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!
Something new for Villanova basketball: Forward U | Philadelphia Inquirer
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Some bold predictions from The Post's college basketball experts | New York Post
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 | Mainlinemedianews.com
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Meet the 2019-20 College Basketball Championship Contenders | The Ringer
The new season tips off Tuesday with a marquee showcase featuring Michigan State, Duke, Kentucky, and Kansas in the Champions Classic. Who else joins these teams among college basketball’s elite?
Villanova Basketball Schedule
College basketball’s 50 best non-conference games of 2019-20 | SBNation.com
The top two are both going down on night one.
Baylor Basketball 2019-2020 Mega Preview: 5,000 Words, Predictions, GIFs, Graphs and Freedom - Our Daily Bears
On Villanova, "I think they're a bit overrated this year."
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Ohio State is set to face three teams ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll before the calendar flips to 2020.
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Butler's student paper has the Wildcats at #1.
Seton Hall basketball preview: Must-see games and predictions | APP
Can the 12th-ranked Pirates live up to the hype?
Marquette Golden Eagles 2019-20 men's basketball season preview | Journal Sentinel
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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There may not be any other Big East Team that can upend Villanova other than the four teams Ryan previews in the Big East this season. He does have a big-time sleeper though that he has bet and that has fantastic NCAAB odds.
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?
Best Bets: College Basketball Conference Winners | BettingPros
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
#StayTunedwithDrey featuring New Orleans Pelican, Josh Hart | YouTube
New intro, new outro, new look!! Season 2 is here and we’re starting off with Villanova MBB Legend and New Orleans Pelican, #JoshHart talks about his days as a LA Laker, why Fortnite is a once in a lifetime game and his new podcast Light Harted!! Stay Tuned for Part 2 of this interview!
Pelicans video: Josh Hart hilariously reenacts James Harden’s blunder | Clutch Points
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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.
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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.
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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.
Brosmer rallies New Hampshire past Villanova, 28-20 | Concord Monitor
DURHAM – True freshman quarterback Max Brosmer and the Wildcat defense sparked a fierce second-half rally to lead the University of New Hampshire football team to a 28-20 triumph over No. 11 Villanova on Saturday afternoon in Wildcat Stadium.UNH has...
Villanova blows third straight lead, continues slide | Delcotimes.com
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 | Unionleader.com
DURHAM — Villanova took it to New Hampshire pretty good in the first half of Saturday’s Colonial Athletic Association matchup. Villanova led by 13 points at halftime, and even the
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
Blue Demons fall to Villanova in first round of Big East Tournament | The DePaulia
After conceding a goal 28 minutes into the first half, the women’s soccer team concluded their season following a 1-0 loss at Villanova in the first round of the Big East tournament. The Blue Demons were coming off a hot 4-0 win against Marquette on Friday and had just one day to turn their focus...
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Gartner Named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week; McInroy to Honor Roll | Villanova University Athletics
New York, N.Y.- Villanova's Rebecca Gartner was named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week while Brice McInroy earned a spot on the Weekly Honor Roll following a 1-0
Decker Sets Program Career Assist Record in Win Over Georgetown | Villanova University Athletics
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Men’s Cross Country Wins Seventh BIG EAST Title | Villanova University Athletics
KENOSHA, Wis.—With its full lineup available for the first time this season, Villanova placed five runners in the top-20 overall and won the men's team title at
Lydia Olivere Wins BIG EAST Cross Country Title | Villanova University Athletics
KENOSHA, Wis.—Sophomore Lydia Olivere (Wilmington, Del.) won her first career individual conference title with a strong finish over the second half of the race and
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.
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Many elite freshman did not follow Zion Williamson's route, instead choosing to attend some of the non-blue-blood colleges.
College basketball rankings: All 353 teams in 2019-20 | Sports Illustrated
SI ranks every team in college basketball ahead of the new NCAA season, starting with Michigan State and Kentucky.