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The Sun’s Arizin: Ending Villanova Basketball’s Shooting Slump

What can recent history tell us about Villanova’s latest shooting slump

Villanova Mug Arizin Links

Villanova has been sleeping in the streets. It’s not like we didn’t know it was coming, as Sam Regan points out in today’s Game Preview this is something that happens every year. But does it happen to this extent? Does it happen to kick off the Big East? Let’s do some research.

The last time Villanova fell into an extended shooting slump like this was just two years ago in the 2020 season. It was a four game streak that started in non-conference play that included facing a highly ranked team from the Big 12 and extended into the start of Big East play including at Creighton and home against Xavier. Sound familiar?

Here’s the crazy thing though, Villanova only lost a single game during that slump. The key difference was the defense, as in all the wins Villanova held their opponent to 62 points or less. That tracks with the current streak if you throw out the Baylor game as an offensive (and offensive) anomaly. The lone loss in that streak came at Marquette where Villanova game up 71 points, similar to how they lost at Creighton. Villanova came out of that slump by crushing Georgetown shooting over 50% from deep, and they wouldn’t shoot under 30% for consecutive games the rest of the season.

Looking back at this season, all the players have had at least one off night shooting during the slump. The two that have had it the worst seem to be Jermaine Samuels (3-16) and Slater (0-12), but personal shooting slumps come and go throughout the season. Remember, coming into the slump Samuels was shooting 37% and Slater was all the way up at 46%. They didn’t just forget how to shoot, they’ll bounce back.

So at this point it’s not a matter of if the slump will end, but when. Xavier is above average at guarding the three, but their real defensive strength is on the interior. The Wildcats best option for offense will often be on the perimeter, so they shouldn’t shy away from creating open shots on the outside. We’ll just have to wait and see if they fall tonight, or if the slump extends to four games the way it did in 2020.

For today’s poll, it seems only appropriate that we do an over/under on three point shooting percentage for the Cats. Where do you think they’ll land?

Poll

Will Villanova shoot over or under 30% from three against Xavier?

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    Over
    (215 votes)
  • 28%
    Under
    (84 votes)
299 votes total Vote Now

In other news, the men’s team takes on Xavier, the women’s team travels to La Salle, and awards handed out for Football and Lacrosse. Enjoy!

Villanova vs Xavier

No. 23 Villanova hopes to regain its shooting eye on its home court against No. 18 Xavier | The Inquirer
The Wildcats shot a combined 28.2% in back-to-back 20-point losses at Baylor and Creighton. Coach Jay Wright said his players have kept an "amazing" attitude. The Musketeers have won seven straight.

Xavier v. Villanova: Big East preview, matchups, keys to the game | Banners On The Parkway
Xavier hasn’t won at Nova since they joined the Big East. If there’s an opportunity for the Muskies to break their duck, this may be it.

No. 18 Xavier looks for 8th straight win Tuesday at No. 23 Villanova | Cincinnati.com
Another Quad-1 opportunity awaits No. 18 Xavier on Tuesday night at No. 23 Villanova

Ranked teams meet as No. 23 Nova hosts No. 18 Xavier | The Inquirer
Two ranked teams battle as No. 18 Xavier visits No. 23 Villanova in a Big East showdown

Villanova Men’s Basketball

College basketball rankings: Villanova plummets in new AP Top 25 poll after two blowout losses | CBSSports.com
The Wildcats went from being ranked in the top 10 last week in the AP Top 25 poll to outside of the top 20

NBA Wildcats

Saddiq Bey puts head down and goes to work for the Pistons | Piston Powered
Saddiq Bey vowed that he would work his way out of his slump and over the last three games he's done just that for the Detroit Pistons.

Villanova Women’s Basketball

La Salle Takes on Villanova in Big 5 Showdown | La Salle University Athletics
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The La Salle women's basketball team will host Big 5 rival Villanova on Tuesday, Dec. 21 at Tom Gola Arena. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.

Women's Basketball Travels to La Salle Tuesday Afternoon | Villanova University
Villanova will play its final game before the holiday break on Tuesday afternoon when the Wildcats travel to Philadelphia to take on the La Salle Explorers. Villanova

Villanova Football

THREE WILDCATS EARN STATS PERFORM ALL-AMERICAN HONORS | Villanova University
VILLANOVA, Pa.—On Monday, Dec. 20, Stats Perform announced its 2021 FCS All-American teams and three Villanova Wildcats earned recognition. Senior cornerback Christian

Villanova Athletics

Campbell Named to USA Lacrosse Magazine's 2022 Division I Men's Preseason All-American Third Team | Villanova University
Villanova, Pa- Senior midfielder Matt Campbell was named to USA Lacrosse Magazine's Preseason All-American Third Team, as announced by the publication on Monday