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Villanova Basketball’s Jay Wright is learning a lot with Team USA

The Wildcats’ head coach is in “basketball heaven”.

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Happy Tuesday Nova Nation! Thousands of Villanova students are in the process of returning to campus this week as another school year begins. And yet the most recognizable member of the Villanova community is noticeably absent. Jay Wright is half-way around the world in Australia with Team USA, preparing for a series of exhibition games prior to next month’s FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Wright has been in “basketball heaven”, as he calls it, for the last two weeks he’s been working with Team USA. A big part of that has been working with and learning from head coach Gregg Popovich. Wright’s been talking life and basketball with Pop, along with fellow assistants Steve Kerr and Lloyd Pierce.

In the below article by Tim Reynolds, Wright says, “We’re only a couple weeks in and I’ve already learned so much that I can bring back to our team. It’s incredible. Honestly, I feel like I’ve grown in two weeks as a coach, as a leader, more than I have in the last 10 years.”

That’s great news for the future of Villanova basketball, but there’s been some compromises and sacrifices to make it happen. Wright had to move around Nova’s offseason schedule. When the players return to campus with their families this week, Wright won’t be there to greet them. The time away was scheduled around college basketball’s recruiting calendar, so Wright didn’t have to give up any time on the road, but it does mean that the rest of the coaching staff will be in charge until his return in three weeks.

That time table puts Wright back well before the official start of full practices on September 24th, so he’s not missing any court time with his team. But that still means he’s missing out on almost a month of bonding, mentoring, and working out with his newest players.

However, that lost time was somewhat eased by the freshmen already having been on campus over the summer. On top of that, learning from some of the greatest basketball coaching minds in the country is certainly a positive for Wright, who’s already considered one of of the top coaches in the college game.

It should be exciting to see what new concepts and ideas Wright brings back to the Wildcats this fall. But in the meantime, it should be equally intriguing to see how much of the Villanova culture Wright can bring to Team USA.

In other news, Josh Hart is getting underrated again, Donte DiVincenzo held his camp at the new 76ers facility yesterday, and Eric Paschall was voted as one of the NBA rookies to have the “Best Career” from his class. Enjoy!

Jay Wright and Team USA

With Villanova and USA Basketball, Jay Wright on double-duty | The Seattle Times
Jay Wright immediately accepted a chance to be an assistant coach with USA Basketball for this year's World Cup. And then he checked his calendar. Villanova students are headed back...

Team USA vs Boomers roster, basketball, Melbourne; Gregg Popovich, How culture and pride is guiding Team USA ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup | Fox Sports
Gregg Popovich is a large proponent of team dinners. That, we know.

Team USA basketball schedule: Watch exhibition games ahead of 2019 FIBA World Cup, live stream, TV channel, dates, times |
Team USA's next exhibition game leading up to the FIBA World Cup in China will be on Aug. 22 against Australia

Villanova Basketball

Top 10 KU basketball games to look forward to (2019-20) | PHOG
Villanova and Kansas will face off in Philadelphia for the 4th time in the last five seasons.

Nova Notebook: Surrounded by Stars, Schaffer Prospered | Villanova University Athletics
Bernie Schaffer was a part of a glorious Wildcats' run under coach Jack Kraft in the mid-1960s

Middle Tennessee's Dishman out for season | ESPN
Middle Tennessee forward DeAndre Dishman will miss the 2019-20 season after tearing ligaments in his left knee during the Blue Raiders' exhibition tour of Costa Rica last week. Villanova will face off against the Blue Raiders at the Myrtle Beach Invitational in November.

NBA Wildcats

Josh Hart's NBA 2K20 rating reveal was brutally awkward | GameRevolution
Josh Hart's NBA 2K20 rating reveal was one of those moments that you can't make up; it was brutally awkward for everyone in the room.

Who’ll be the breakout star for the Phoenix Suns? | Bright Side Of The Sun
The candidates are an easy choice to join Devin Booker. Mikal Bridges is one of them.

DiVincenzo hosts new basketball camp for kids at 76ers Fieldhouse | Delaware Online
Delaware native Donte DiVincenzo, who now plays pro for the Milwaukee Bucks, helps coach kids at his new basketball camp at the 76ers Fieldhouse on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019.

Rookie Survey: Zion Williamson, Ja Morant early favorites to shine in 2019-20 |
Last season was the first time in 34 years (since 1984-85) that the top five picks of the previous Draft went on to be the five players who comprised the All-Rookie First Team. Eric Paschall received votes in the category of "Which rookie will have the best career?"

Villanova Football

North Dakota State tops 2019 preseason FCS polls | FB Schedules
FCS preseason Top 25 polls for the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) have been released, and the North Dakota State Bison top the rankings. Villanova comes into the season in the "others receiving votes" category, tied for 42nd. They were unranked in the Coaches Poll.

FCS PREDICTIONS: Week 0 - YSU-Samford, Villanova-Colgate Kick Off The Season | HERO Sports
FCS football is back. Four teams start the season early in Week 0. As we'll do every week, it's time to predict some scores.

Central Pa. High School Football Notebook: Harrisburg hits the road and more from area teams -
Coatesville is ranked 83rd in the nation, and the Red Raiders are led by a pair of Villanova commits in quarterback Ricky Ortega and receiver Dapree Bryant.

MLB Wildcats

Pro Baseball Local Recap: Michael Hope, Ben Dum nab wins; Hunter Schryver has shaky week | The Sentinel
Hunter Schryver: The Cumberland Valley/Villanova grad didn’t have a spectacular week, making two appearances for the Knights (69-56) and pitching one full inning.

Villanova Athletics

South Deerfield’s Jonathan Elkins in hunt after opening round of Mass. Junior Amateur | Daily Hampshire Gazette
Jonathan Elkins knows titles are not won on the opening day of competition. But they can be lost.The 18-year-old South Deerfield resident did enough to put himself in contention during Monday’s opening round of the 101st Massachusetts...

Villanova Adjacent

Nate Britt Signs With European Team | Inside Carolina
Britt played four years at North Carolina mostly as a backup point guard. Britt's family took in Villanova guard Kris Jenkins, and the two faced off in the 2016 National Championship.

Main Line Restaurant Week: What You Need To Know | Radnor, PA Patch
More than 35 local eateries are participating in Main Line Restaurant week, offering prix-fixe menus, specials, or discounted prices.

College Basketball

Candid Coaches: Would your team visit Donald Trump in the White House if it won the national title? |
CBS Sports' college basketball experts polled more than 100 coaches about potential White House visits

Obama's high school basketball jersey sold for $120,000 at auction | CNBC
The No. 23 basketball jersey believed to have been worn by President Obama when he was a high school senior sold in an online auction for $120,000. Seller Peter Noble was three years behind Obama at Punahou School in Honolulu and kept the recycled jersey in his closet after playing in it on the school's junior varsity basketball team.