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The Week in Review (June 18)

Reid Winning 1500M

Villanova cross country and track star, Sheila Reid, dominated the recent headlines of VUHoops like no other non-roundball athlete since Matt Szczur starred for Villanova on the gridiron and baseball diamond. On Thursday, Mike of VUHoops reported that Sheila won the 2011 Honda Sports Award for Track & Field as Track's top collegiate female athlete. Reid also earned All-America honors, winning the women's 1500M and 5000M events in the NCAA championships last weekend. In case you missed it, here's the video of her dramatic victory in the 1500M:


Villanova’s James Bell began his tryout on Thursday for the USA Basketball U19 World Championship team in Colorado Springs, Colo. If Bell makes the final roster on June 24, he’ll represent the U.S. at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship in Latvia from June 30 through July 10. Bell and 20 other players from around the country will attend the tryout, held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. The group will compete for 12 spots on head coach Paul Hewitt’s roster. Roster finalists will be announced on June 19, and a final cut will be made just before the team flies to Europe." Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports tweeted on Sunday that, "According to a source, the team is now down to 13 – with one more cut coming prior to Wednesday. I’ve been told that it’s likely Keith Appling and James Bell fighting for the final spot. The team will begin training camp Sunday through Wednesday and will then leave for Latvia, where it’ll compete for the FIBA U-19 World Championships." [Editor's Note: If Bell makes the team, he still will be able to join the Cats for their trip to France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands from Aug. 7-16 for a series of exhibition games against international competition.] reports that Dominic Cheek and Mike Nardi will play for Investors Savings team in the Jersey Shore Basketball League this summer. The Jersey Shore Basketball League, is an NCAA-certified competitive summer basketball league. Games are played from June 21 through August 11, Mondays through Friday at St. Rose High School in Belmar, NJ.

VUHoops' Brian Ewart catches us up on our 2012 recruits in his post yesterday. Here's a few more clips about how 'Nova's future stars are spending their summers.

Rivals writes, "One of the top events of the summer, the annual NBA Players Association Top 100 camp, tipped off on Thursday at the University of Virginia. Dominated by rising seniors, the camp serves as an annual measuring stick. The camp will give us a good look at Philly area Villanova recruit, Daniel Ochefu, a big kid with bulk and skill. Ochefu has been largely absent on the spring circuit and doesn't compete in many grassroots event. Opinions on him from trusted sources in the Philadelphia area have run the gamut from calling him overrated as a five-star prospect to calling him a no-brainer as a McDonald's All-American talent." Scout provided a recap of NBPA Session III on Friday, saying that Ochefu’s Grizzlies team remained unbeaten at 3-0. Ochefu was lauded for his defensive effort in the victory."

Scout also said Villanova signee, Ryan Arcidiacono, was one of "several players who stepped up big. Arcidiacono is not the most explosive guard in the class, but is one of the most effective and productive. He dished off assists, showed his legit range out to 25 feet."

Meanwhile, back in New York, ESPN gave a recap of the Rumble in the Bronx. They singled out Villanova’s third prized signee in the 2012 Class, Savon Goodman, as the #2 standout player in the tournament. They wrote, "Some guys are about potential and some are about production. Goodman falls into both categories but specializes in the latter because he flat-out helps his team win games. He's a freight train inside of 15 feet who attacks the cup with incredible power and momentum, has complementing skill with his well-developed footwork and can surprise with some high-level passes from the short corner. Best of all, he's efficient, knows what his bread and butter is and stays with it instead of getting caught up in trying to prove himself in other areas."

The Courier Journal reports that Savon Goodman is averaging 9.0 PPG in the NBA Players Association Top 100 camp, while Villanova target, Amile Jefferson, leads the camp in scoring with 21.3 PPG. Paul Biancardi,'s director of basketball recruiting, 'tweeted' from Virginia that in a game Saturday night, "Goodman had a dunk along the baseline that you could feel up in Philly!"

Sports Haze writes, "When Corey Fisher decided to come back and play a fourth year in college, he figured that it would help his draft stock. However, after last season's late collapse, his stock most likely dropped, rather than rise during his senior year. I have yet to see a mock draft that has Fisher or 'Nova teammate, Cory Stokes, being drafted. And, if that happens, it isn't a good trend for Villanova. Scottie Reynolds had a great four-year career with the Wildcats, but he also went undrafted and is currently playing in the NBA Developmental League. The last player to be drafted from Villanova was Dante Cunningham who went early in the second round of the 2009 draft, but none of the recent players have done very much once they reach the league. Players like Allen Ray and Michael Bradley folded after their college career. The two players who have made an impact are Kyle Lowry and Randy Foye, but no player drafted from Villanova since 2000 has made an All-Star team. Now, that negative trend is becoming something that recruits will learn about when other teams use that as a way to recruit against the Wildcats. Villanova needs to reverse that trend. While it's not particularly all on Jay Wright, other recruiters will make it look like that. So, it's time for a Wildcat player to turn it on and help their alma-mater" reports, "For Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes, the pursuit of an NBA dream has consisted of cross-country flights, exhausting workouts and probing interviews over a hectic June schedule. Those challenges are on every prospect’s plate this time of year, but the difference for the recent Villanova graduates is that teams are not investigating how well they can play in the league, but whether they can play in the league. They’ve been labeled as fringe prospects, doubted for their deficiencies rather than touted for their strengths. "I think I’m an NBA player," Stokes said after the workout. "We’ll see on June 23rd (draft day) or whenever after that." Fisher was more adamant." I can play in this league," he said. The six-foot Fisher has had workouts in New York, New Jersey, Indianapolis, Denver, Cleveland and Portland before Philly and Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Sacramento and Toronto. Stokes has also worked out in New York, New Jersey and Cleveland, plus Charlotte. Both will continue despite their limitations – Fisher being small for an NBA guard and Stokes being considered a one-dimensional shooter. "

BleacherReport writes, "Dante Cunningham may or may not get a qualifying offer to restrict his free agency from Charlotte. That qualifying offer would cost the Bobcats about $1 million. The decision on Cunningham (complicated by offseason drug possession charges) is obviously within the team’s control, but they may not want to make the final call until after the draft. The third-year forward put up nine points and four rebounds a game after arriving in the Gerald Wallace trade"

In an article by the Wall Street Journal’s Adita Kinkhabwala, Why Tim Thomas Could Use A Hug, she writes, "As the Dallas Mavericks prepared for Thursday's parade to celebrate the team's NBA title, I couldn't help but think about [former Villanova forward] Tim Thomas, the 6-foot-10, sweet-shooting, supposed-to-be-Mavericks forward. Thomas could've been there under the confetti, smoking a stogie and waving to the crowd with Dirk Nowitzki. Instead, he'll be here in New Jersey with his family. There will be no ring and no share of the team's playoff bonus pool. Last September, Thomas said 'goodbye' to his team and 'I'm-here-for-you' to his wife, Tricia, who is suffering from an illness the family has not disclosed."

ESPN’s Andrea Adelson writes about Villanova as a candidate for Big East Football saying, "The only way adding Villanova benefits the league is to appease the basketball membership. Adding Villanova does not up the prestige level of the conference. What really is troublesome about all of this is how the Nova situation has been botched. If there were complaints from some of the bigger football-playing schools, why even make Villanova believe this could happen? wrote a feature on former Villanova player, Howard Brown, who is now 33 years old. In Brown’s third season playing for the Wildcats, the team was going through a rebuilding year after losing the likes of Tim Thomas, Jason Lawson, Alvin Williams and Kerry Kittles. Steve Lappas, told Brown earlier in the season that he would be called on to not only start, but to become a leader of the team. Even Brown was surprised. Here he was, a junior, who started only 12 games in his sophomore year while averaging 5.8 points, to being labeled a team leader.

Never giving up is what Brown is all about. He never gave up playing basketball, though he wasn’t selected to play in the NBA. Brown still plays professionally for the Spanish League team CB Lobe Huesca, appearing in 21 games and averaging 7.5 points per game. He said he feels good and doesn’t know when he’ll stop playing. And most of all, he never gave up on, or forgot about, his hometown in Pottstown, Pa. where he will hold his 11th Annual Skoolz Classic Charity event this weekend. The event benefits his Live the Dream Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping provide mentoring and opportunity for youth to achieve."

ESPN reports, " It turns out Kentucky coach John Calipari hasn't reached 500 career victories after all. The University of Kentucky says it will change Calipari's career record because of 42 vacated victories from his time at Memphis and Massachusetts. In a statement, Kentucky said it had consulted with the NCAA and determined it was "in error" to have celebrated Calipari's 500th career win against Florida on Feb. 26."

Taylor Wright

The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Taylor Wright, son of Villanova's Jay Wright, plans to attend Brown University next year and "cut his sports workload by 33 percent. He played three sports while at Episcopal Academy. At Brown, the main sport for the 6-5, 185-pound senior right-hander will be baseball, and he also plans to dabble in hoops (as a forward). Taylor made a relief appearance for Episcopal in the 26th annual Carpenter Cup Classic, where he worked no-hit shutout ball and canceled out two walks with a pair of strikeouts. Afterwards Taylor was asked whether his dad, Jay, was in attendance at the game. Taylor Wright laughed and shot back, "I have no idea where he is. Guess it was too early for him." [Editor’s Note: Happy Fathers’ Day, Jay!]

Finally, we wish all those VUHoops fathers out there a very happy Fathers' Day with this bit of wisdom -- "By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong." (Charles Wadworth). To our VUHoops colleague, Mike, who became a father in April, your friends at VUHoops wish you a very happy first Fathers' Day. And to my own father, Frank James, and father-in-law, Steven Thomas, I miss you both and will be thinking of you on Sunday. Happy Fathers' Day.