Michael Gilchrist's committment to Kentuckly dominated the news this past week. Beyond that story, it was a busy news week for Villanova basketball with lots of press coverage on what to expect from the Cats next season, recruiting, coaching, and the upcoming NBA draft.
The Villanovan predicts that next year’s Wildcats "will transition into a much more traditional team, one that can compete with the big bodies that are constantly being thrown its way during the course of a Big East season. With the incoming trio of new freshmen [Editor's Note: See Brian's April 18th post, "Markus Kennedy Delays Enrollment'] , along with increased playing time for this year’s freshman class, next year’s team will bring a much more physical presence to the court. Fisher and Wayns will be the only Villanova players shorter than 6 feet 5 inches tall. "
Afro.com reported that Nova commit, Jayvaughn Pinkston, stood-out in the Capital Classic on April 16th, which "pitted Washington, D.C.’s best seniors against their counterparts from around the nation and is the longest-running national high school basketball All-Star game in the country. The second half saw plenty of fast-paced action, including Pinkston going shot-for-shot against Duke-bound Josh Hairston. Pinkston led all scorers with 26 points (and 9 rebounds )."
New York Newsday reported that Villanova-bound and "Long Island Lutheran junior guard Achraf Yacoubou is Newsday's Nassau boys basketball Player of the Year. The 6-5 Yacoubou also averaged 19.5 ppg and seven rebounds to lead Lutheran to a 20-8 record. The Crusaders played a strong schedule, including games against New Jersey power St. Anthony and state Federation Class AA finalist Boys & Girls from Brooklyn. Yacoubou worked this season on polishing his game. "I wanted to make my outside shot automatic," he said. "And I wanted to work on my point-guard skills - ballhandling and dribbling. I want to be a combo guard."
A UConn blog reported that Villanova 2010 recruit, "Cory Joseph, is now the nation's most coveted uncommitted guard in the high school senior class. Nova is competing with UConn, Texas, Minnesota, and UNLV for his services. He said there are no favorites. On his time frame for a decision: "I've been on the road a lot the last couple of weeks, so I really haven't even thought about this much. That's why I say [I'll decide] maybe in the next week, two weeks from now. I'm going to go home and think about everything with my family and coaching staff." On what it will come down to: "There are a lot of factors that come into play. Obviously playing time, a relationship with the coaches. I'm not only going to play basketball there, I'm going to spend the majority of my time there. So I just want to go in and make sure the school just feels right."
Scottie Reynolds is about two months away from a possible NBA career. Mock drafts have the former Villanova All-American going as high as the second round. However, Sporting News reported that Scottie hurt his stock more than any other player in the draft as a result of his sub-par play in the NCAA tournament. "Of Scottie’s 15.4% shooting in two tournament games, they wrote, "He couldn't shoot. He made up for it by getting to the line in the first game. But in the second game, he was just flustered and out of it.” The other four players whose stock dropped the most according to SN were Greg Monroe, C, Georgetown, Eric Bledsoe, PG, Kentucky, Xavier Henry, SG, Kansas, and Gani Lawal, PF, Georgia Tech. The player whose stock jumped the most according to SN was Gordon Hayward, SF, Butler.
It is hard to get excited by the news that North Carolina-bound Harrison Barnes and Duke-bound Kyrie Irving earned Co-MVP honors on April 17 at the 2010 Jordan Brand Classic. But how many of you remember that Villanova’s Corey Fisher was a previous Jordan Brand Classic Co-MVP in 2007. Corey was preceded in that honor by some very good NBA players, including Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee Bucks), Tyreke Evans (Sacramento Kings), Donte Greene (Sacramento Kings), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Thaddeus Young (Philadelphia 76ers), Tyler Hansbrough (Indiana Pacers), Andray Blatche (Washington Wizards), Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic), LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers), and Amar'e Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns).
Now that the Philadelphia 76ers have fired Eddie Jordan as coach, Dime Magazine says the “dream choice for Philly fans would be Villanova’s Jay Wright. Not sure he would really consider that move right now though because it’s a no-win situation. The Sixers have no talent, they are a distant last in terms of teams that the city cares about (behind all professional clubs and ‘Nova and Temple), he would clearly want to be in control of all basketball moves, and the team’s owner is still openly in love with Larry Brown. Plus, he’s a made man at ‘Nova. He’ll never get fired there, his teams will always be competitive, and they will always be in the NCAA Tournament with a shot at the Final Four.”
Mitch Buonaguro was named Siena’s 15th head men's basketball coach after serving as Assistant Coach for the past five seasons and helping guide the Saints to a 112-51 mark, including three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths. As an assistant at Villanova (1977-85), he served under legendary head coach Rollie Massimino, helping guide the Wildcats to the 1985 National Championship.
In 36 seasons at Malvern and Episcopal Dougherty, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Dan Dougherty compiled a 621-285 record (.685 winning percentage) and won 13 Inter-Ac League championships. The 1987-88 title was shared with Penn Charter. On the college level, he was a varsity assistant to Jack Kraft for the Wildcats (1969-71). The Villanova players he coached included Howard Porter, Tom Ingelsby, Chris Ford, Mike Daly, Ed Hastings, Clarence Smith and Hank Siemiontkowski. "I'm still fast friends with many of them to this day," said Dougherty, a math teacher at Episcopal.
NBE Basketball reported that Georgetown sophomore center Greg Monroe will forgo his final two years of college and submit his name for the NBADraft. Monroe plans to sign with an agent.
USA Today reported that there is no more unsettled situation in college basketball than Rutgers. The school reportedly wants to fire coach Fred Hill after another disappointing season. Hill was formerly was an Assistant Coach under Jay Wright at Villanova. The Star-Ledger reported that Hill was offered a $600,000 buyout that he rejected. He could receive up to $1.8 million if he is fired.
According to SNY.tv, Mike Rosario, a 6-foot-3 guard who averaged 16.7 points per game last season for Rutgers, was granted a conditional release and will make an official visit to Florida this weekend. “He’s leaving [Rutgers] because he’s not happy with his individual development. Billy Donovan is very good at developing players,” Bob Hurley, Rosario’s high school coach, told SNY.tv. Rosario will have to sit out next year due to transfer rules.
In Bleacher Report’s article, “How To Save Big East Football - Part II,” they said about Villanova football: “The Wildcats would be the first team to add to Big East Football. First and formost they are a charter member of the Big East. They are somewhat a powerhouse at the division 1-AA, making a stable stay in the playoffs and being in the Philly market they could definately be a big boost in television. They are in the same area as Temple so they could share Lincoln Financial Field with them, just when one play at home, the other plays on the road.”