(Editor's Note: Let's welcome Brendan to the staff! Brendan is going to be helping out with basketball coverage going forward. Keep an eye out for his articles leading up the season, and then during the season as well. He'll have some new stuff that we think you'll enjoy.)
It's football season. But more importantly, especially if you're a fan of a terrible NFL team, it's fantasy football season. For those of you not familiar, fantasy football allows you to construct your own team by drafting players from all over the league. Some people do this to show off their knowledge of the NFL, some do it for money, and others just for fun. My friends and I do it to make fun of each other. It's one of many ways we try to show how smart (we think) we are when our teams do well, and rip on each other for how terribly all the other teams do.
These days there are fantasy leagues for everything: Football, Baseball, Golf, even Movies. So in looking for yet another way to put our knowledge of Villanova Basketball to good use, I challenged four of my friends to an "All-Time Villanova Basketball Draft". We would each take turns picking five players and a coach with the goal of creating the "best" team. Some teams went for stats, some went for nostalgia, and some... well some REALLY like Jay Wright.
Full Disclosure - Everyone who participated in the draft is an '07 grad, but I think the past Nova greats are still well represented.
The problem now is we can't decide which team is "best". So I put it to you, the VU Hoops community, to vote on which of the teams of Villanova greats you think is best. Below you'll find the five teams, the round and order in which their players were picked, and my notes on each team. Who won? You decide!
Team Time Machine
"Spanning 70 years of Villanova Basketball"
1(1) Kerry Kittles (G)
2(10) Kyle Lowry (G)
3(11) Dante Cunningham (F)
4(20) Jim Washington (F)
5(21) Harold Pressley (F)
6(30) Al Severance (C)
Why This Team's Great: Talk about great balance! Scoring and speed in the back court, defense and rebounding in the front court. Team Time Machine takes some of the most outstanding players in both statistics and tourney success.
Top Pick: Kerry Kittles. Can't go wrong with the school's all time leading scorer. Kittles was a Big East player of the year, Big East Champion, and a consensus first team All-American.
Value Pick: Al Severance. To get the man responsible for bringing Villanova to prominence with the final pick in the draft is an insane value! Al lead Villanova to the first ever Final Four and discovered Paul Arizin on campus.
"Shoot 'em up, sleep in the streets"
1(2) Rollie Massimino (C)
2(9) Tim Thomas (F)
3(11) John Pinone (F)
4(19) Bob Schafer (G)
5(21) Doug West (G)
6(29) Ryan Arcidiacono (G)
Why This Team's Great: There's going to be no shortage of scoring on this team. Between star freshman Tim Thomas and three career 2000+ point scorers, this will be a high powered offense. Throw in Big East player of the year Arcidiacono to distribute the ball and Massimino's championship defensive schemes, and you have a very dangerous squad.
Top Pick: Rollie Massimino. Coaches are the real stars of college basketball. They're around longer, they construct the teams, and the teams success or failure will be placed squarely on their shoulders. Coach Mass is the only Villanova coach to go all the way and win the NCAA championship. Enough said.
Value Pick: John Pinone. He's in the top ten of career scoring and lead his teams to two Elite Eights. He was named to an All-American team and three All-Big East teams. Pinone was a third rounder in this draft, but a first rounder in our hearts.
"Can't Stop. Won't Stop"
1(3) Howard Porter (F)
2(8) Randy Foye (G)
3(13) Larry Hennesy (F)
4(18) Darrun Hilliard (G)
5(23) Curtis Sumpter (F)
6(28) Steve Lappas (C)
Why This Team's Great: This team is built on some of the hardest workers Villanova's ever seen. Everyone from the All-American's to the three star recruits made significant improvements to their game. You won't find a better group of leaders on or off the court.
Top Pick: Howard Porter. In just 3 years, Porter amassed the most rebounds and sixth most points in Villanova history. He was a two time All-American and lead his team to Villanova's first NCAA Championship Game, where they lost to John Wooden and UCLA. Despite the loss, Porter was the tournament's Most Outstanding Player (although the NCAA would like you to forget that).
Value Pick: Randy Foye. It took big talent and strong leadership to be the stand-out player on a team with Allen Ray and Kyle Lowry, but that's just what Foye was. An All-American and Big East Player of the Year, Foye had lengthy and successful collegiate and professional careers.
Team Old School
"Tonight we're going to party like it's 1985"
1(4) Paul Arizin (F)
2(7) Ed Pinckney (F)
3(14) Allan Ray (G)
4(17) Dwayne McClain (G)
5(24) Eric Eberz (G)
6(27) Jack Kraft (C)
Why This Team's Great: Let's turn back the clock and take a look at a team featuring the stars of the '85 Championship team. Then let's go back further and pick up the greatest "walk on" in Villanova history. Throw in two more sharp shooters with "old school" toughness, and you've got yourself one of the better teams in the draft.
Top Pick: Paul Arizin. "Pitchin' Paul" was discovered playing hoops with some friends at the Villanova Fieldhouse as a student. Four years later, he held the record for most points scored in a game (85), was College Player of the Year in '49, and was credited with inventing the jump shot. But more importantly, he went on to lend his naming rights to the daily round up on VUHoops, "The Sun's Arizin".
Value Pick: Allan Ray. A 2000+ point scorer and all around sharp shooter, Ray did it all for Nova in the four guard system. But more importantly, especially for the "old school" team, he's one of the toughest guys to ever play for Jay Wright. Need proof? ****Caution: GRAPHIC VIDEO**** That happened and he didn't miss a game.
Team New School
"WWJD = What Would Jay Do?"
1(5) Jay Wright (C)
2(6) Scottie Reynolds (G)
3(15) Michael Bradley (F)
4(16) Chris Ford (G)
5(25) Will Sheridan (F)
6(26) Mike Nardi (G)
Why This Team's Great: This is the team of the 2000's. Start with three key players in the Jay Wright era, add in a dominant big man, and finish it off with the man who hit the first 3-pointer in NBA history. This is a team superstars and un-sung heroes that were "system" guys. All of them are "Villanova guys".
Top Pick: Jay Wright. What more can I say about the man at the helm. He's gotten to the final four, he's a four time Big East Coach of the Year, and the 2006 National Coach of the Year. While the tournament success hasn't been there in recent years, if he can break through and win it all, he may be the best coach in Villanova history.
Value Pick: Scottie Reynolds. Yes he only went in the second round, but I couldn't fault someone for taking Scottie number one over all. His accomplishments range from Big East Rookie of the Year, the shot to put his team into the Final Four, the selection as a consensus First Team All-American, and ending his career as Villanova's second leading scorer. Reynolds is arguably the greatest player of the Jay Wright era.
So who got it (W)right and who got it wrong? Who got left out? Leave your votes and comments below, and thanks for reading!