Jay Wright let the world know that Corey Stokes was battling the flu this week on his radio show. It sure didn't seem like it. Stokes poured in over half of the team's points en route to a career-high 34 points to lead the Wildcats past the Penn Quakers by the score of 65-53 at The Palestra.
Antonio Pena was the only other bright spot (16 points, 8 rebounds) on an otherwise awful night for the team. I can't stress that enough. Other than Stokes and Pena, what was their to be impressed with? If you really think about it, these two have been the most consistent players all year. And that's not good when you have Corey Fisher, Maalik Wayns, and Mouphtaou Yarou on your team. Those are 3 guys who are considered sure-fire NBA players.
Speaking of Fisher, he found himself on the bench to start last night's game in favor of Dominic Cheek. I must have missed this, but apparently it was for disciplinary reasons for an incident in practice. When I heard about this, I got a little depressed. This is supposed to be the leader of our team. Granted, he hasn't been playing that well to start the year, but I can deal with that so long as the off-the-court crap is over. Apparently it's not.
More on last night after The Jump.
Like: Corey Stokes Having 'The Flu' - Apparently this is code for 'completely and utterly dominate the game.' The real flu isn't cool, but I like that Jay Wright is using code now. Hopefully this type of flu spreads to the rest of the team, who apparently needs it.
Like: Antonio Pena - The guy is just steady out there. That was a really good game for him last night, but even when he's not posting near double-double's, I usually can't find much to complain about. I would like to see this kind of statline from him every night though. He's clearly capable of it.
Dislike: The Lack of Balance - As much fun as it was watching Stokes' fill it up last night (I've been waiting 4 years to see a performance like that) our team is going to thrive off of the balance we showed earlier this year when we have 5-6 guys in double-figures. We need to get back to that.
REALLY Dislike: Corey Fisher Drama - I cannot stress how sick of this I am enough. A week after I'm singing his praises for being a leader and fighting through a difficult time in terms of production, he's benched by Jay Wright for an incident. I really can't handle this anymore. What is happening? Somebody help me.
Like: Winning Ugly - I should really say I don't mind it. A win is a win in my book, no matter how it happens. We easily could have lost that game had Penn shot the ball a bit better and Stokes not called upon the Michael Jordan in him.
Dislike: The Cupcake Schedule - I'm sick of it. Even though we lost to Tennessee, it was great to play a real team and be stressed about the game at hand. I need the Temple matchup now.
LIke: The Palestra - I only went to one game there during my time at 'Nova, but even watching it on TV is awesome. I know the scheduling is probably tough, but all Big 5 games should be played there. No exceptions.
Villanova returns Sunday with more Big 5 action as they take on the La Salle Explorers. The game is at 2:00 p.m. ET.