-30 (16.7%) from 3 in the opener vs Lafayette, Villanova found a new recipe. Multiple times in this ballgame, they dumped it down to JayVaughn Pinkston, where he showed his plethora of moves on the low block. The Wildcats also drove the ball effectively resulting in easy layups. They finished the game shooting 63% from the field.
"You’re not going to beat their pressure by kicking it out for 3s, so you have to take it to the basket," Wright said. "I thought we did a good job taking it to the basket and we did put the ball in the post." Wright said
The ball movement by the Cats was tremendous. On multiple occasions, players passed up a good shot to get a great shot. That is something we haven't seen in the past. The team finished with 21 assists.
Enough can not be said about freshman Josh Hart's performance. The 6'6 guard played 22 minutes, shooting 7-8 from the field, finishing with 17 points. He also recorded 11 rebounds, resulting in his first double double as a Wildcat. The thing that impressed me was his ability to handle the basketball. He looked very comfortable dribbling with his left and right hand. The scouting report on Josh coming in was that he is a "slasher" and we saw that on Wednesday. He had multiple back door cuts where his teammates found him for open layups.
"He’s just getting better every day," Wright said of Hart. "I thought he really handled the ball well against their pressure. We needed a guy that can beat their pressure and still finish at the rim because they force you to do that. If you don’t have guys like that, you could be in real trouble against that pressure."
JayVaughn Pinkston (22), James Bell (12), Josh Hart (17), and Darrun Hilliard (18) all finished in double digits. It is good to see that the team is spreading the ball and is not just dependent on one player. This team has great chemistry already and I look forward to that growing even more over the course of the season.
Villanova turned the ball over 18 times. Mount St. Mary's head coach Jamion Christian took a page out of Shaka Smart's book at VCU calling his high tempo, pressing defense "Mayhem." Last season, they forced turnovers on almost 23% of opponents possessions. Villanova struggled against the press early on in the first half, but eventually adjusted and broke it rather easily throughout the rest of the game.
Sorry guys, but Daniel Ochefu has to be in "the ugly" category. He has looked dreadful so far offensively in the first 2 games. I understand that it is only 2 games, but they were games vs Lafayette and Mount St. Mary's, games in which he should be a at least producing to a certain extent. He played only 8 minutes shooting 0-3 from the field with 2 turnovers and 4 personal fouls. The team just looks a lot more in sync when he is on the bench.
Villanova will look to improve to 3-0 on Sunday against an impressive Towson team. The game will be aired on Fox sports 1 at 5PM.