Happy Thursday Nova Nation! The Villanova Wildcats are now 3-0 in the Big East. Surprisingly they haven’t done that since 2016, having dropped games at Butler early in conference play the last two seasons. But that’s not the only thing that’s different from the last two seasons.
This year Villanova is without a player on the Wooden Top 25 Watch List. In 2017 Josh Hart made the list, and a year later it was Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges. This year both Phil Booth and Eric Paschall were featured in the Wooden Pre-season Top 50, but neither made the mid season cut.
Booth is averaging 17.6 points and 3.5 assists per game, while Paschall’s at 16.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. While there are certainly players on the midseason Top 25 that are outperforming Booth and Paschall statistically, not everyone is. For example, Paschall is averaging more points, rebounds, and assists than Michigan’s Ignas Brazdeikis. Booth is averaging more points and assists than Kentucky’s Keldon Johnson. My point is, it’s not the stats that have kept these two off the list.
And it’s not Villanova’s record either that’s keeping them off. Plenty of names on this list come from teams with less than ideal records. Carson Edwards is on a 9-6 Purdue team, and Myles Powell’s Seton Hall Pirates are 12-4, just like Villanova.
The only explanation I can give why these two were left off is perception. They lost to Furman and Penn and this Villanova team isn’t as good as the people making this list had decided they were supposed to be. It’s one thing if that happens to a 5-star freshman, that can be forgiven. But we’re talking about two fifth year seniors, so apparently that’s a disqualifying factor.
Personally, I think that sucks. They’ve worked their butts off and deserve recognition for it. I’m not saying they’re the best players in college basketball this season. Heck, their combined 48 points against St. John’s is still five shy of what Markus Howard did last night! Still, it’s an honor they both have earned and deserve, and I’m saddened that they weren’t included.
I guess another Big East Title will have to serve as a consolation prize.
In other “news”, Bryan Antoine continues to look AMAZING, this seasons hasn’t gone quite as predicted, and Nova is on pace to return to the Top 25. Enjoy!
Villanova defeats St. John’s
Collin Gillespie and the trust factor show up for Villanova in win over St. John’s | The Inquirer
The sophomore, an Archbishop Wood grad, had much of the defensive assignment on St. John’s star Shamorie Ponds. And he made the most of it.
St. John’s/ Villanova by the numbers: undisruptive defense, short bench | Rumble In The Garden
A look at the Johnnies, who Villanova figured out late.
Class of 2019
Are Ranney basketball stars Scottie Lewis, Bryan Antoine 1st rounders? | USA Today Network
For the 2020 NBA Draft, Ranney basketball seniors, Scottie Lewis (headed to Florida) and Bryan Antoine (Villanova) are expected to be in high demand
VIDEO: Chosen 25 SG Bryan Antoine went steal-to-dunk 5 times in 1 game | USA Today
Chosen 25 SG Bryan Antoine may be the most versatile playmaker in 2019, as proven by his 5 steal-to-dunk breaks in a single game.
Kentucky Wildcats Recruiting: Washington Basketball surge for Isaiah Stewart; update on Keion Brooks | A Sea Of Blue
Both recruits are inching toward a decision.
College basketball: 2019 John Wooden Award midseason top 25 announced | NCAA.com
Duke forward Zion Williamson headlines a list of 25 players on the midseason Wooden Award watch list.
13 college basketball predictions this season that were dead wrong | NCAA.com
It’s halftime in the college basketball regular season. Here's what has changed since Nov. 6.
College Basketball Rankings: North Carolina wins at NC State and jumps into top 10 of Top 25 And 1 | CBSSports.com
Roy Williams' Tar Heels are 12-3 after beating the Wolfpack on Tuesday as Wednesday's rankings shuffle
The March Madness field, predicted at start of conference play | NCAA.com
Here are our latest NCAA bracket predictions for the field of 68, courtesy of NCAA.com basketball expert Andy Katz. Selection Sunday is March 17.