The 2010-11 College Basketball Season has started.
With Villanova's campaign beginning TODAY against Bucknell, the 2011 Wildcats have very positive things to look forward to.
'Nova is on a run of 6 consecutive 20-win seasons. A run that also includes making the NCAA Tourney in each of those years.
The 2011 team is destined to make it seven in a row in both categories.
Last Year's highly rated batch of newcomers- Isaiah Armwood, Dominic Cheek, Maalik Wayns, Mouphtaou Yarou, and Maurice Sutton- is back and improved. Most importantly they return with a year of Big East conference basketball under their belts. A year of elevated, stronger competition and faster-paced basketball. Most importantly, they return with a year of playing defense for Coach Jay Wright knowing what it takes to earn playing time.
2010 was a building season. However, coming off of a trip to the Final Four in 2009 and bringing in a highly touted recruiting class, the Wildcats scorched the early campaign and had a 20-1 record. More difficult competition came, and complacency & immaturity became evident. And that competition exposed those flaws.
THIS is the year they were pointing toward. The Wildcats will have to play much more consistently. After two seasons of strong leadership by 4-year seniors - Dante Cunningham & Dwayne Anderson during the Final Four run, and Scottie Reynolds last year the key for success in 2011 will be if this year's group of Seniors- Corey Stokes, Corey Fisher, and Antonio Pena will lead the 2011 squad.
These three know what it takes to make it to the Second Weekend of the NCAAs (2008) and the Final Four (2009). They also know how things can implode and not make it past the first weekend (2010).
With consistency, leadership and yes, defense, Villanova can will remain the hunted in the Big East and reach their goal of playing in Houston on April 4th.
P.S., Don't forget to log your pick for the Bucknell game in our Closest to the Pin contest (see our Wednesday post).