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The Sun's Arizin: Villanova Wildcats news and links for December 29, 2014

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Daily Villanova links.

Happy Monday, 'Nova Nation! Sure feels like a long time since the 'Cats last graced us with their presence. Meanwhile I think I've seen every other notable college team play a game over the festive period, which is making me a bit uneasy about the long layoff before the Big East opener.

Wednesday can't come soon enough.

And now, the "news."

Villanova head coach Jay Wright hopeful to have Darrun Hilliard against Butler | CollegeBasketballTalk
"He is much better," Wright said after Villanova’s 92-67 win over N.J.I.T., according to Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "He didn’t have a severe concussion. It’s just one of those things where we erred on the side of safety, which you have to in these cases."

The top 15 most improved players in college basketball | CollegeBasketballTalk
Who have been college basketballs breakout stars? Dylan Ennis makes the list.

Bill Raftery: Big East title not out of question for St. John's
FOX Sports analyst and former Seton Hall coach Bill Raftery dissects the surprising start off by St. John’s heading into its Major East opener against the Pirates

The Sad State Of Pitt Panther Football | Fansided
It’s as though the Big East and ACC have let Pitt hang around simply because of the city that serves as the home to the university, almost as a way to brag about having a conference member in a metro that size.

OBIT: George D. Murphy, English professor at Villanova University | Philly.com
George D. Murphy, 85, a retired English professor at Villanova University, died Monday, Dec. 22, of pulmonary complications at Roxborough Memorial Hospital.

Filippo family caressed to the nines | Philly.com
#VillanovaAlum Alert: The Filippo family home is full of love and humor. Make that a large home-full, with lots of children. Jenn, a former Villanova basketball player, and Ron Filippo have nine - count 'em, nine - children.

Bala couple, Temple and Villanova theater professors, hurt in Puerto Rico crash | Philly.com
The head of Temple University's theater department and his wife, a theater professor at Villanova University, were seriously injured Christmas Day when they were struck by a police officer's motorcycle in Puerto Rico. Odd.

4'9 Rice RB Jayson Carter gets a carry in Hawaii Bowl - SBNation.com
Carter got his second carry in a Bowl win over Fresno State.