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The Sun's Arizin: Villanova Wildcats news and links for December 18, 2013

Daily Villanova Wildcats links, today featuring Big 5 PoTW sweep, bad BIG EAST performances, and the press conference of the year.

Huuuuummmmp Daaaaay! Well, last night was not exactly what you would call "pretty" in terms of BIG EAST basketball. Luckily, most of the country was consumed by the abortion of a basketball game that was Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati - a game where basketball was set back 50 years, and where the Panthers only made 11 shots from the field. The continuation of this game on a yearly basis is probably within the Top 5 reasons on why the old BIG EAST was dissolved.

Our Hoya friends were losing at home to Elon at the half, before getting their act together (I guess that's what you can call it) and finishing the Phoenix off. Providence was tied with Yale at the half before pulling away, then nearly coughing it up at the end, before finally securing a two-point win.

Seriously, what the hell is going on with this conference?

And now, the "news."

Nova’s Darrun Hilliard a longtime Wildcat fan | The Philadelphia Tribune
There's really not much better than when one of your best players has this much passion for the school. H/T to Ryan Boggio for the link.

Mikal Bridges doing work | SLAM ONLINE
Nice piece (that I'm almost 100% sure is a reprint) on Bridges in SLAM magazine. Every time I think about how good this team can be next year I get this tingling feeling inside.

Leer Earns Big 5 Player of the Week Honors | Villanova University Official Athletic Site
Another item which we didn't give much coverage to was Darrun Hilliard winning the men's Big 5 Player of the Week award, making it a clean sweep for the 'Cats.

Emily Lipari Reflects on 4 Years of Villanova XC | Villanova Running
Somehow I missed this - a great interview with All-American Emily Lipari, who says that her Top 5 finish at Nationals was a huge surprise to her personally. What a career.

Roster Talent by Average Recruit Rankings in College Basketball | The Crimson Quarry
So, for those of you worried about Villanova's ability to recruit, our average star rating is 3.467, good for 14th best in the nation. That's second in the BIG EAST (behind Georgetown). So now, it just really becomes performance on the court if we can keep up that recruiting pace.

Sharing Derek Sheely |
LONGFORM ALERT! A helmet-to-helmet hit took the life of a 22-year-old college football player. Two years later, friends and family keep his memory alive, one story at a time.

Southern Illinois head coach Barry Hinson unloads in press conference (VIDEO) | CollegeBasketballTalk
Southern Illinois head coach Barry Hinson just delivered the press conference of the year. This is tremendous. If my word alone isn't enough to convince you to listen, just fast forward to the 3:00 mark. It kicks off with this: "I've been telling my wife this for years: size doesn't matter.