I’m going to be honest; I had really high expectations for this game. I thought that with Corey Stokes back, it would be like the prodigal son returned, and all the problems of the past few games would disappear. It seems that notion was naïve, because that game was an absolute travesty. I should’ve watched the Bachelor and Gossip Girl instead.
After my post last week on the Seton Hall game, I received the following e-mail from what will remain an unnamed Syracuse fan: "For the future you might want to consider being more like Time magazine and pre-write your moratorium for when the Orange deliver a little payback for the fluke back in January and run your boys into the floorboards on Monday." They surely didn’t run us into the floorboards but a loss at home, on Senior Night, to Syracuse, with Jim Boeheim smirking and grinning throughout the last 30 seconds is absolutely KILLING me right now and I hate that I am not able to talk smack back to that e-mail.
Actually, I take it back. I am able: Yes, Villanova played an awful game of basketball, but frankly I think it’s Syracuse who ought to be more embarrassed. We only shot 32.8 percent overall, 20 percent from the three point line, and 63 percent on foul throws, we turned over the ball constantly, and yet the Orangemen STILL only won by five. That's actually really sad. I feel sorry for Syracuse fans. There. I knew I could still do it.
First of all, Villanova Students: Where the F were you all last night? It was Senior Night! Seeing a half empty student section on national television is embarrassing. And I don’t care if you have midterms. EVERY Villanova basketball game should look like it did on Game Day.
Second, was it just me or was that a really physical game? The refs let a whole lot go the entire game, but I’m glad because that's the way this conference plays. If they had called James Bell for that intentional foul (which was actually a clean block, that'd be another story. Overall, it was incredibly fast paced and sloppy; and at times more of a dunk contest than a basketball game. The whole thing was like Big East basketball on crack.
I’m also pretty impressed with Maurice Sutton for having the balls to go back out after checking in for curfew. I wonder what kind of Sunday Funday action was going down at the Nation last night. Or should I say who was the Sunday Funday action…In either case, that kid needs to pull it together.
The last couple of minutes of the first half were absolute insanity. Jim Boeheim definitely popped a Xanax in the locker room. I thought he was going to have an aneurysm after the ref called that T! Who was that on anyways? It was never really clear whether it was on Boeheim or Baye Moussa Keita.
On a positive note, having Stokes back on the floor did make a difference, and the Wildcats are a completely different team with him back. The one major difference from the past couple of games, was that they actually made an effort to shoot the ball. Their ability to finish is still lacking but hey, at least they are taking it to the hoop.
I was hoping after the second half that Villanova would come out and play a different game. They did, just not the type of game I (or anyone else for that matter) wanted. We could not seem to hold onto the ball! Once again, we had a chance to tie up the game and take the lead in the last minute (amongst a dozen other chances), and we blew it. Fisher had the shot after the pick and he didn’t take it.
Villanova has a lot to work on if they want to have a successful March, and I hope they get it together soon and score a win against St. John’s this weekend. My suggestions are keep Sutton on a leash, remind Antonio Pena that he’s massive and to stop getting knocked around, plant Dominic Cheek on the three point line until he remembers how to make a basket...hell, plant them all on the line until they remember how to make a basket, and get some faith back in these boys so they show up to play when it really counts!
On a completely unrelated note, I cannot stand the Dick Vitale/Hooters commercial. Dick Vitale surrounded by 20 year old hooters girls in nurse costumes saying "It’s the cure, baby!" is absolutely nauseating. Someone please make it stop.