Happy Wednesday Nova Nation! We may not be getting any new Villanova basketball games in March, but this week has provided the next best thing: updates from the head coach himself, Jay Wright. Wright’s been making the media rounds, and has had some great insights to how the Villanova program, individual players, and his staff have been handling the global events of the past few weeks.
I highly encourage you all to listen to all four of these interviews with coach (Andy Katz podcast and 3 segments with SI), but I did want to point out a few things that peaked my interest as I listened through.
- Players are anxious to get back in the gym: Wright and his staff are preaching rest right now, which is probably the right move. But the fact that he’s emphasizing how much the players want to get back at it gets me really excited about the attitude they’ll be headed into the summer and then 2021 with.
- NBA Draft: Wright specifically called out Saddiq Bey and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl as the players he’s advising when it comes to the NBA Draft. Bey seems like a lock to leave, but Jeremiah Robinson-Earl could go either way. Under normal circumstances, he’d probably at least “test the waters” to get some feedback from NBA scouts. But now we’ll have to see how the pandemic effects the NBA’s draft schedule, and if the NCAA will change its rules around declaring for the draft accordingly.
- Coaching Changes: While Wright didn’t name anyone, he did mention that there are still a number of open head coaching positions out there that haven’t effected his staff... so far. To me, this is an indicator that Kyle Neptune is involved in some of these searches. I don’t know if this is the year he leaves for a head coaching job, it’s all going to come down to the right fit. But with so much experience working with Wright and helping lead one of the most successful programs in the country, it’s just a matter of time before he gets his shot.
- Recruiting: We’re currently in a dead period for recruiting, but come April 15th Wright expects to use digital communications to stay in touch with recruits and even do in home visits over Skype if need be. He also mentioned they’re tracking the transfer portal, so all avenues are open as the staff focuses in on the 2021 class.
In other “news” Villanova’s 2021 season could hinge on Jeremiah Robinson-Earl’s NBA Draft decision, a look back at the Wildcats’ 2020 season, and more reactions to the 2016 National Championship. Enjoy!
Villanova's Jay Wright has a simple message for his team — take a break and study | NCAA.com
Villanova's Jay Wright joins Andy Katz to talk March Madness history and reveal that he had never watched the 2016 NCAA title game until this week.
Villanova's Jay Wright on Coronavirus pandemic, NCAA eligibility | Sports Illustrated
Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright discusses the effects of Coronavirus on campus and what he thinks about the NCAA considering a fifth year of eligibility for seniors.
Jay Wright on Coronavirus impact on NBA draft, recruiting | Sports Illustrated
Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright discusses the effects of COVID-19 on the NBA draft, the recruiting trail and the Olympics.
Villanova Coach Jay Wright Weighs in on 2016 vs. 2018 Debate | Sports Illustrated
How far would the Wildcats have gone in the NCAA Tournament? Which Villanova team was better, the 2016 or 2018 team? Jay Wright delves into those “what if” questions.
USA Basketball's next move hinges on new Olympic schedule | FOX Sports
USA Basketball is hoping that the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics will be held around the same time next year as they would have been this year
Tokyo Olympics officially postponed until 2021 due to coronavirus | The Inquirer
The Games of the XXXII Olympiad have been tentatively pushed to 2021, and the fondest hope is that the world will be safe enough to hold them when that time arrives.
Villanova Men’s Basketball
The top 50 players in college basketball for the 2019-2020 season | SBNation.com
These are the players who defined the 2019-2020 men’s college basketball season.
Villanova basketball: 2019-20 season review and 2020-2021 early preview | Fansided
The Villanova Wildcats were a very young team this season but Jay Wright still managed to guide his squad to a share of the Big East title.
A Year in Review: The Defining Moments of the 2019-20 Men’s Basketball Season | villanovan.com
Big East Regular Season Champions. 24 Wins. AP Top 10 ranked team in the nation. What could have been for the 2020 Villanova Wildcats, a team poised to run the
Enduring shots: The most memorable shots from years past of March Madness | missoulian.com
This is the time of year people usually start tweeting at Ali Farokhmanesh.
The Best NCAA Tournament Game I Ever Saw: UNC, Villanova and the double-ending | The Athletic
Kris Jenkins won a national championship for Villanova seconds after Marcus Paige thought he had sent the game to overtime.
2020-21 college basketball rankings: Gonzaga is No. 1, Kentucky No. 2 in never-too-early Top 25 And 1 | CBSSports.com
The Zags are the top team, Duke and Kansas are in the top 10 and North Carolina is in our first preseason rankings
Aaron Torres "Way Too Early" College Hoops Top 25 for 2020-2021 | Kentucky Sports Radio
The college basketball season ended way too prematurely. Now its time to prematurely look at what's ahead in 2020-2021
2020 NBA Draft
The 12 most influential stay-or-go NBA draft decisions | NBC Sports
Saddiq Bey may be the best player that could leave Villanova for the NBA, but Jeremiah Robinson-Earl would certainly be the most impactful.
Josh Hart Finds A Home For His Games (And Gaming) With New Orleans Pelicans | Forbes
Finding small moments to show improvements to his game was difficult during his first season with the New Orleans Pelicans but Josh Hart was creating advantages for himself and the team more often than not all season. In between hustle plays and meme-worthy reactions, Hart scored 10 points per game.
Where do the four Villanova players from this draft class place in the Tiers? Not high enough.
The Best of Eric Paschall’s Twitter Live Chat | Golden State Warriors
Eric Paschall had fun with Dub Nation and basketball fans at large over the weekend. On Saturday evening, the Warriors rookie took-over the NBA’s twitter account to answer the public’s burning questions live. Take a look at some of the best questions and answers from Paschall’s time on @NBA.
Made Up Madness
Mythical March Madness: Star's (simulated) Final Four includes one Pac-12 team | tucson.com
See which teams survived in the latest round of the Star's March Madness simulation, with the help of WhatIfSports.com. Villanova falls in the Elite 8.
Illinois-Chicago Hands Its Reins Over To Defensive Guru Luke Yaklich | Forbes
Luke Yaklich has always had a defensive plan at every level he has coached at. Now, the long-time assistant coach will have the opportunity to put his personal stop on his own program at Illinois-Chicago, which hasn't made the NCAA Tournament since 2004.