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Problems Abound For Villanova Basketball

Let's treat this as a 'State of the Union' post about the Villanova Wildcats - and keep in mind this will not be a traditional State of the Union where I stand up before 'Nova Nation and make empty promises and give a pep talk. This is going to be a bit more like a dose of reality.

Right now, as it stands, we are not who we thought we were - at least on the offensive end. Despite what happened at Providence, I think 'Nova are still a very, very good defensive team. KenPom has us at 24th in his adjusted defensive rankings. Certainly nothing to scoff at.

The real problem lies on the offensive end. In 3 of the last 4 games, we have shot the ball like absolute ass. And to what should be nobody's surprise, we've lost all 3 games where we couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. Right now, as I see it, the biggest problem on this team is when the jumpers aren't falling, we have no Plan B. Nothing to get us out of trouble.

Even more concerning, we actually DO have something to get us out of trouble. We're just not using it at all. So without further ado, here it is:


More venting after The Jump.

Against the Providence Friars, sniper Corey Stokes was 2-16. Easily the worst shooting night of his career. Corey Fisher, whose prized asset is NOT his jump shot, was a paltry 2-10. Things got better against Georgetown. Stokes was 4-10 and both Fisher and Maalik Wayns were 5-10. Dominic Cheek, 1-7. As a team we shot 40.8%.

That's the most devious 40.8% I've ever seen. It didn't feel like that. And that's because we were taking bad shots. Nothing was high-percentage out there.

Lately, our offense has consisted of 3 sets:

  1. Corey Fisher dribbles the ball around for 25 seconds at the top of the key before forcing a jumper.
  2. Maalik Wayns dribbles the ball around for 25 seconds at the top of the key before forcing a jumper.
  3. Run a curl for Corey Stokes that the entire building can see coming for an off-balance jumper.

For a team with 4 guards that can get to the hoop (yes, we've seen Stokes do it successfully), this is just ludicrous. The closer you are to the hoop, the better chance you have a making the shot. Common sense. We're also one of the best free-throw shooting teams in the country (although even that was off against Georgetown).

We've got 2 guards who I've yet to seen anything stop from getting into the lane for 40 minutes. Yet, these guards aren't doing that.

Drive the ball to the hoop and score.

Drive the ball to the hoop and get fouled.

Drive the ball to the hoop and kick it out for an open look.

Drive the ball to the hoop and dish it to Antonio Pena or Mouphtaou Yarou for an easy finish.

At the end of the day, I'm probably overreacting and this is nothing more than a rut the team finds itself in. The problem is, there needs to be more happening when the shots aren't falling or when we run into a tough defensive team. The last 2 times out, we haven't found a way to adjust. We've haven't gone to what really should be our bread and butter.

Right now, we're settling for a crappy offensive effort. We can do better. We have to do better if we want this to be the season it can be.