The Villanova Wildcats are 3-0 so far this season, and they're doing it with 5 new players donning the uniform. While the last 2 wins haven't been easy by any stretch, we're seeing several positives in a team that right now may still lack an identity.
The emergence of Dom Cheek to compliment Wayns has helped add to the scoring threats in the Villanova offense, as has the improved post-play of Mouph Yarou. But perhaps the biggest improvement this team has shown is their ability to not rely on the jump shot, and attack the rim.
This has led to an increase in fouls by their opponents, sending Villanova to the line often. Even better, they're converting at a high rate.
After The Jump we'll take a closer look.
Here are the team totals through the first three games.
|Opponent||Made FT's||Attempted FT's||FT %|
|La Salle Explorers||34||41||82.9%|
|Delaware Blue Hens||17||22||77.3%|
Take the La Salle game with a grain of salt because it went to overtime and La Salle was hacking in the final minutes, but these are solid numbers for a young team that doesn't really have an offensive identity.
Without the presence of a true ace from the outside, this young team has been attacking the basket as an alternative and when presented the chance at the charity stripe, they are converting. Here are the individual numbers.
|Player||Made FT's||Attempted FT's||FT %|
Our 2 biggest perimeter threats are getting to the line between 7 and 8 times a game on average, which is great to see. But even better to see is that they are both hitting their freebies at a 90%+ clip. It's too early to think that number will hold up, but as long as the team keeps attacking the basket they will continue to draw fouls.
The key then is taking the points when they are given to you, and thus far, they've done a great job of that, hitting 82% of their shots as a team.