Following seven consecutive seasons where Jay Wright posted 20+ win seasons and trips to the NCAA Tournament, Villanova had it's worst season in recent memory in 2011, going 13-19 and failing to play postseason basketball. That disastrous start to the season prompted this post from Brian just prior to 2012, wondering if Jay Wright should be on the hot seat at Villanova.
In just three years we had gone from the Final Four to a losing season. It seemed preposterous. I myself wondered openly whether Jay Wright was the right man for the job. Some Villanova Wildcats fans jumped to his defense. Some called for his head. Others were still in wait and see mode amidst speculation that there were serious chemistry issues on a team stacked full of 4 and 5-star recruits.
In just under two years since that post, Villanova appears back on track. But is this progress sustainable?
Wright has brought in six consensus Top-100 recruits in his three most recent recruiting classes - and those players are finding immediate success. In the 2012-2013 season, with modest expectations for a program that had been served a heaping spoonful of humble pie, Wright's team made national news with three victories over Top-5 opponents, and they got back to the NCAA Tournament to boot. And Wright has led Villanova back into the Top 25 after a 1,005 day hiatus (H/T to my colleague kevin.pulisfer).
So far in the 2013-14 season, Villanova looks sharp. The schedule had been soft, but then 'Nova went down to The Bahamas and beat Kansas and Iowa to claim the Battle 4 Atlantis championship. There appears to be great chemistry among the players too, something that was sorely missed from 2010-2012.
So, has Jay convinced you that this program is back on track to national prominence? And can they stay there?