Lots of things happened over the past 365 days in the world of Villanova sports. Thanks to the wonders of internet statistics, we can tell you exactly which ones captured the interest of both regular readers and random stragglers from around the internet. What follows are the Top-10 VUhoops posts of 2011, ranked by the number of times it was viewed.
10. Did UCLA Get Involved With Goodman? - The HoopGroup's Dave Krupinski reported to VUhoops.com that UCLA may have made a late push to recruit former 2012-commit Savon Goodman, leading to his de-commitment. There was also a suggestion that Goodman would be a package deal with Kyle Anderson. So far, Goodman remains undecided on where he will land.
9. Source: Nova Also Had ACC Talks - At least one newspaper blew this story up after seeing it on VUhoops and reported that Villanova had "applied" for ACC membership. Our sources didn't report anything getting that far along, but there was reportedly a push by Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo to get Villanova into the expansion picture.
8. Big East Media Day: Jay Wright on Realignment - Coach Wright fielded more questions about football at the media day than he did about his own team. Wright loudly proclaimed that Villanova wanted to join the Big East in football, and expressed optimism about the new members.
7. Isaiah Armwood Transferring - The news broke shortly after the team returned from its European tour that junior forward Isaiah Armwood would not return to school. The move created some uncertainty in the line-up that Wright was likely to use and lead to less flexibility in games.
6. WVU Sues the Big East - Conference realignment took an ugly turn when West Virginia took their desire to leave the Big East conference this summer into court. Their hastily written Complaint made their over-the-top claims part of the public record.
5. Goodman De-Commits - Savon Goodman was initially expected to be one member of a star-studded all-Philadelphia class for the Wildcats until 2012. VUhoops had the story when Goodman made his intention to re-open his recruitment official prior to jetting off to Southern California for the Boost Mobile Elite 24 Classic event.
4. Homecoming Wrap-Up - The basketball team marched into the Pavilion wearing military uniforms and saluted the crowd, Mo Sutton won the Slam Dunk Contest, superstar-rapper Drake performed a mini-concert and the football team lost to Old Dominion. You came to VUhoops for pictures, videos and a recap of the whole weekend.
3. Expansion Apocalypse: What to expect when you are expecting (a decision) - On April 7th, the final countdown to what was supposed to be a Board of Trustees vote on whether or not to move the football program to the Big East conference was underway. Our sources indicated that the Trustees favored the move and that it was likely to be approved. We ran down the details of what would have to happen next. The Big East conference never let that vote occur, however, as the carpet was pulled out from underneath the Wildcats on April 10th.
2. Daniel Ochefu Commits to Villanova - Who ever said that Jay Wright can't recruit big men? Ochefu is considered one of the best Center prospects in the country and one of the best basketball players in the Philadelphia area. He gave Jay Wright his verbal commitment on March 21, 2011 and joined Ryan Arcidiacono and Savon Goodman (since de-committed) in what was then one of the top-2 recruiting classes in the nation.
1. Football Has A PPL Problem? - VUhoops was the first outlet to report on the University of Pittsburgh's objections to Villanova's plan to play FBS football games at PPL Park, the home of Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union. The Panthers were not the only objectors but early on they were the loudest. Villanova didn't have many other options for a modern facility capable of hosting FBS football, however, and moved forward with that plan.
2011 was dominated by talk of football upgrades and conference realignment. Basketball was hardly on top of the world, but a potentially huge 2012 recruiting class kept Wildcat fans on the edge of their seats.
Basketball games are always a major topic for Villanova. Just outside the Top-10 were stories about two basketball losses that deeply disappointed Nova Nation, this season's loss in the Holy War and the last season's NCAA Tournament flame-out.
Nova fans also celebrated alumni in 2011, watching Scottie Reynolds try to build his professional career, and Curtis Sumpter try to revive his own with Team USA. Sumpter returned from a career overseas to try and work his way into the NBA the hard way; through the D-League route that Scottie opted to eschew.
Villanova football won just 2 games in 2011, but began to show some promise near the end of the season as the young players began to figure out their roles. Villanova basketball went 17-17 from January 1, 2011 until December 31, 2011, not counting exhibition games (if you did, they would be below-.500).
What do you hope the top-stories of 2012 will be?