Speaking to the media from his living room over Zoom earlier this afternoon, Jay Wright spoke to a collection of local media members. Here are some of the highlights of what he said:
- Wright pulled the curtain back on the likelihood some of his players enter the draft process than he might have in a normal year.
“Saddiq and Jeremiah... probably both will go through that process when we find out what it is,” Wright said. “If we were in a normal timeline, they would both go through the process.”
- Wright also touched on what potentially could have been for this year’s team if this season had been able to carry on. And while he made very clear that he believes the NCAA and the other sports leagues made the right decision to shutting down, Wright suggested he thought this team could have made some noise in the tournament.
“We felt like we were playing great basketball; we felt like we were really coming on” Wright said. “We want to be playing our best basketball at the end of the season, and we felt we were.”
- Wright also revealed the burden Saddiq Bey, only a sophomore, took upon himself to lead this team to success in what could turn out his last collegiate season. Wright saw it especially clearly when the Big East Tournament was cancelled in New York.
“I could see [all the players] were really dejected,” Wright said. “I could really see it in Saddiq, which made me think, he was really pushing himself to carry this team. I think he’s very intelligent and knows he’s gonna have a decision to make.”
- Away from draft speculation, Wright revealed he’s run into an amusing problem when it comes to his players’ workout schedules at home.
“I’m fighting with our guys to do nothing right now because I think this rest is important,” Wright said. “We’re at that time where they’re starting to get antsy. I’m still trying to get them through this week of rest. And then Coach Shackleton will get on Zoom with them and give them workouts to start next week, even though I know some of them are probably doing it this week.”
- Wright also touched on a few topics unrelated(at least not directly) to his day job. Remember when Wright was rumored one of the candidates for the Kentucky job? No, not in 2009. In 2007, when Tubby Smith left by choice to take the Minnesota job. Apparently the hounding he got from the Philly media was a little too much to bear, so the baseball loving family sought out - and found - a respite.
“Years ago when the Kentucky job opened and I was trying to hide from all of you, we actually went down to Clearwater - and we hung out in Clearwater and nobody knew where we were,” Wright said. I was talking on the phone down there to our Villanova people, and we were sneaking into Phillies preseason games. And remember, the Final Four was in Atlanta that year. And we were like the Beverly Hillbillies, we all loaded up in the car and drove to Atlanta for the Final Four, where I finally knew I was staying at Villanova and I could face all of you.”
The more you know.
- Wright also made light of the online frenzy that broke out when he and his wife put their home up for sale in order to downsize.
“Thank God we didn’t sell our house,” he said. “We have all the kids home, girlfriends, everybody. We’re all quarantined here. We’ve got - I don’t know how many people we have in here - but thank God we didn’t downsize.”
- And despite the newly crowded house, Wright vows he won’t give into viral trends to pass the time, saying, “I've played more games than I ever have, what I don’t want to do it TikTok. I don’t want that out viral, me dancing anywhere.”