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The Sun’s Arizin: Villanova Basketball’s Shooting Form Is Returning

The Wildcats are starting to heat up again from deep.

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Villanova Mug Arizin Links

Happy Thursday Nova Nation! With another decisive victory over DePaul, Villanova improved to 8-2 on the year when shooting over 35% from deep. The Wildcats shot 44% from behind the arc at home the other night, and following an uncharacteristic shooting slump they’ve now shot above 35% in four of their last six games. It’s safe to say the slump is over.

One of the narratives during that slump was that this team may be a worse shooting team than years past. Interestingly enough though, the numbers are indicating the opposite. The Wildcats are averaging 36.2% from deep, which if the season ended today would be their 4th best mark of the last 10 years after 2018, 2017, and 2015. Another indicator of a good outside shooting team is FT%, and Villanova’s currently leading all of college basketball at 82.3%. That would be the best FT% of any Jay Wright Team at Villanova if it holds up for the rest of the season.

The interesting thing is that even though the Wildcats are finding their shooting form again, they haven’t reverted to taking most of their shots from the outside. Villanova is still attacking the interior, and haven’t taken over 45% of their shots from deep since the start of Big East play.

So if teams have to start worrying about Villanova splashing from the outside to go along with improved interior play, that’s a scary prospect. It’s no wonder this team still ranks 6th in offensive efficiency per KenPom. To put it simply, here’s the game plan that Big East teams now have to face:

  • Force Villanova off the 3pt line or they’ll beat you from deep
  • Don’t help to much when they penetrate or they’ll kick out for open threes
  • Don’t foul them when they drive the lane or they’ll kill you from the three point line
  • Oh, and make sure all your point guards can play post up defense in the paint

There better be some terrific one on one defenders out there, or the Big East title race is quickly going to become same old, same old.

In other news...

Villanova Defeats DePaul

DePaul Drops Game at Villanova | DePaul University Athletics
VILLANOVA, Pa. – DePaul battled throughout the night, but No. 14/12 Villanova pulled away in the second half as the Wildcats posted a 67-43 decision on Tuesday night.

Villanova continues dominance against DePaul | Chicago Sun-Times
Javan Johnson scored 16 points, but the Demons lost again to the Wildcats.

Moore and Gillespie carry Villanova past DePaul | The Inquirer
Moore (16 points) and Gillespie (14) combined for 30 points, while Eric Dixon added 11 in the win at Finneran Pavilion.

Villanova Men’s Basketball

Toohey: Experienced trio making the difference for Villanova | Delco Times
It’s hard to imagine where Villanova would be had Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels chose to move on with their careers rather than come back for a fifth year.

Future Wildcats

Spalding boys basketball star Cam Whitmore selected to play in McDonald’s All American game | Baltimore Sun
Spalding senior Cam Whitmore, a five-star recruit who has risen from a relative unknown early on in his high school career to one of the best players in the country, was chosen among 380 boys.

NBA Wildcats

VIDEO: Mikal Bridges reveals the tougher guard between Curry and LeBron | Yardbarker
Guarding the best player on the court every night for 48 minutes is tough. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with it night after night. Phoenix

Saddiq Bey proving to be a foundational piece in Detroit’s restoration | Detroit Bad Boys
After a slow start, the second-year forward has cemented himself as a centrepiece in Troy Weaver’s Restoration of the franchise.

Always A Wildcat

Shipley School's Basketball Program Shoots for Success in Bryn Mawr | Main Line Today
Thanks to former Villanova standout Alvin Williams, the Shipley School Gators are on the path to score big for the Main Line.

Big East

Why Georgetown's return to glory has failed to launch under Patrick Ewing | ESPN
Five years in, the school's greatest player has yet to produce an NCAA tournament win as head coach. What has gone wrong, and can he still fix it?


Bracketology: UNC drops out of SI's NCAA tournament projection | Sports Illustrated
Plus, what to make of Wisconsin, Texas and more college basketball teams.

2022 Men's NCAA Tournament Bracket: January 25 Projection of the Field of 68 | Bleacher Report
It might be the calm before the storm or it might be the wheat starting to separate from the chaff, but our four projected No. 1 seeds for the 2022 men's NCAA tournament remain unchanged from seven days ago...

Bubble Watch: Penny Hardaway, Memphis and the problem with running out of time early | The Athletic
Who's a lock? Who should be in? Who has work to do? Eamonn Brennan breaks down the field for the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

College Basketball

Dick Vitale Says He’ll Be Off the Air for Remainder of College Basketball Season | NBC Boston
The legendary announcer is undergoing treatment for precancerous dysplasia on his vocal cords. He disclosed in October that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma...

Chris Mack out as Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball coach | ESPN
As part of his negotiated separation agreement with the University of Louisville, men’s basketball coach Chris Mack will receive a $4.8 million buyout, sources told ESPN. Associate head coach Mike Pegues has been named interim coach.

Villanova Athletics

Individuals Shine at Villanova Invitational | The Villanovan
On Saturday, Villanova men’s track and field returned to Staten Island, N.Y., for the second weekend in a row, to host the Villanova Invitational. The meet, taking place at Ocean Breeze Track & Field Athletic Complex, had 11 different men’s teams participate. The Wildcats kept the top spot in the 800 meters for the second...

Villanova Dance and Cheer Teams Compete at Nationals | The Villanovan
The Villanova Dance Team took the term “the happiest place on earth” to a new level as it competed on the Walt Disney World stage. This past weekend, the team, along with the Villanova cheer team and mascot Will D. Cat, competed in the Universal Dance Association Nationals in Orlando, Florida, showing off its chops...

Inside Water with Isabel | Villanova University
HAPPY GAME WEEK! We have been training hard and getting ready for this weekend's games, which kick off our 2022 season!

Men’s Swim Loses Third Straight | The Villanovan
Over the weekend, Villanova traveled to Pitt and West Virginia and fell in both matchups, 229-68 and 198-92, respectively. The Wildcats went into the road trip having won all three matches in 2022. However, in its first contest of the week against the Panthers, Villanova was outmatched in every aspect, only earning one first, three...

Women’s Swim Wins One of Three Road Meets | The Villanovan
Villanova’s women’s swim team continued its long streak of road meets as it traveled to Pittsburgh on Thursday, Jan. 20 and West Virginia on Saturday, Jan. 22. The team suffered a tough loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday but was able to split the meet on Saturday, losing to Iowa State, but pulling out a win...

Women’s Tennis Falls to Bucknell 4-3 | The Villanovan
On Saturday, Jan. 22, the Villanova women’s tennis team traveled to Bucknell University and fell to the Bison, 4-3, in its first match of the spring season. Bucknell leads the all-time series between the two teams by a margin of 14-9, but Saturday was the first time in the last five meetings that the Bison...