Thursday will be an emotional night at the Pavilion as NovaNation honors four Wildcat seniors playing their final game on Villanova’s campus while school is in session (the March 5 Providence game occurs during Spring Break). All four are quality players and, perhaps more importantly, quality young men who exemplify the values of the University and the proud basketball tradition they represent. They join the overwhelming majority of former players who played four years and earned their Nova diplomas. On behalf of VUHoops.com, we say thanks for the memories, but there is plenty of time left before May to make a few more in the NCAA tournament!
With help from VUHoops reader, "Gunner," I have provided below a short a tribute to each of these players.
Frank Tchuisi, Forward #41: In the words of Gunner: "Frank T is a great attitude guy who helps in practice." In the words of the coaching staff, "Frank brings raw tools and a desire to learn. He gives great effort in practice and has done a good job absorbing the nuances of the game. He is a quality shot-blocker and rebounder and a quiet leader on this club." Career highlights include action in three NCAA Tournament games and pair of rebounds in last year’s NCAA win over Siena. Frank averages 0.9 ppg and 0.8 rpg.
Dwayne Anderson, G-F #22: In the words of Gunner: "Dwayne’s a man, and his emergence last year altered course of the last two years." In the words of the coaching staff, "Dwayne emerged as a vital component in Villanova’s surge to the Sweet 16 in 2007-08. He brings leadership, toughness and athletic ability to the wing. He is a solid defender capable of guarding a wide range of opponents." Dwayne was slowed by injury this year and did not play until the December 2 win against Penn. He averages 7.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg and had huge games in the "quality loss" at Connecticut (15 pts, 8 rebounds) and the big win at Providence (19 pts., 10 rebounds). He showed leadership and grit playing with a hyper-extended knee last Friday against West Virginia.
Shane Clark, F #20: In the words of Gunner: "Shane’s overcome injuries and may just have his best days still ahead." In the words of the coaching staff, "Shane is a skilled forward with scoring skills. He can slash to the basket or convert jump shots and has range beyond the 3-point arc. He was recognized for his selflessness at the 2008 Men’s Basketball Banquet with the Jake Nevin Award." Shane averages 5.0 ppg and 4.0 rpg and was a big part of Nova’s recent six-game winning streak, with 14 pts and 10 rebounds against Syracuse and 16 points and 7 rebounds against Marquette.
Dante Cunningham, F #33: In the words of Gunner: "And then there’s Dante. I think of guys like Brooks Sales and Will Sheridan among many others, and see how DC has grown each and every year, both in his game, and as a young man. He will long be a valued and appreciated Villanovan, and he epitomizes what true Nova fans see as the best in our Program." In the words of the coaching staff, "Dante is an extremely athletic forward, a tremendous leaper and quick enough to play on the perimeter. He developed into a dependable scoring option during the 2007-08 season and earned the Villanova Basketball Award, the program’s top honor, at the 2008 team banquet." This year, Dante added muscle in the weight room and a mid-range jumper, and became Nova’s most consistent player and the team leader in most statistical and non-statistical categories. Dante averages 16.6 ppg and 7.2 rebounds. He has scored 31 points twice in wins against Navy and Syracuse and had 23 is a loss against Texas.
Well said, Gunner!
Note to Readers: VUHoops.com will forward your posts to this articlal to Coach Wright on Wednesday night to share with the players before the Senior Night game.
See the link below for a great feature by Dick Weiss on Dante Cunningham, "Cunningham, Nova Enjoy Happy Days." http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/college/2009/02/07/2009-02-07_cunningham_nova_enjoy_happy_days.html