A not so happy Wednesday Nova Nation. Losses suck, but they happen. And if last night was just a loss, we could move on and focus on Kansas. But last night wasn’t just a loss, it was a series of head-scratching decisions and actions that have many fans questioning the team, the coaches, the players... everyone.
Personally, I can’t help but feeling disappointed. Not that we lost or that the streak is over, that happens. I’m disappointed in a number of little things that added up to one of the least enjoyable game watches I’ve ever had. Even when Villanova was making a comeback, it didn’t feel like one.
While the officiating wasn’t the reason for the loss, it didn’t make for an enjoyable game. Outside of Collin Gillespie, who put up a KenPom MVP performance despite the loss, the offense was stagnant and poorly executed. Even in the final minutes when a sense of urgency was needed, the team seemed content to walk through the paces instead of attacking.
The defense was pitiful. Anytime Nova seemed to be gaining some momentum, they would give up a far too easy basket or commit an avoidable foul. There was clearly a lack of communication, and sometimes even a lack of understanding of the defensive principles.
It wasn’t just the young players making mistakes, the leaders were making questionable moves as well. Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree couldn’t rebound, recording just two boards in 17 minutes. He and Eric Paschall couldn’t hold onto the ball, each committing three turnovers. Phil Booth spent the final minute trying to draw a foul rather than square up for a shot.
Jay Wright also made some decisions that while I’m sure were tough calls in the moment, seem hard to understand now. Even as Villanova got into serious foul trouble, Wright wouldn’t go past his eight man rotation. Only in the final moments when Gillespie, Cremo, and Samuels had fouled out, did he put Quinerly on the floor. But in the final second when the team needed a three pointer, Wright pulled Quinerly back off the floor in favor of Cosby-Roundtree, a non three point shooter. I’m still befuddled by this one.
And then of course was the cherry on top, Quinerly’s understandable yet regrettable frustrations being broadcast over social media.
I don’t know what this is supposed to accomplish, or how it puts Quinerly in any sort of positive light. There wasn’t one person helped by this being sent out, and nothing stays secret on the internet.
Now all that said, one game doesn’t make or break a season. This team is best to be judged over four or five game spans, not by focusing in on a single game and trying to draw definitive conclusions from it. But this will be a game that Wright and the team have to respond to, both in the media and on the court. It’s a long season and this team has made improvements, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t taken steps back as well.
I love watching Villanova basketball, but that isn’t what I watched last night.
In other “news”, reactions to last night, Josh Hart got some new kicks, and the Big East dangles relevancy in front of UConn fans while laughing and pointing. Enjoy!
Villanova Loses To Penn
Men's basketball upsets No. 17 Villanova, 78-75, for first time since 2002 | The Daily Pennsylvanian
There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s wearing red and blue.
Villanova basketball: Penn upsets Wildcats for first time since 2002 | USA Today
Defending national champions Villanova fell to Penn on Tuesday night, its first loss to the Quakers since 2002.
Penn basketball snaps Villanova’s Big 5 streak, wins, 78-75, in a Palestra classic | The Inquirer
The Quakers pulled off the upset of the 17th-ranked Wildcats with the help of significant advantages in bench points and rebounds.
Former Arizona commit Jahvon Quinerly disgruntled at Villanova? | Arizona Desert Swarm
Jahvon Quinerly was all set to become an Arizona Wildcat before the federal investigation into college basketball shook the sport and muddled his plan.
Villanova vs Kansas
Kansas vs. Villanova: No. 1 Jayhawks get big test against No. 17 Wildcats | NCAA.com
On Saturday, newly-No. 1 Kansas hosts No. 17 Villanova at Allen Fieldhouse in a rematch of the 2018 national semifinals.
Kansas vs. Villanova may look different this time, but Saturday's showdown features plenty of meaningful storylines | Tale of the Tait | KUsports.com
While most of Jayhawk Nation is billing Saturday’s 11 a.m. showdown with No. 17 Villanova at Allen Fieldhouse as a rematch of last year’s Final Four meeting in San Antonio, the Jayhawks themselves are viewing things much differently.
Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine Are One of the Best HS Duos EVER | SLAM
NJ natives Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine have risen up the HS ranks and become two of the best and most exciting up-and-coming guards in the country.
Local Sports Notebook: Hurt ready for another official visit | postbulletin.com
John Marshall senior Matthew Hurt, a five-star basketball recruit, is scheduled to take another official visit this weekend to a traditional college power.
Jalen Brunson Has Earned A Bigger Role Thanks To Consistent Play | Forbes
With Dennis Smith Jr. sidelined with a wrist injury, Jalen Brunson has stepped into a starting role and helped the Dallas Mavericks continue their hot streak with consistent play.
Dwyane Wade Praises The Lakers And Josh Hart | Fastbreak Daily
After Miami's 108-105 loss in Los Angeles, Dwyane Wade gifted his sneakers to Josh Hart and went on to show love to LeBron's squad.
UConn/Big East chatter starts to bubble as AAC asks for commitment | journalinquirer.com
The never-ending game of conference musical chairs that has consistently left UConn standing and scorned since 2003 appears to be percolating again.
Delaney brothers team up for St. Augustine basketball | The Inquirer
Andrew Delaney, a senior swingman, and Matt Delaney, a sophomore forward, are set to join forces for the first time in their organized basketball careers.
Villanova astronomer among team discovering Super Earth | KYW
A Villanova astronomy and planetary science professor is among an international team of astrophysicists who have discovered a planet known among scientists as a Super Earth.