The Wildcats opened their season with a 95-58 win tonight over the University of The District of Columbia Firebirds (that's a mouthful, so we're going with UDC from now on) at The Wells Fargo Center. The contest was an exhibition game however, so the 'Cats remain 0-0 until they face the Bucknell Bison on November 12th.
The start of the game was very exciting. The team came out with a lot of energy, and was really getting after it on defense. You could tell they've had a long off-season and were geeked to get out there.
Corey Fisher in particular was impressive. There's been so much hype surrounding him in the run-up to the season - about whether he could take over for Scottie Reynolds. I'd say he gave a resound "f*ck yes!" to the nation tonight. He was electric finishing with 17 points and 6 assists in only 25 minutes of action
Maalik Wayns also looked very solid in the backcourt with both Fisher, and by himself as he finished with a team-high 23 points and 4 assists in a team-high 31 minutes. Dominic Cheek and Antonio Pena also impressed me by playing the way everyone hoped they would. Cheek had a greatly-balanced night with 8 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists. Pena especially looked extremely comfortable at power forward, although him more time to play away from the basket. He finished with team-high 11 rebounds (5 offensive!), 7 points, and 0, I repeat 0, turnovers.
Corey Stokes looked great as well as he finished with 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists. He looks to have gained a ton of bulk, and his penetration ability was even better than last year. He's going to be a handful to deal with if he can consistently drive to the hoop.
Maurice Sutton, as described by many, looks like a real contributor. He finished perfect from the field for 8 points, snared 9 rebounds, and 5 blocks.
The 2nd half brought some mixed results though - I think there was a little bit of a letdown because the guys got out to such a big lead. That's not what you want to see, but you don't want to see them embarrass a clearly inferior opponent either. Jay Wright didn't appear to be happy though, and there were a few times he let it fly during a timeout.
We'll have more on the game tomorrow - expect mulitple posts from the team here detailing their thoughts from the game, including our likes and dislikes on what we saw.
Villanova next takes on Bucknell on November 12th at The Pavilion in the regular-season opener. Tip-off is 8 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.