Villanova vs. Lafayette: What to Watch for


The season is finally here. The Villanova Wildcats will host the Lafayette Leopards on Friday, November 8th at the Pavilion. Game time is 8:00 pm ET, with television coverage on Fox Sports 2.

Villanova finally got some game action in last week in an exhibition game vs West Chester. Villanova won easily by a score of 88-50. Rising Sophomore PG Ryan Arcidiacono was forced to miss the game with bruised ribs and is day-to-day. Jay Wright expects him to play vs Lafayette. Kris Jenkins, on the other hand, got injured late in the second quarter and did not return with an ankle injury.

"It looks like a pretty bad sprain," Wright said. "Our trainers are pretty good, if he can play they'll tape them up, but he said he was done for the day, so it's going to have to get X-rayed."

The injury bug is already hitting the Wildcats before even playing a regular season game. Dylan Ennis, Kris Jenkins, Ryan Arcidiacono and even walk on Nick McMahon are injured. Last year, Villanova didn't have one player miss a game. We'll see if Jenkins can give it a go and make his Villanova debut vs Lafayette.

Ok, now some things to look for in the game vs Lafayette.

Sharing the Rock

It's hard to base it off of one game, especially with the opponent being DII West Chester, but Villanova had tremendous ball movement throughout the game. Their offense looked totally different than it did at any point last year. Everyone was moving off the ball and I can't recall any moments in this game where they got completely stagnant. At times last year, that was the case. They would get stagnant and go on long scoring droughts. Villanova assisted on 22 of their 26 made field goals, hitting 26-50 (52%). That is a very encouraging sign that this team already has chemistry and is spreading the ball around the floor. They need to share the rock to be effective this year.

Freshman Roles

A big question coming into the year was, will the Villanova Freshmen Kris Jenkins, Josh Hart and Daryl Reynolds make a big contribution to this years success. With the injury to Dylan Ennis, and him expected to miss 4-6 weeks, Josh Hart's role, in particular, should increase. He has been a pleasant surprise so far to the Nova Nation. Josh can play multiple positions and brings a lot to the table. "

"We love his aggressiveness, his ability to attack the basket, we love his defense." Jay Wright said.

Kris Jenkins, who I stated earlier suffered an ankle injury, and is uncertain for the Lafayette game. He has been labeled by his teammates and coaches as the best shooter on the team. Jenkins can play inside and out.

Another Freshman, Daryl Reynolds, is raw offensively, but can be a presence on the defensive end. Many are still not sure if he will be used when Daniel Ochefu needs a breather. Will Jay Wright go small with JayVaughn Pinkston at the 5 because he doesn't believe Reynolds is ready? That will be something to look for early this season. Villanova is heavily favored in this game and everyone, including the walk-ons, will probably get minutes. So even after this game we still may not know Reynolds' role but at least the staff and fans can see how he is adapting to the speed of college basketball. Games like these can determine for Reynolds and the rest of the freshman class, how much they play for the rest of the season. They need to play well.

What are you guys looking for in the game against Lafayette? Comment below!

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