This month we're having an NCAA style tournament to determine Nova Nation's favorite Villanova Basketball player of all time. Be sure to check back each day as voting continues!
Eight more first round match-ups are in the books, and Randy Foye (99%), Dante Cunningham (67%), Howard Porter (96%), Hubie White (65%), Kerry Kittles (99%), Michael Bradley (53%), Harold Pressley (93%), and Doug West (91%) are moving on to Round 2. Today we wrap up Round 1, and move one step closer to deciding Nova Nation's favorite player!
Wright Region: 2) Scottie Reynolds vs. 15) James Bell
Scottie Reynolds: A member of the 2009 NCAA Final Four team, Reynolds is 2nd in scoring, 3rd in steals, and 8th in assists all-time.
Reynolds is known for being Villanova's 2nd all-time scorer (just 21 points shy of Kittles record), and since this past April, the 2nd biggest shot in Villanova history. He was one of the best Wildcats ever when it came to offense. Whether it was finding his own shot, creating offense from his defense, or creating opportunities for his teammates. His first year he set the freshman scoring record with a 40 point night against UConn, and would go on to be named the Big East Rookie of the Year. After leading the team to the Final Four in 2009 as a junior, Reynolds would lead the team in scoring as a senior. That year he was one of only four Wildcats to be named a consensus first team All-American. He would also be named first team All-Big East, and the Big 5's Most Outstanding Player. He currently plays in Europe, but he'll be playing this summer with team Supernova in The Basketball Tournament.
James Bell: A member of three NCAA teams ('11, '13, '14) and the '14 Big East Regular Season Champions, Bell is 31st in steals and 59th in scoring all-time.
Bell is another player credited by several members of the 2016 National Championship team with providing senior leadership while helping turn the team around. He was the lone senior on the 2014 team that won Villanova's first outright Big East Championship in over 30 years. Bell was a great defender with a good outside touch, but more importantly he was everything we've come to expect from a Villanova captain. He too will be a part of team Supernova in The Basketball Tournament this summer.
Wright Region: 7) Josh Hart vs. 10) Daniel Ochefu
Josh Hart: A member of the 2016 NCAA Championship team, three Big East Regular Season Championship teams ('14-'16), and the '15 Big East Tournament Championship team, Hart is 36th in rebounding, 38th in steals, and 43rd in scoring all-time.
Hart will go down as one of the greatest winners in Villanova history. His class has been Big East Regular Season Champions all three seasons they've been on campus. They've averaged over 32 wins a season, and over that 3 year period Villanova is the winning-est program in D1 Men's Basketball. In 2015, Hart lead the team to the schools 2nd Big East Tournament Championship, and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. In 2016, he helped the team achieve their first ever #1 ranking in the AP Poll where they remained for 3 weeks. He would later be named unanimously to the first team All-Big East. Hart was also a crucial part of the team's Championship run, including leading the team in scoring during their Final Four game against Oklahoma. After the season, Hart tested the NBA Draft waters and was invited to the NBA Combine. He ultimately decided to return to Villanova for his senior season in 2017.
Daniel Ochefu: A member of the 2016 NCAA Championship team, three Big East Regular Season Championship teams ('14-'16), and the '15 Big East Tournament Championship team, Ochefu is 5th in blocks, 7th in rebounds, 34th in steals, and 50th in scoring all-time.
Ochefu's class has won more games (117) than any other in Villanova history. He was the defensive anchor of the staunch Villanova defense that lead them to the 2016 Championship. But Ochefu will most likely be remembered as the most improved player in Villanova history. From coming in his freshman year as a raw talent and playing in a back-up role, he would be named Co-Big East Most Improved Player with teammate Darrun Hilliard in his sophomore season. The next year, he won the Big 5's Most Improved Player award and lead the Big East in field goal accuracy at 64%. His senior year he was named All-Big East Honorable Mention and second team All-Big 5. He finished his career as one of only 7 Wildcats to score 1,000+ points and 900+ rebounds. Ochefu is now working out for NBA teams in preparation for the NBA Draft.
Severance/Kraft Region: 1) Paul Arizin vs. 16) Ed Hastings
Paul Arizin: A member of the '49 NCAA Elite Eight team and the inaugural class of the Villanova Hall of Fame, Arizin is 15th in scoring all-time.
Paul Arizin came to Villanova with one goal in mind, which was to graduate with an engineering degree. It wasn't until Al Severance saw him playing in the gym and invited him to join the team that Arizin had even considered playing at Nova. But he would go on to become one of college basketball's greatest scorer's, and the only Villanovan to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a player. His senior year he averaged over 25 PPG, and was a unanimous first team All-American. He would go on to a 12 year career with the Philadelphia Warriors, at the end of which he retired with the 3rd most points in NBA history at that point. He's now the namesake for VUHoops' daily round-up articles.
Ed Hastings: A member of the '71 NCAA Runner-Up team, Hastings is 36th in assists all-time.
Hastings only played 6 games of the teams 1971 season in which they fell to UCLA in the Championship, but he would go on to be one of the team's leaders in assists. After his basketball days, he would join the Villanova faculty and serve as a spiritual leader both for the basketball team and the University.
Severance/Kraft Region: 8) Chris Ford vs. 9) Wali Jones
Chris Ford: A member of the '71 NCAA Runner-up team and the Villanova Hall of Fame, Ford is 5th in assists, 30th in scoring, and 41st in rebounds all-time.
Ford was a versatile scoring guard and a starter on the '71 team that faced UCLA in the NCAA Finals. He's the only player in Villanova history to record 500+ assists and 500+ rebounds. In '72 he was named the Big 5's Most Outstanding Player, and would later be inducted into the Big 5 Hall of Fame. He would go on to play in the NBA for 10 years, followed by another 20 as an NBA coach.
Wali Jones: A member of the '62 NCAA Elite Eight team, the '63 NIT Final Four team, and the Villanova Hall of Fame, Jones is 31st in scoring and 33rd in assists all-time.
Jones lead his freshman team to an undefeated season before becoming a three year starter for the Wildcats. Jones lead the team in scoring for two seasons before being named an All-American in '64. He was a three time member of the All-Big 5 team, and was the '63 and '64 Big 5 Most Outstanding Player. Jones would go on to play in the NBA for 11 years, including winning the NBA Championship with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Lappas Region: 4) Jason Lawson vs. 13) Derrick Snowden
Jason Lawson: A member of the '94 NIT Championship team, the '95 Big East Tournament Championship team, and the Villanova Hall of Fame, Lawson is 1st in blocks, 8th in rebounds, and 24th in scoring all-time.
Lawson was one of the greatest defensive players in Villanova history, and still ranks as the school's all-time leader in blocks. His freshman season he was named the Big 5 Rookie of the year, and would go on to join the Big 5 Hall of Fame. He was a three time member of the second team All-Big East, and also named to the '95 Big East All-Tournament team. After a stellar senior year in which he averaged double digit scoring and recorded 105 blocks (the most by any Wildcat in a single season), he was named the '97 Big East Defensive Player of the Year. He would go on to play both in the NBA and overseas.
Derrick Snowden: A member of the '02 and '04 NIT Elite Eight teams, Snowden is 18th in steals and 21st in assists all-time.
Snowden was a key player during the transition years between the Lappas and Wright eras. After breaking into the starting lineup as a freshman, he would go on to lead the team in assists and steals in both his sophomore and junior seasons. However, his role was greatly diminished his senior year with the emergence of freshman stars Allan Ray and Randy Foye. He would go on to play in Europe after college.
Lappas Region: 5) Eric Eberz vs. 12) Zeffy Penn
Eric Eberz: A member of the '94 NIT Championship team, the '95 Big East Tournament Championship team, and the Villanova Hall of Fame, Eberz is 33rd in scoring all-time.
Eberz was an elite shooter who played in the beloved mid-90's back-court with Kerry Kittles and Alvin Williams. Eberz best season was 1995, when he helped the team win the Big East Tournament Championship. That year he was named to the second team All-Big East, and lead the Big East in made 3-pointers with 94. He would go on to play in Europe after college.
Zeffy Penn: A member of the '94 NIT Championship team and the '95 Big East Tournament Championship team, Penn was a fan favorite and 6th man on many of the most successful teams of the Lappas era.
You're not going to find Zeffy Penn in many of the Villanova record books, and he doesn't show up on any of the all-time ranking lists. But for many Wildcat fans of the 90's, Penn will always be their favorite player. A tireless worker who lead by example, he was often the first man off the bench for most of his career. Even when coach Lappas came to him and asked him to sit out his Senior season ('96-'97), Penn always put the team's needs first.
Massimino Region: 3) Keith Herron vs. 14) Larry Herron
Keith Herron: A member of the '78 NCAA Elite Eight, the '77 NIT Final Four, and the Villanova Hall of Fame, Herron is 3rd in scoring and 40th in rebounds all-time.
Keith Herron was one of three Herron siblings to play for Villanova. He was a two time All-American ('85,'88) and a member of an All-Big 5 team all four years. He would later be named to the Big-5 Hall of fame. Herron was a captain for three seasons, and left Villanova as the school's all-time leading scorer. He would eventually become one of only 13 players to have their jersey retired. After college, he would go on to play in the NBA.
Larry Herron: A member of the '77 NIT Final Four team and the Villanova Hall of Fame, Herron is 25th in scoring and 35th in rebounds all-time.
Larry Herron, the oldest of the three Herron brothers to play at Nova, was an integral part of the Massimino teams in the late 70's. He lead the team in scoring his freshman season, and the following year he was named to the second team All-Big 5. After college he would go on to play professionally in Europe.
Massimino Region: 6) Stewart Granger vs. 11) Lance Miller
Stewart Granger: A member of the '82 and '83 NCAA Elite Eight teams and the Villanova Hall of Fame, Granger is 2nd in assists, 13th in steals, and 38th in scoring all-time.
Granger was an elite guard on both ends of the floor. He was a three time selection to the second team All-Big East, and a member of the '83 All-Tournament team. Granger was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers and would play in both NBA and Europe.
Lance Miller: A member of the '90 and '91 NCAA tournament teams and the Villanova Hall of Fame, Miller is 8th in blocks, 18th in assists, 27th in rebounds, and 29th in scoring.
Miller was a key member of Massimino's teams in the early 90's. He was selected to the Big East All-Rookie team, and would go on to be selected to two more All-Big East teams. He would go on to play overseas after college.