Mouph Leaves a Big Hole ... Trevor Lowry of RantSports writes, "Villanova finished only 98th in the country in rebounding last season, while Mouphtaou Yarou grabbed 7.8 boards per game and shot 47.8 percent from the field for 9.9 PPG. Villanova will still have some talent to compete in the upcoming season, but losing Yarou is a huge loss."
Wanted: Talent, Desire and Cultural Fit ... inRecruit’s Joseph Rocco interviewed Villanova Coach Billy Lange. What follows are some of the more noteworthy quotes from Coach Lange. "Villanova is just a special place. Once you have been touched by [Villanova], it becomes a part of who you are. [Our recruiting approach] starts with talent. A player has to be capable of playing at the level to which he will be recruited. We also want people who aspire to be great in the classroom. The final and most important factor for us is the fit to our program's culture. We want driven people who want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Randy Foye was the best pure athlete that I ever coached. He had incredible balance, explosiveness, and strength. His burst was mesmerizing." Hat Tip to Brian Ewart
Arch Packs More This Time ... Ryan Arcidiacono is one of 24 athletes who will vie for a spot on the 12-man roster for the USA team that will represent the USA at the U19 World Championship in Prague. Training camp gets underway in Colorado Springs on June 14, led by Florida's Coach Billy Donovan. Villanova.com’s Mike Sheridan writes, "Ryan Arcidiacono’s upcoming a trip to the U19 Training Camp is a return engagement of sorts. One year ago he was part of a group of athletes competing for a slot on the national team's U18 squad. Arcidiacono will have something going for him this time he did not possess last year: a season of competitive basketball to draw upon. It figures to put him much more in the flow than he was last year less than six months removed from back surgery."
A Lot Better Than 30 ... Adam Finkelstein of ESPN Insider ($) adds some perspective about Villanova’s 2013 recruiting class, ranked #31 nationally. He writes, "I can assure you there aren't 30 schools Jay Wright would want to trade classes with. ESPN 100 prospects Kris Jenkins and Josh Hart both appear to be ideally suited for the Wildcats' needs. They will join with rising sophomore point guard Ryan Arcidiacono to form a developing young core of tough and competitive players." Hat tip to Mike J.
They Were There; No Idea What They Did ... Jeff McDevitt of BucksLocalSports.com reports that Villanova’s incoming freshman, Josh Hart, and Villanova target, Jaquan Newton, played in the Mary Kline Classic on June 2. No word on how they did.
Turgeon Still Yearns for Booth ... Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post writes, "Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon is unwavering in his dedication to bringing Villanova target, Phil Booth, to College Park, even if would create a back-court logjam. Booth was quoted saying, "There’s still a good chance of me going to Maryland. I don’t think [Dion Wiley’s commitment to Maryland last week] will affect my decision." Booth hasn’t set a date yet, but will visit Villanova soon; his trip there last week got canceled. Georgetown and Indiana also have offers out, while Ohio State has shown strong interest."
Is Ja’Quan the Answer? ... CityofBasketeballLove.com profiled Neumann-Goretti 2014 guard and Villanova target Ja’Quan Newton. They write, "Ja’Quan is excellent at attacking and finishing around the basket. He shows a unique ability to avoid shot blockers and score with both hands at the rim. Newton is very crafty with his dribble and shows a nice burst of speed in his first step. He also does a tremendous job involving his teammates as a true point guard. His jump shot, which used to be a weakness for him, has greatly improved over the last few months and has become a much consistent 3-point shooter. Overall, Newton has that East Coast swagger and toughness that all college coaches love."
Nova Still in the Mix for Shayok, But Barely ... Zagsblog’s Adam Zagoria writes [Villanova target, Marial Shayok], "a 6-foot-6, 200-pound Canadian, is one of the most athletic wings in the Class of 2014." ESPN adds, "Shayok is a big wing who could still be growing. He already has good size and a natural strong body, although it remains clear that his frame is far from maxed out at this point. He's extremely smooth in the open floor but also deceptively quick with his first step." Shayok told Zagsblog that West Virginia, Providence, Boston College, St. Louis, VCU and Cincinnati are recruiting him the hardest, but Villanova remains in the mix." Shayok said he hasn’t decided on any visits and won’t until after July when he hopes to be playing for the Canadian U19 team for this summer’s FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague."
Charles’ Cup Runneth Over ... Chris Charles, who plays for the Thailand Slammers, has been named the ASEAN Basketball League's World Import MVP. He was also named the ABL Defensive Player of the Year. Asean Basketball League.com writes, "Charles was the league’s best big man in 2013, leading the ABL in blocked shots while averaging the second highest in points and rebounds. Charles holds the single game high mark for rebounds (27) and blocks (9) this season. His 16 double-doubles rank second overall. "I am extremely grateful towards the ABL, organizations, coaches and fans for this award. This is a first class league with a lot of talented players from all over so to be acknowledged by it is a huge honor," said Charles, upon being informed of his award. "The major factor for me was Coach Joe Bryant. He puts his guys in positions to excel on the court." Charles graduated from Villanova in 2006. Over his 'Nova career, he saw action in 91 games, pulled down 167 rebounds, blocked 45 shots, and scored 169 total points. Hat Tip to Brian Ewart.
Dante Likely to Stick In the Land of 10,000 Lakes ... RotoWorld.com writes, "Dante Cunningham, who has a team option for next season in his contract, is "close to a lock" to return to the Timberwolves next season. Cunningham played multiple positions and did whatever the team asked of him last season, so we'd be shocked if Minnesota decided to cut bait and move on. He's a capable backup big man on a very reasonable deal, so there isn't much incentive for the team to part ways with Cunningham."
No Guarantee for Ach ... CardiacHill’s Anson Whaley writes, "I'm not so sure that Ach Yacoubou turned down Pitt as much as the program perhaps was still waiting to see what happened with other available players. Yacoubou could have been a fit for the Panthers, but there was no guarantee he would be even a good role player. In the end, Yacoubou may have wanted more of a guarantee than Pitt was able to give him."
Howard Porter, NBA Refs and MLB Umps ... Peter Key of the Philadelphia Business Journal writes, "Richie Phillips, who led the Major League Umpires Association from 1978 to 1999, died Friday. Phillips, who earned undergraduate and law degrees from Villanova, is best known to Villanova fans for negotiating Villanova basketball star Howard Porter’s 1971 pro contract with the Chicago Bulls. Phillips later helped organize the National Basketball Association’s referee’s collective bargaining unit and served general counsel and executive director of the Major League Umpires Association."
Circa 1971 ...Long-time Wildcat fans painfully remember that Villanova forfeited its runners-up honors in the 1971 NCAA men's basketball tournament after it was discovered that all-time 'Nova great, Howard Porter, was paid $15,000 on December 16, 1970 to play in the now defunct American Basketball League. Jack Dolph, ABA Commissioner, assigned the contract to the Pittsburgh Condors when they later drafted Porter in the fist round. When Porter refused to play for the Condors, he signed with the Chicago Bulls for $1.5 million.
Big Heart, But on the Wrong Side ... Dan Goldberg of The Star-Ledger writes, "Randy Foye was 8-years old when doctors made a startling discovery - his internal organs, all of them, were on the wrong side of his body. His heart is on the right side of his chest. His liver is on the left, his stomach is on the right. While Foye’s heart may be on the wrong side, it’s in the right place. While Foye has earned millions, he has made a point to return to Newark. He wants to give back to the community where he started, wants to be an example for kids growing up without parents the way he did, wants to show that hard work and perseverance can lead to a better life. "God gave me so much, I should give something back." Foye was in Newark last weekend running "Regina’s Race," a 5k that raises money for the Randy Foye Foundation."
Our Business Here Is Done ... Dave Fairbak from Virginia’s Daily Press, writes, "The Colonial Athletic Association wrapped up five days of meetings at Hilton Head, S.C., on Wednesday. CAA football voted to expand travel rosters from 57 to 65 players in conference games, with a one game exception to allow more to travel. The CAA is still considering splitting into divisions once Elon joins in 2014. However, one issue of going to a divisional format means that rivals Delaware and Villanova would be split. That could be addressed by making them permanent crossover opponents. The conference also voted to tweak its tiebreaker format for the NCAA’s automatic bid. An administrative panel from schools not involved in the tie will be the tiebreaker of last resort, once all other criteria have been exhausted." Hat tip to Brian Ewart
Andy Tallies up Five Days in Hilton Head ... CAAFootball’s Zach Burrus posted his video interview of Villanova Head Football Coach Andy Tally after the CAA’s annual summer meeting at Hilton Head. Click HERE for the interview.
And We Think the Pavilion is a Dump? ... StadiumJourney.com publishes reviews of sports stadiums from around the world. To date the blog has published reviews of 1,537 different venues in 32 countries. They recently published their review of Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth. Brian Merzbach writes, "College baseball is not a big spectator sport in the northeast, which is probably why almost none of the ballparks are much better than your average high school field. Despite fielding a varsity baseball team since 1866, Villanova Ballpark is no exception. It offers a very bare bones experience and its location off campus makes it hard for students to drop by and take in the action. The park opened in 2003 and only has a capacity of a few hundred. Villanova Ballpark offers little for the intrepid ballpark traveler, and it is hard to imagine making a trip here outside of fans or relatives of either Villanova or the visiting team."
University Presidents Not up to the Task ... Associated Press reports, "Holden Thorp is packing up after nearly five years as chancellor at the University of North Carolina, preparing for his next job as provost at Washington University. It's no accident he's leaving a school that regularly plays for national titles at the NCAA's highest level to one that competes at its lowest. Thorp says he is done with big-time college sports, and if he had his way, other school presidents would be finished with them, too. Many leaders just don't have the training to handle a major athletics program, he argues. "Either we put the ADs back in charge and hold them accountable if things don't work," Thorp said in April during a campus forum, "... or let's be honest and tell everyone when we select (presidents) to run institutions that run big-time sports that athletics is the most important part of their job."
Boeheim Going Nowhere ... Rob Dauster of NBC Sports writes, "Jim Boeheim and Mike Krzyzewski recently discussed their future together in the new ACC and how it will affect their friendship and what restaurants they go to eat at. The interview was all cheerful and funny until Boeheim quipped, "[Mike’s] not even thinking of retiring," Boeheim said when asked why Coach K doesn’t get bombarded with retirement questions. "I am thinking of retiring." However, Boeheim’s comment was all in good fun. It should be fun to watch them go up against each other as conference foes this season."
Explorer Honored ... NBC Sports’ Kevin Doyle writes, "La Salle can largely credit their most successful season in more than 50 years to senior guard Ramon Galloway. The 6-foot-3 transfer from South Carolina will receive the Wali Jones Male College Player of the Year Award on June 14th. The award–named after former Villanova star Walter ‘Wali’ Jones–was established in 2011 to honor a collegiate player who played in the Philadelphia Public League."