Jay Wright doesn’t like talking about the numbers. He doesn’t care how many games they’ve won in November, or how long they’ve been #1, because that isn’t going to make his team any better. That’s what’s most important, and he’s got the team focused on playing at a very high level early in the second half of the season.
But we are not on the team. We are fans. And numbers, specifically records, ARE a big deal to us when they get broken. While the players and coaches might need to wait until the end of the season to appreciate how great this run has been, we get to relish it the whole way through.
Back in the pre-season I took a look at what records might fall this season. Some already have, some are well on their way, and others might still be in reach. I’m going to limit this to just the records recorded by Villanova in the 2016-17 Media guide, otherwise we’d be here a while. That eliminates a lot of the records Jay Wright could set this season, but I’ll get into that more in my upcoming series as he approaches 500 career wins.
So here’s a rundown of some of the records this team has already accomplished, and what to keep an eye out for.
Records Already Clinched
Most Three-Point Field Goals Attempted In A Game: 41, vs Lafayette 11/11/16. That’s right, Nova was already breaking records in their first game of the season this year. The previous record of 38 had stood since 1994, so this total was high even by Jay Wright standards. You’ll be happy to know that they’re averaging just 24.6 attempts per game on the season.
Longest Winning Streak: 20, 3/18/16-12/31/16. Between the Cats run through the championship and a 14 game winning streak to start the season, 2016 was a great year to be a Villanova Fan. The run included wins against 8 ranked teams, 5 of which were in the Top 10. That’s just crazy impressive.
Longest Winning Streak at the Pavilion: 47, 2/3/13-(ongoing). Villanova broke this record with a win Monday night over Seton Hall. It’s the second streak of at least 46 wins on Villanova’s campus during the Jay Wright era.
Records That Will Probably Be Broken
Most Games Played In A Career: 143, Ryan Arcidiacono 2012-16. Both Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins have played in every game for Villanova since they arrived on campus in 2013. Currently sitting at 129, they’re just 15 games from breaking the record. If they continue to win, that 15th game would be the Big East Tournament Championship.
Records That Could Fall
Most Games Won In A Season: 35, 2015-16. Nova is well on its way with 18 already. According to KenPom, the Wildcats are projected to win the remainder of their regular season games and the Big East Tournament. Even if they did run the table, they’d still need to make the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament to break last year’s record.
Longest Single Season Winning Streak: 16, 2014-15. After their loss to Butler, the Wildcats win streak is up to 4. Again, if Nova were to run the table the rest of the regular season, they’d still need to win their first game of the Big East Tournament to break the record.
Longest Single Season Home Court Winning Streak: 12, 1938-39. Villanova is already up to 9 straight home wins this season, so they just need 4 more to break the record: Providence, #16 Virginia, St. John’s, Georgetown. Virginia will be the biggest road block of the four when they come to the Wells Fargo Center on 1/29.
Longest Big East Winning Streak: 12, 1/25/15-3/7/15. The Beast that is conference play is always tough to go for extended periods without picking up a loss here or there. The Wildcats could break that record this season, but it would be a tough road to add 9 more wins to the 4 game streak their own now. The path would be: vs Providence, @ Marquette, @ Providence, vs St. John’s, vs Georgetown, @ #22 Xavier, @ DePaul, @ Seton Hall, vs #13 Butler.
Most Team Three-Point Field Goals In A Game: 17, vs. Lehigh on 11/27/05. There’s no clear path to this one, but there’s a few reasons to keep an eye out. First, Villanova has multiple lineups this season in which every player on the court can shoot from behind the arc. Second, they’ve come close to tying the record twice already, making 16 3’s in their games against Wake Forest and St. Joseph’s. It’s no guarantee, but there’s a chance.
Most Team Three-Point Field Goals In A Season: 326, 36 games in 2014-15. That’s a pace of 9.05 made threes per game. Through 19 games this season, the Cats have already made 182 from deep, a pace of 9.57 threes per game. 36 games is the equivalent of a run through the BET and the first weekend of the NCAAs, so this record is also very much within reach.
Most Team Three-Point Field Goal Attempts In A Season: 769, 33 games in 2005-06. You’d have to assume that there’s a good chance 3’s made and attempted could go down in the same season. The 05-06 game was at a pace of 23.3 threes attempted per game. This year’s squad has already jacked up 469 through 19 games for a pace of 24.6 a game. With just 301 more tries needed for the record and the likely-hood that Nova will play more than 33 games this season, there’s another good shot that this record could fall.
Highest Team Free Throw Percentage In A Season: 78.1% (594-761), 33 games in 2006-07. This year’s team is currently ranked 5th nationally with a free throw percentage of 78.5% (278-354). The teams three most frequent shooters (Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, Jalen Brunson) make up 57% of the teams trips to the line, and they’re a collective 82.8% from the line this year. It’ll be close, but this record could also take a tumble.
Most Individual Three-Point Field Goals Made In A Season: 107, Allan Ray, 33 games in 2005-06. Kris Jenkins is already up to 57 made 3’s this season, averaging exactly 3 per game. That’s slightly under Allan Ray’s pace and would put Jenkins at 99 made threes through 33 games. However, Villanova is projected to play more than 33 games this year. I don’t think we have to worry about Jenkins shying away from taking threes anytime soon.