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Villanova Week In Review - July 27

There was lots of news this week about Villanova football and Jay's top recruiting targets ... Dwayne Anderson breaks the hearts of admiring female fans everywhere when he says "I do" around 6PM today ... Mike Sheridan tells us why Tony Chennault reversed his decision to transfer ... Matt Szczur celebrates his birthday in style ... Archy is starting to get recognition as one of the nation's best and ESPN has only modest expectations for the Big East teams this season. It's all here. Enjoy!

Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Not Much Expected from Big East Teams ... Jason King of ESPN posted his updated Top 25 for next season. Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Arizona and Duke are King's top five. Marquette is the only Big East team on his list at #15. Villanova and four other Big East teams made his next fifteen --Butler, Creighton, Georgetown, St. John's.

Never Mind ... Mike Sheridan of writes, "In early April, Tony Chennault announced that he planned to transfer from Villanova to another university and complete his college career elsewhere. "Sometimes, when you think so much about things, you have to step back and look at it from a different perspective," says Chennault now. "It was a situation where I was probably over thinking things at first. I never really wanted to leave. The relationships we have on our team - we really are like brothers. Mouph, Tahj and JP reminded me that their first years weren't exactly easy for them. I had to sit back and tell myself that this was a learning experience for me and that if I keep working hard, keep getting better, I think a lot of positives can happen for me and I can help make us a better team."

Archy One of 50 Best in College Basketball? ... Jason McIntyre of BigLeadSports posted his somewhat controversial list of the top 50 players in college basketball next season. Making his list from Villanova is #28 Ryan Arcidiacono with the commentary, "Criminally underrated guard who was on the Big East All-Rookie team and Big 5 Rookie of the Year. You put him on a team with talent, and he's probably in the Top 20 on this list, maybe Top 15. The Wildcats return a lot of mediocre players, and Arch will once again have to carry the team. Two others from the Big East made the list including #7 Doug McDermott, F, Creighton and #45 Bryce Cotton, PG, Providence." Hat tip to Brian Ewart

What was Jay Thinking? ... Here's a few noteworthy tweets from Coach Wright this week:

Next Stop, Atlantic City .... Josh Verlin of City of Basketball Love writes, "[Villanova target] Josh Reaves (2015/Paul VI/Team Takeover) showcased the solid all-around game at Elevate Hoops' Live in A.C. that had numerous high-major schools watching him on Thursday, putting up 18 points, seven steals, four rebounds and three blocks in a win over Team Philly. So far, the 6-4, 185-pound wing has offers from Villanova and Virginia Commonwealth, with interest from Georgetown, South Florida, George Mason, Mt. St. Mary's, Nebraska and more. He hasn't yet visited Villanova, but plans to on August 3. "It's Big East, a lot of competition, a lot of history at the school and good coaching," he said when asked what he knew about the Wildcats." Mr. Verlin writes that two other players were getting looks from the coaching staff at the event including 6-4 guard/forward Tyler Kohl (2015/Trenton Catholic/WE R1) and 6-3 combo guard Levan Alston, Jr. (2015/The Haverford School/Team Final)."

Bridges Brings Multifaceted Game ... VUHoops' Chris Lane writes, "[Villanova fans] all should be very excited about Mikal Bridges coming to Villanova. He's long, he can run the floor, he blocks shots, and he can shoot the three."

New Nova Target, and Yes, He's a Guard ... VUHoops' Chris Lane reports, "Julian Richardson, a 6'2" 175 lb. shooting guard from Woodland Hills, CA and plays at El Camino Real High School. He plays his AAU ball for Cali Supreme, where he put up 11 ppg and 2.8 apg at the Nike Peach Jam. Richardson just reported a host of new offers, including one from Villanova. Nike EYBL circuit suggest that Richardson shot the ball extremely well for Cali Supreme, and he could be the type of sniper that many schools look to bring in to augment the offense."

Fortunately, ‘Nova Doesn't Need Big Men ... inRecruit reports, "Junior college center Ivan Cruz Uceda out of Harcum College in suburban Philadelphia has received offers from Marquette, Seton Hall, Cincinnati, Arizona State, Iowa State, Florida Atlantic and Liberty. Standing at 6'10, Uceda Cruz averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds per game last season for Harcum."

Nova in Good Company Chasing Obi ... Alex Kline writes, Saint James School (Maryland) power forward Obi Enechionyia has picked up new offers from Providence, Georgia Tech, George Washington, Rutgers and Loyola Marymount. Enechionyia, 6'8 220 lbs., plays AAU for Team Takeover out of the Washington DC area. Rated 4 stars by Rivals and 3 stars by ESPN in the class of 2014, Enechionyia also holds offers from Villanova, Virginia, Miami, Maryland, Georgetown, Indiana, Notre Dame, VCU, UMass and Xavier, with interest from Stanford and Ohio State."

‘Nova in Final Five in Booth Chase ... Alex Schwartz of Northstar Basketball writes, "Phil Booth of Mount St. Joseph (Md.) has trimmed his list of schools down to a top five. While at the Nike Global Challenge, Booth said he is working with a list that includes Villanova, Georgetown, Indiana, Virginia, and Temple. The No. 81 prospect in the class of 2014 according to seems firm with his list of five. About Villanova, Booth says, ""Coach Jay Wright has a good history of good guards, so that's definitely an attraction. I like their style of play. I like the coaching staff they got there."

Ja'Quan Newton to Name His Top Five Next Week ... Matt Breen of writes, "Ja'Quan Newton, the area's top senior basketball player, announced on Monday afternoon that he will list his top five college choices next week. Villanova, Georgetown, Minnesota, Syracuse and Oregon appear to be the favorites." VUHoops' Chris Lane adds, "It would be a mild surprise if Villanova were to not make the cut, as both Jay Wright and Billy Lange were on hand this past weekend to take in his games at the Nike event - and Newton noticed based on this quote from Newton: "I like that they're here every game watching me supporting me, watching me. It makes it seem like they really want me, so that's good. I like their style of play. It fits my play, pick and roll, get a lot of get up and down."

Shayok Not Feeling Jay's Love ... Zagsblog reports that Canadian wing and Villanova target Marial Shayok went for 22 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in Canada's 104-79 rout of Pan-Africa in the Nike Global Challenge. As far as recruiting, Shayok said the schools recruiting him "the hardest right now [are] Marquette, Cincinnati and Boston College and that's about it." The rising senior at Blair (N.J.) Academy said he's planning "a couple East Coast visits" with his dad before school starts and wants to visit Seton Hall, Rutgers and Villanova."

Cats Back on Top of CAA ... VUHoops' Brian Ewart writes, Villanova football was picked by coaches to win the 2013 CAA Title, receiving received 11 of 22 possible first-place votes." Mike Still of the Philadelphia Inquirer adds, "It's difficult for Villanova coach Andy Talley to put much stock in his team's preseason No. 1 ranking in the Colonial Athletic Association. Talley does, however, appreciate the respect his team is garnering. Talley has six players who have been named preseason all-conference selections: quarterback John Robertson, running back Kevin Monangai, offensive lineman Josh Bucci, defensive tackle Rakim Cox, middle guard Antoine Lewis, and punter Mark Hamilton." Terry Toohey of Delco Times writes, "The Wildcats have 16 starters back, nine on offense and seven on defense, as well as 35 letter winners. Only seven of the projected 22 starters are seniors. And then there is sophomore Jamal Abdur-Rahman, who sat out the 2012. Talley called Abdur-Rahman a difference maker. Villanova opens its season Aug. 31 at Boston College against former Temple coach Steve Addazio and closes the season against Delaware on Nov. 23 at PPL Park in Chester."

All Eyes on the Gridiron Cats ... Craig Haley of the Sports Network writes, "The CAA will grow to 12 teams next year when Elon arrives from the Southern Conference. It's a conference that had five of its alumni on the roster of the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens this past season and about 30 other players on NFL rosters. "Anybody in this league better expect a heck of a game any time they play in this league, I don't care who it is," William & Mary coach Jimmye Laycock said. "You better expect everybody in this league to be good." Haley lists five key games of the upcoming season, and Villanova plays in three of them:

  • Sept. 21: Stony Brook at Villanova: "Incoming CAA member Stony Brook sent Villanova to the playoff sideline last November."
  • Oct. 12: Villanova at Towson: "Expect an offensive slugfest in this meeting of the top two teams in the CAA preseason poll."
  • Oct. 19: Villanova at New Hampshire: "UNH has been to the playoffs in nine straight seasons - the nation's longest active streak." Hat tip to Brian Ewart

Nova LAX Reloads ... LAXPower reports, "Villanova lacrosse head coach Julie Young is set to welcome the addition of 11 student-athletes for the 2013-14 academic year. The Class of 2017 features three All-America selections, three all-state honorees, 11 all-conference performers, 10 multi-sport athletes and three academic All-Americas. The freshman class also includes a balanced mix of four attackmen, four midfielders and three defenseman."

New Hire by Lady Cats ... reports, "Women's basketball coach Harry Perretta today announced the hiring of former Wildcat guard Mimi Riley as the program's Director of Basketball Operations. Riley replaces Briana Weiss who left to pursue other career opportunities."

For the Love of Baseball and Business ... Tom Van Riper of Forbes writes, "Frank Boulton is the Long Island Ducks' owner and the founder and CEO of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs. Boulton was the starting catcher at Bay Shore High School in 1969 but let the game go when he went to Villanova University to set himself on a profitable course to Wall Street. Boulton's attention to detail has helped make the eight-team Atlantic League, an independent professional baseball organization with no major league affiliations, the most successful operation of its kind in America. His Ducks expect to gross an estimated $9.6 million this season and will clear about $3.5 million before taxes. "Two things I love are baseball and business. I've been lucky to be able to combine them." Hat tip to Brian Ewart

Wayns' Chances Good ... Oren Friedman of BleacherReport considers former Villanova star Maalik Wayns one of the winners from the LA Clippers summer league. He writes, "Wayns hardly overwhelmed the Clippers' coaching staff this summer, putting up double-digit points just once over the four games. What he did bring was versatility offensively and defensively, demonstrating that he is capable of scoring or distributing while defending either backcourt position. The Villanova product averaged four assists per game, second best on the team. Where Wayns might have beaten out his competition for a final roster spot is in his familiarity with the Clippers' locker room. Spending time in the NBA last season, Wayns developed a relationship with Paul, something not to be underestimated."

Happy Birthday Matt ... Press of Atlantic City reports, "[Former Villanova two sport great] Matt Szczur celebrated his 24th birthday on Saturday [July 20] by going 2-for-4, including his 20th double of the year, with a walk and a run scored to help the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs) beat the Jacksonville Suns (Marlins) 7-4 in a double-A Southern League game Saturday night. Szczur is hitting .290 with 52 runs scored, 37 RBIs and 20 steals on 30 attempts in 90 games. His on-base percentage is .359."

May You Have a Long, Healthy and Happy Life Together ... Villanova great Dwayne Anderson will marry his college sweetheart, Lindsay Davis, in Pittsburgh this evening. The happy couple met when they were students at Villanova.

Who Says Size Doesn't Matter?... Raphielle Johnson of NBC Sports writes, "The NCAA executive committee and Division I board will meet on August 8 to discuss possible models for how to govern the 348 schools that are currently Division I members. With the increased demands that the current model be augmented, there's been some chatter that the power conferences could look to either split away from the NCAA or establish another division under the NCAA umbrella. "There's a need to recognize there are Division I schools with $5 million athletic budgets and $155 million athletic budgets, and trying to find a model that fits all of them is the enormous challenge right now," NCAA president Mark Emmert said." Hat tip to Brian Ewart

We Can Still Dream, Right? ... Nadia Lindstrom of inRecruit writes, "With the graduating class of 2013 all committed and packing their bags for school, all eyes are on the recruiting class of 2014. According to ESPN top 100, the top 3 recruits are in high demand but are not committed yet. Jahlil Okafor, the 6'10 big man from Chicago is very athletic and handles the ball well for an athlete of his size. Okafor is known for his powerful dunks and blocks, usually scoring most of his points in the paint. Cliff Alexander from Chicago is an excellent shot blocker and, like Okafor, all his points come from inside the paint. Some argue that he has more skill than Okafor but at 2 inches shorter and 40 lbs. lighter. 6'1", Tyus Jones of Apple Valley, MN is the top point guard in a recruiting class of mostly big men. He is a good passer and a good ball handler but needs work on his jump shot."

Packin' Them In at the Pavilion ... Mainline Media News reports, "Tennis legend John McEnroe and the New York Sportimes came to the Villanova University Wednesday evening for the Philadelphia Freedoms' final match of the season, and McEnroe entertained the near-capacity crowd at the Pavilion during the match, arguing with the officials in his trademark style."