Smack in the Middle of the Pack… SNY is picking Villanova to finish #5 in the inaugural season of the new Big East, behind Georgetown, Marquette, St. John’s and Xavier. About Villanova, they write, "Sophomore point guard Ryan Arcidiacono has now been through the Big East blender once around and should also gain some valuable experience this summer playing with the U.S. U19 team. Junior forward JayVaughn Pinkston has all the tools to become an All-Big East first-team player and this could be his breakout year. The Wildcats also return junior guard Darrun Hilliard and senior guard James Bell. Jay Wright’s team added some nice pieces in Rice transfer Dylan Ennis, who averaged 8.5 ppg and 4.3 rpg two years ago, incoming 6-5 power forward Kris Jenkins and 6-4 small forward Josh Hart, both ranked in the ESPN 100." Villanova’s Arcidiacono and Pinkston were listed on SNY’s All Big East Second Team.
Arch A Mile High … Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacano is one of 26 players participating in the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team training camp, which began on Friday and continues through June 19 at the U.S. at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Tweets from Jay
Lowry, reading, Yarou, Pena, sutton - working in Davis center with professional integrity !!— Jay Wright (@VUCoachJWright) June 12, 2013
Camp with Jay and Friends for $7,500 …with David Harten of NBC Sports reports that "an impressive list of college coaches, including Jay Wright, Jim Boeheim, John Calipari, Billy Donovan, will host a fantasy camp in Las Vegas from July 23-25 for 64 lucky campers willing to shell out $7,500. Guests of the camp will stay at the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel, watch the U.S. National Team practice — that means hanging out with LeBron James, Dewyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and the bunch — and attend the team’s Blue-White Scrimmage. On the court, attendees will go through drills and eventually get to lace them up in a pool play event that will lead to playoffs and a championship game."
Johns Hopkins and Villanova LAX to Face Off ... Inside Lacrosse reports that Johns Hopkins has added Villanova and Ohio State to the Blue Jays' 2014 schedule. "Both games will take place at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field. Villanova was a regular on the Johns Hopkins schedule from 1997-2002 as the teams met six times during that period. Johns Hopkins won all six of those games and took a 10-7 decision at Villanova in the teams' last meeting midway through the 2002 season."
‘Nova LAX Star Honored … Villanova.com reports that junior defenseman John LoCascio has been named the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Men's Lacrosse Performer of the Year. LoCascio was named a Third Team All-America selection to cap an outstanding junior season for the defenseman who collected 85 ground balls and caused 53 turnovers in 2013. He was named the 2013 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, was an unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST First Team and also earned a spot on the 2013 BIG EAST Championship All-Tournament Team."
Shot At The Show … Jim Waggoner of the Staten Island Advance writes, "Villanova’s Tyler Sciacca wasn't at full strength during his senior baseball season at Villanova, but any personal frustration was wiped away Saturday when the Chicago Cubs grabbed the middle infielder in the 27th round of the MLB draft. Sciacca played shortstop and second base at Villanova, where he batted .312 during his four-year career, with a .401 on-base percentage and a .436 slugging percentage. He had 196 career hits and 108 RBI." Villanova.com reports that "Junior right-handed pitcher Pat Young was selected in the 13th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the San Francisco. Young has appeared in 42 games with 34 starts for Villanova, logging 208 2/3 innings pitched with 166 strikeouts. He is a 10-game winner with a 4.74 ERA and has allowed just five home runs to 640 batters faced."
‘Nova Golfer Honored … "Villanova's Michael Kania was voted as the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Golf Performer of the Year. Kania also was named Villanova's Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year and averaged 71.2 strokes per round during his senior year. He won a pair of tournaments (Lehigh and Pinehurst Intercollegiate) and posted four top-five finishes. The two-time team captain had a career scoring average of 73.9."
News from the Track … Villanova.com reports, "In the finals of the 1500 meters at Hayward Field, Villanova junior Emily Lipari registered a 10th place finish at the NCAA Championships to wrap up her first career appearance at the outdoor national meet. Lipari posted a time of 4:18.68 in Saturday's race."
Ja'Quan Shines … Future 150’s Brian Flinn writes that [Villanova target] "Ja'Quan Newton skipped the Pangos All-American Camp in order to play in the Mary Kline Classic, which raises money for cancer research. Newton felt that it was more important to be part of something bigger than basketball than boost his national stock. The #45 player in the 2014 Future150 rankings put on a show, as he finished a handful of absurd drives to the rim both over and through defenders. Standing at 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds, Newton has great size for a point guard. It allows him to bully smaller guards and his speed allows him to get around forwards. Right now, Ja'Quan is focused on getting better and preparing himself for the Nike Peach Jam next month. As far as recruiting goes, "I'm looking for a school where I can play up-tempo, and play pick-and-roll. I want to play for a program that's a top-25 team," Newton said when asked what will go into making his college decision."
Women’s Hoops Snags Local Star … Kate Harman of the Inquirer writes, "Explosive Mount St. Joseph guard Alex Louin committed to the Villanova women's basketball team. Louin, who as a junior this past season led the Magic to the District 1 Class AAAA final and the state tournament. Arguably the top local player in the Class of 2014, the 5-foot-11 Louin has athleticism that gives her an advantage on both ends of the floor."
Nova’s Arcidiacono Pipeline … SuburbanOnlineSports reports that Chris Arcidiacono, brother of Villanova standout Ryan Arcidiacano, was named tournament MVP of the New Jersey Shore AAU Shootout. He averaged 21 points a game. Chris plays for the Rebels seventh grade AAU team, part of the Rebels Basketball Academy." Hat Tip to Norman Bohidar
‘Easy Ed’ Feeling the Love … ESPN’s Jared Zwerling reports, "Chicago Bulls assistant coach Ed Pinckney is interviewing with the Memphis Grizzlies for their coaching vacancy. The source said the Grizzlies like Pinckney for "his knowledge of defense from Tom Thibodeau and Pat Riley, and for his good rapport with players." Pinckney is also sought after by the Grizzlies because he's well-respected throughout the league, has a wealth of varied experience and has been involved with different winning programs. After leading Villanova to the biggest upset in NCAA championship history in 1985, he played in the NBA for 12 years, He was also worked for in the front office and broadcast booth in Miami. Pinckney has also been an assistant coach for Villanova, credited for recruiting future NBA talent Kyle Lowry and Randy Foye to help lead the Wildcats to the Elite Eight in 2006. In addition, Pinckney served on the Minnesota Timberwolves' bench, alongside McHale, and he worked on the Philadelphia 76ers' broadcast team before joining the Bulls' staff in 2010."
Warm Welcome for Ash … St.lSportsMinute.com’sTravis Zuellig reports that "Saint Louis University head coach Jim Crews formally announced that Villanova transfer Achraf "Ash" Yacoubou has been added to the Billiken roster. Said Coach Crews, "Ash is a high-character, high-motor young man who has been coached at a high level during his prep career and in college. With a year of hard work, we think Ash will step in and contribute right away in 2014-15."
Hail Szczur … The Press of Atlantic City reports, "Matt Szczur (Lower Cape May Regional) went 1-for-4 with a walk and was caught stealing for the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs) in a 4-3 loss to the Mississippi Braves in the double-A Southern League on Friday. Szczur, who led off and played center field, is hitting .289 with 37 runs scored, 28 RBIs and 15 stolen bases on 21 attempts in 62 games."
Cannon Shoots No More … John Morrison of the Philadelphia Daily News writes, "They called him "Hannan the Cannon." The nickname was a tribute to Joe Hannan's aggressive style of play as a guard on the Villanova University basketball team in the 1940s, a winning team that also included future NBA star Paul Arizin. The team made it to the NCAA quarterfinals in 1949, but fell to Kentucky. Hannon died this week at the age of 85. He was an All-American at Villanova and played for a time with Arizin in the Catskills and the old American Basketball Association before leaving the sport. Hannan was inducted into both the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and the Villanova Basketball Hall of Fame." Hat Tip to Mike J.
Around the Big East …
Rob Dauster of NBC Sports writes, "Seton Hall’s front court took a hit on Monday, as Kevin Johnson will reportedly be leaving the program to transfer. Johnson averaged just 2.5 points and 2.0 boards with the Pirates this past season, playing just 7.9 minutes as a freshman." Rob Dauster reports there’s a "changing of the guard on John Thompson III’s staff at Georgetown. Nebraska has hired [former Georgetown assistant coach] Kenya Hunter as associate head coach. Recently another JT3 assistant, Mike Brennan, left to take the head coach position at American. JT3 has hired both Tavaras Hardy and Kevin Sutton as his new assistants." Finally, Mr. Dauster reports that "DePaul’s Donnavan Kirk is headed back to Miami, where he will take part in his fifth season as a college hooper and, in all likelihood, end his career as one of the NCAA’s biggest headaches. A top 100 recruit in the Class of 2009, Kirk transferred to DePaul midway through his freshman year at Miami. Last season, he averaged 6.2 points and 3.9 boards for DePaul."
Domes Doomed … Ron Dauster of NBC Sports writes "there will be no more Elite 8 or Sweet 16 games played anywhere other than an arena. Mark Lewis, the NCAA’s vice president in charge of championships, said using domes for regionals was a trial run for future Final Fours. But the upcoming Final Four sites have already had the dry run, so the NCAA doesn’t need to do this anymore. Lewis said regional finals should be in arenas, and that will be the plan going forward."
Blaney Follows Calhoun … Associate Press reports that "George Blaney has announced an end to his 43-year coaching career, retiring after 12 seasons as an assistant at Connecticut. The 73-year-old's departure comes a season after his longtime friend Jim Calhoun stepped down as head coach."
Saving The Best For Last – PAC Center Update … Linda Stein of MainLineMediaNews writes, "About 30 Radnor residents listened and asked questions Tuesday as township officials talked about the progress of a proposal by Villanova University to build a dormitory, parking garage and performing arts center on the south side of Lancaster Avenue. Township Manager Robert Zienkowski struck a nerve with some residents who questioned his assertion that the project, with was rejected last month by the township Planning Commission, would be beneficial to Radnor in the long run. "The intent is to bring students on campus out of the neighborhoods," said Zienkowski. "To put students back on campus is a good thing, not only for the community but for the safety of the students as well." John Rice, the township solicitor, gave a presentation about the process. He explained that although the township Planning Commission recommended that Villanova’s request to change the zoning code be denied, the university can still bring it before the Board of Commissioners. The process, which could take as long as six years before the university gets the OK to break ground."