Unlike most writers, I actually like Jeff Goodman from FOXSports. Sure, he's wrong a lot (in my opinion anyways - which is what matters here, damnit!) and he can be harsh on the Wildcats, but he's a good guy. Or maybe it is just because he actually responds and talks to me on Twitter. Huge plus for you there Jeff.
And while I'm at it -- more reporters should interact with the fans on Twitter like Jeff. I see a lot of you get testy in your live chats when fans call you out. Well you know what? The bloggers call you out too. We're on Twitter. We're there for you to yell at. Hell maybe we'll even strike up a bond.
Anyways he just released his new Top 25 for next year, and he's got the Villanova Wildcats slated 7th. Here's what he had to say about the Cats:
Record: 25-8 (second round of NCAA tournament)
Lose: Scottie Reynolds, Reggie Redding
Potential Early Entry Departure: None
Key Returnees: Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes, Antonio Pena, Taylor King, Mouphtaou Yarou, Maalik Wayns, Dominic Cheek
Newcomers: Jayvaughn Pinkston, James Bell, Markus Kennedy
Losing Reynolds and Redding will hurt, but Jay Wright can slide in a couple of guys who are just as talented in the backcourt with Wayns and Cheek. Fisher and Stokes will also be back, and the Wildcats will bring in three freshmen – led by Pinkston, a tough power forward. The other key will be the development of strong and athletic big man Yarou – who missed much of last season due to Hepatitis B.
Let's just start off by busting Goodman's chops. You spelled Yarou's first name wrong. Not like it's a tough name or anything, geez.
Anyways, aside from excluding Maurice Sutton and Isaiah Armwood as key returnees (let's be honest -- in the post-Reynolds era, EVERYONE will be key) he actually gives us a fair analysis and to be honest is the best ranking I've seen so far.
(Note: That means the lowest)
We'll be getting to a detailed analysis of the freshman in short order, but I agree Pinkston should provide some much added BIG EAST toughness down low right away. Bell is a freak athlete but is coming in at a crowded position. Hard to say how much PT he'll see early behind Stokes and Cheek. Kennedy is a wild card. I've heard everything from needs a year in the weight room to he's ready to play early because he's got advanced skills.
I think how Wayns/ Fisher and Pena/Yarou play together will define this team though. They have the makeup of a PHENOMENAL quartet, but can they step up?