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Finding a Happy Medium for Villanova Basketball 2019-2020 Expectations

How to keep your feet on the ground but keep reaching for the stars!

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Happy Monday Nova Nation! I’ve been hearing from a number of Wildcat fans this offseason, and like their favorite team their expectations for the season are a bit unpredictable. You have those that see Top 10 rankings and expect Villanova to make a Final Four run because it’s an even season and that’s what they do now. You also have those that would be happy just to make the NCAA Tournament with a squad so young and inexperienced. So how do you balance these expectations? Here are three quick tips as we enter another season of Villanova basketball.

1) Recognize Recency Bias

This is a weird season in which recency bias is a double edged sword. First you’ll have those who focus on last season’s early collapse of a younger team and the underwhelming performance of highly rated freshmen recruits. To those I say you can’t paint “freshmen” with the same brush. This year’s class is not last year’s class. And last year’s class will almost assuredly be improved from what they were a year ago. And yes, while this team may stumble a few times early in the season, they don’t have those senior players to lean on. That means the young players will likely develop faster, and have a bigger impact than what we saw last year. Don’t let a rough start make you think this team is doomed, last year’s team took four non-conference losses and turned them into a Big East Championship.

Speaking of that Championship, let’s not be blinded by Nova’s recent run of success either. While the Wildcats will be in the running for the Big East, it’s by no means a lock like it’s been in recent years. It’s entirely possible that Villanova has a great year and still finishes second or third in the regular season. That doesn’t mean Nova is bad, it’s just how good the Big East could be this season. Sometimes those outcomes aren’t about if the team you root for is good or bad, it’s a bit more nuanced. For the first time in a while, Villanova isn’t head and shoulders above the competition. But that’s more because the competition has made the jump up than Villanova has fallen down.

2) Have Patience with Youth

It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Villanova loses a game or two in the first month of the season. Before last year, Nova had gone five straight seasons without dropping a game in November. But honestly, that’s more of an expectation for experienced teams. Now Villanova is young, and it’s going to have some growing pains. The important thing is not to overreact at the first sign of adversity. Fans were understandably upset when Villanova started the 2019 season 2-2, but there were crazy overreactions like “they can’t make the NCAA Tournament” or “Jay Wright has lost his touch”. Young teams may struggle early, but they also grow and improve much faster than experienced teams. Why do you think Duke hasn’t won the ACC regular season crown in nearly 10 years but has won two of the last three ACC Tournaments? With good coaching (which Villanova has) young teams grow up quickly, especially when there aren’t two 5th year future NBA players to lean on.

3) Old Dogs Do Learn New Tricks

It’s weird to call any player on this team “old” considering there are only five upperclassmen, and that includes a walk-on and a redshirt. But just because we’ve seen Collin Gillespie, Jermaine Samuels, and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree play for two seasons doesn’t mean there isn’t room for their games to grow. Gillespie will be truly taking over the offense this year, not just interning for Phil Booth like last season. Jermaine Samuels will be expected to come up big offensively and defensively, not just praised for unexpected performances. And Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree will need to anchor the defense, not just be another name in the sea of Villanova forwards. These asks are high, but not unreachable. And simply because the fan base hasn’t seen it before, doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Time and time again we’ve seen Villanova players make big jumps between their sophomore and junior seasons. I’d expect at least two if not all three members of this trio to step up now that it’s their team to lead.

In other “news”, the Special Olympics was a huge success this weekend, Villanova Football drops a third consecutive game, and Josh Hart sits down with Darryl Reynolds. Enjoy!

Villanova Basketball

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College basketball writers Howie Kussoy and Zach Braziller make some bold predictions for the upcoming season.

Athletes converge on Villanova for 31st annual Special Olympics events |
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Villanova Basketball Schedule

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The top two are both going down on night one.

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Analyzing Ohio State men’s basketball’s 2019 non-conference schedule | Land-Grant Holy Land
Ohio State is set to face three teams ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll before the calendar flips to 2020.

Big East

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Butler's student paper has the Wildcats at #1.

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Can the 12th-ranked Pirates live up to the hype?

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Check out the basics, the players and the rest of the Big East as Marquette prepares for coach Steve Wojciechowski's sixth season.

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Busting Brackets Podcast: 2019-20 season preview of Big East Basketball | Busting Brackets
Big East Basketball is the latest conference to be previewed in the Busting Brackets Podcast series. What should be expected in the league?

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The college basketball season gets underway in grand style on November 5th. The top four teams in the country will be in the same building at Madison Square Garden as part of the Champions Classic. Before long, early-season tournaments like the Maui Invitational and Battle 4 Atlantis will pit some of the best teams from […]

College basektball: Myles Powell's Seton Hall journey amazes at every turn | New York Post
Myles Powell shook his head. No, even he couldn’t have dreamed of this three years ago.

2019-20 Marquette Basketball Player Preview: #0 Markus Howard | Anonymous Eagle
His senior year is all about padding his legacy

NBA Wildcats

#StayTunedwithDrey featuring New Orleans Pelican, Josh Hart | YouTube
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New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart still can’t get over the recent blunder made by Houston Rockets star and former MVP James Harden.

Eric Paschall emerges for Warriors in loss to Hornets | KNBR
On a night that largely was marked by loss — of a season hitting an early bottom by starting three rookies, of an era being gone until it is found again, of a home game to an underwhelming Hornets team — the team may have found something, too, in Eric Paschall.

Warriors' Eric Paschall thriving despite accelerated rookie program | NBCS Bay Area
Eric Paschall was not supposed to be the Warriors' leading scorer at this point in the season. But injuries have turned him into Golden State's go-to guy.

Eric Paschall did something no Warriors 2nd round pick has in 7 years | Warriors Wire
Despite losing to the Hornets by a final score of 93-87, Warriors fans came away from Saturday's game noting one positive development.

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When 22-year-old Omari Spellman was going through difficult times in Atlanta, he picked up a notebook and a pen.

How Delon Wright and Jalen Brunson saved the Mavericks against the Nuggets | Mavs Moneyball
Dallas looked flat early against Denver, but Wright and Brunson picked up the pace to help toward the win.

3 Potential Post Options for the Trail Blazers Final Roster Spot | Blazer's Edge
Joel Bell, of Bell Management International, informed Blazer’s Edge that the veteran forward is currently living in Portland and training hard in hopes of returning to the NBA.

Villanova Football

Brosmer rallies New Hampshire past Villanova, 28-20 | Concord Monitor
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Villanova blows third straight lead, continues slide |
Staff and wire report

Villanova blows 13-point lead and loses to New Hampshire, 28-20 | Philadelphia Inquirer
The Wildcats allowed three second-half touchdowns and failed to score in the final two quarters.

Huge turnaround gives UNH football team a huge win over Villanova |
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Fast Start Not Enough as Wildcats Fall to New Hampshire, 28-20 | Villanova University Athletics
DURHAM, N.H.—Despite a strong start in the first half, No. 11 Villanova (6-3, 3-3 CAA Football) fell by an ultimate margin of 28-20 to New Hampshire (5-3, 4-1) at

Villanova Athletics

Blue Demons fall to Villanova in first round of Big East Tournament | The DePaulia
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Men’s Cross Country Wins Seventh BIG EAST Title | Villanova University Athletics
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Cross Country Conference Race Recaps | Philly College Sports
Villanova brought home trophies from the Big East meet. The men’s team won its 7th championship, the first since 2014. Lydia Olivere was the individual champion crossing the line in 21:29.5.

College Basketball

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College basketball rankings: All 353 teams in 2019-20 | Sports Illustrated
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