Well, that wasn't fun at all. No loss ever is, but that was of the "throw your hands up in exasperation" variety where you just know that you aren't going to win at a certain point. For me, it was when Saint Louis had hit 9 3-pointers at halftime and then proceeded to open the second half by hitting 2 more, which were contested.
Villanova's perimeter defense was nothing to be proud of. That's an understatement, actually. It was downright awful. But there was more than a few times that Saint Louis threw one up with a hand in the face and just buried it. When a team shoots like that, you're just not going to win.
It was just one of those days. 'Cheers' and '/Facepalms' are after The Jump.
Maalik Wayns - The best player on the floor for either team, but he couldn't do it all himself. 29 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists are Kemba-like numbers, but he just needs some help. Neither Mouph nor Dom really showed up in this game on offense, which is a shame to ruin that type of performance from Leek.
James Bell - He's quietly becoming a reliable scoring option. His outside shot has been deadly in the past couple of games and he's been relentless in crashing the boards as well. When he develops the ability and confidence to take his man off the dribble it'll be a real treat.
Dominic Cheek - Still playing very good defense and rebounding the ball well, but it's now too games in a row where he has been non-existent on offense. This was even more painful than the last because it didn't seem like he was really trying to get into the offense that much. He needs to take more than 6 shots - that doesn't mean jumpers, but try some other things as well even when your jump shot isn't on.
Mouphtaou Yarou - 8 points and 3 rebounds is unacceptable. Foul trouble buried him in the first half and by the time he was back in we weren't really at a point to feed the post. So the rebounds is the most concerning part, especially since we weren't shooting well.
JayVaughn Pinkston - Continue to love his drive to attack the rim. The announcer said at one point that he was making easy shots difficult. There's not such thing as an 'easy' shot unless you're wide open and close to the hoop, but I get the point he was trying to make. I don't know whether JVP was out of control, and he was definitely unlucky not to make a few chippies, but you've just got to finish down low.
Darrun Hilliard - He's been so smooth for a freshman so far...until this game. Some really dumb plays late on when Villanova was trying to mount a comeback. Don't think this will happen too often with Money, but that was a performance deserving of a /Facepalm if I've ever seen one.
Tweet of the Game
There was some Twitter viciousness about our lack of ability to inbound the ball. I was reminding everyone that we do in fact have an inbounds play that has won us multiple games in the past (Dante Cunningham against Cincinnati & Will Sheridan against BC in '06). Then I was reminded that we haven't really used it since then. Nobody knows why.
GameThread Comment of the Game
This one goes out to newcomer dees ees en drama who responded to my parting comment around halftime. I encouraged everyone to just have it in the capable hands of Pops, who was moderating in my absence. I let everyone know that he encouraged chaos and profanity.
Villanova's level of play encourages profanity & chaos
Yep, things weren't going well.
We're back in action tomorrow night at 6:30 pm ET against the Santa Clara Broncos in the 3rd place game of the 76 Classic. The game will be available on ESPNU.