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!
Alright, it's starting to get serious. Ryan Arcidiacono (89%), Kyle Lowry (51%), Howard Porter (93%), Bill Melchionni (65%), Kerry Kittles (99%), Jason Lawson (73%), John Pinone (62%), and Keith Herron (70%) all advance to tomorrow's Sweet 16. Now let's find out who will join them.
Wright Region: 2) Scottie Reynolds vs. 7) Josh Hart
Reynolds and Hart both tested the NBA waters after their junior seasons. Reynolds came back to have a career year and be named a first team All-American. Hopefully Hart will see similar success in 2017!
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.
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.
Wright Region: 3) Randy Foye vs. 6) Dante Cunningham
They're both still in the NBA. They both lead Villanova in scoring their senior year. They both were captains that lead deep NCAA tournament runs. You can't go wrong either way here.
Randy Foye: A member of the '06 NCAA Elite Eight and Big East Regular Season Championship team, Foye is 6th in steals, 9th in scoring, 14th in assists, and 32nd in rebounding all-time.
Foye was a gifted scorer that could create his own shot in the lane, on the wing, or behind the arc. But what was even more impressive was his ability to defend the paint as essentially a 6'3" power forward in the four guard system. While he was an outstanding player throughout his career, he fully realized his potential during his senior season. Averaging 20.5 PPG that year, Foye was a consensus first team All-American, Big East Player of the Year, first team All-Big East, and the Big 5 Most Outstanding Player. He would later become the first player of the Jay Wright era to have his jersey retired. Foye was drafted 7th overall in the '07 NBA Draft, and is still playing in the NBA a decade later.
Dante Cunningham: A member of the '06 Elite Eight, '09 Final Four, and '06 Big East Regular Season Championship teams, Cunningham is 10th in blocks, 13th in rebounds, 15th in steals, and 35th in scoring all-time.
Cunningham was a member of two of the most popular teams during the Jay Wright era ('06 and '09). In his senior season, he lead the team in scoring, rebounds and blocks en route to Villanova's first Final Four appearance since the 1985 Championship. That year he also won the Big East Most Improved Player award and he was drafted in the early second round of the '09 NBA Draft. He still plays in the NBA today.
Severance/Kraft Region: 1) Paul Arizin vs. 8) Chris Ford
The do it all forward vs. the do it all guard. While they played in different era's, these two players would have been amazing compliments to each other if they ever shared the court.
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.
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.
Severance/Kraft Region: 4) Larry Hennessy vs. 12) George Raveling
These two Villanova greats from the '50s are 12th in scoring and 12th in rebounding respectively. It's a classic offense vs. defense matchup.
Larry Hennessy: A member of the '51 NCAA team and a Villanova Hall of Famer, Hennessy is 12th in scoring all-time.
Hennessy is arguably the greatest offensive player to wear a Wildcat jersey. In 3 seasons (75 games) he averaged 23.2 points per game, the highest PPG in school history. In addition to being inducted to the Villanova Hall of Fame, he's one of only 13 players to have their jersey hung from the rafters in the Pavilion. After Villanova, Hennessy went on to help the Philadelphia Warriors win the 1956 NBA Championship.
George Raveling: A member of the '59 and '60 NIT teams and a Villanova Hall of Famer, Raveling is 12th in rebounds all-time.
Raveling's Villanova career was the base of what would become a historic basketball career. He would twice lead his teams in rebounding, and after graduation he would return to Villanova to start his 30+ year coaching career as an assistant under Jack Kraft. After coaching he went all to do color commentary for Fox Sports and join Nike as their Global Basketball Sports Marketing Director. In 2013, he was awarded the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award for significant contributions to the sport of basketball. Two years later, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Lappas Region: 2) Alvin Williams vs. 10) John Celestand
Another set of teammates, this time from the 90's. Williams and Celestand both rank all-time in scoring, assists, and steals. They also both went on to play in the NBA. Now it's up to you to decide who moves on.
Alvin Williams: A member of the '94 NIT Championship team, the '95 BET Championship team, and the Villanova Hall of Fame, Williams is 3rd in assists, 5th in steals, and 32nd in scoring all-time.
Williams was a great 2-way player who racked up steals on defense and assists on offense. He had many options when distributing the ball including all-time great Villanova scorers like Kerry Kittles, Jason Lawson, and Eric Eberz. Not only did he lead the team in assists for three straight seasons, he could score at an elite level himself. In his senior season he would be named to the first team All-Big East, and later would be inducted into the Big 5 Hall of Fame. After college, Williams went onto a ten year NBA career.
John Celestand: A member of three NCAA teams ('96,'97,'99), Celestand is 11th in assists, 16th in steals, and 44th in scoring all-time.
Celestand became the Wildcats leader after the trio of Williams, Lawson, and Thomas left in '97. He would lead the team in assists and scoring in both his junior and senior seasons, as well as finishing Top 2 in steals. He would go on to be selected in the first round by the LA Lakers, and was a member of their 2000 NBA Championship team. Later he would play in Europe before returning to the states as a color comentator and TV personality.
Lappas Region: 3) Gary Buchanan vs. 6) Malik Allen
There's a lot of crossover in the Lappas Region, as we have another set of teammates. But now it's time to pick between a guard and a forward. Also, they're both REALLY good.
Gary Buchanan: A member of the '02 NIT Elite Eight team, Buchanan is 11th in scoring, 17th in steals, and 22nd in assists all-time.
Buchanan was a prolific scorer and outstanding free throw shooter in the early 2000's. He was named to the Big East All-Rookie team in 2000, and in his sophomore season he held the nation's best free throw percentage at 94.2%. His senior season ended in suspension for the 2003 telephone scandal that involved 12 of Nova's 15 players. Buchanan went on to play professionally in Europe after college.
Malik Allen: A member of the '97 and '99 NCAA teams, Allen is 4th in blocks, 24th in rebounds, and 53rd in scoring all-time.
Allen was a terrific rim protector and shot blocker for the cats in the late 90's. He was part of some terrific front-courts that included other Villanova favorites like Jason Lawson, Tim Thomas, Brooks Sales, and Rafal Bigus. In his senior season he lead the team in points, shots, free throws, rebounds, and blocks. "Leek" would go on to have an even more successful NBA career, despite going undrafted.
Massimino Region: 1) Ed Pinckney vs. 9) Dwayne McClain
These two starters on the '85 Championship team will always be considered Villanova greats. But did you prefer the presence and touch of Pinckney or the athleticism and speed of McClain?
Ed Pinckney: A member of the '85 NCAA Championship and the Villanova Hall of Fame, Pinckney is 3rd in blocks, 4th in rebounding, 7th in steals, 10th in scoring, and 36th in assists all-time.
Only 3 players in this competition rank in all 5 all-time statistical categories, but Pinckney is the only one to be ranked Top 10 in 4 of the 5. Throw in the school's first National Championship and it's easy to see why he's a favorite to win it all. Not only did he win the title in '85, he was also an All-American and the Big 5 Most Outstanding Player. He's now one of the 13 Villanova players to have their jersey retired and hung in the Pavilion. After college, he had a successful NBA and broadcasting career.
Dwayne McClain: A member of the '85 NCAA Championship team and the Villanova Hall of Fame, McClain is 22nd in steals, 24th in blocks, 25th in assists, and 26th in scoring all-time.
McClain was the best athlete on Villanova's Title team and would often amaze fans with high flying dunks and impressive defense. Most fans of any era will remember the iconic image of McClain laying on the court with the ball as time expired to give Villanova its first ever Championship in stunning fashion. He would be named to that year's All-Tournament team, and go on to be inducted into the Big 5 Hall of Fame. After college he was drafted by the Indiana Pacers, and would play professionally in the NBA and overseas.
Massimino Region: 4) Harold Pressley vs. 5) Doug West
Pressley was another key member of the '85 Championship team, while West is one of the Top 5 scorers in Villanova history. Who should move on to the Sweet 16?
Harold Pressley: A member of the '85 NCAA Championship team and the Villanova Hall of Fame, Pressley is 2nd in steals, 5th in rebounds, 7th in blocks, 22nd in scoring, and 23rd in assists all-time.
Pressley is one of only three Wildcats to be ranked in all five all-time statistical categories. A two time All-Big East member, Pressley was a key member of the '85 championship team. His senior season he lead the team in scoring and rebounding, and was named the '86 Big 5 Most Outstanding Player. After a career in the NBA, he was named to the Big 5 Hall of Fame.
Doug West: A member of the '88 NCAA Elite Eight team and the Villanova Hall of Fame, West is 5th in scoring, 23rd in steals, 23rd in blocks, 28th in assists, and 31st in rebounds all-time.
West was a prolific scorer and terrific all-around player for Massimino's post-championship Wildcats. A do it all shooting guard/small forward, West is one of only three Wildcats to be ranked in all five all-time statistical categories. He's also one of only eight Villanova players to score over 2,000 points in their career. He was a member of the '86 Big East All-Freshman team and twice named to All-Big East teams. He would later be inducted into the Big 5 Hall of Fame. After college West would play in the NBA for 12 years before becoming an assistant under his former coach, Jay Wright.