We can remember it like yesterday when players like Tyrone Johnson and Savon Goodman committed to the "University of Villanova," but the love affair for those players and others is sometimes short-lived. The realities of college basketball sometimes hit a player after a season or two, and they make their way to the exit, in search of greener pastures at another school.
Villanova has had a few of those type of departures over the years, and while they are no longer Villanovans,
Ty Johnson helped the Gamecocks to a victory in their first game of the season, 81-56 over North Florida on Friday, scoring a team-high 12 points. He also had 23 points, six assists and a steal in USC's public exhibition game, leading coach Frank Martin to remark, "Ty is low turnover guy who understands the game, understands coaching. That means we're going to get shots when he's in there." The Gamecocks are back in action this afternoon against Baylor University.
After leaving the Main Line, Kennedy followed former Nova grad assistant Jay Duncan and "friend of the program" Larry Brown to Dallas. Last season, the big bodied forward averaged 12.4 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Mustangs, but he will start off the season in street clothes, after being ruled ineligible for the Fall semester. The Mustangs are ranked 22nd in the nation to start the season -- though that ranking will surely drop after last night's loss to #13 Gonzaga.
The Croatian-Sensation has found himself a niche at the University of Evansville this season, debuting with a double-double in points and rebounds as the Aces took down Earlham in their season opener. Brzoja went 10-of-12 from the field to score 21 points and grabbed 10 boards and forced three turnovers as well. His impressive start earned him the Missouri Valley Conference' s Newcomer of the Week award. Earlham participates in the NCAA's Division III in all sports.
Yacoubou has integrated well with the Bilikens, scoring 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds for his new team in their opener against Southern Illinois. He scored all of his points from inside the arc, making 42.9%, and connecting on 85.7% of his attempts from the free-throw line. He is expected to be a very important part of the SLU offensive this season.
While Savon Goodman was never officially a Wildcat -- the former prospect committed to Villanova before changing his mind to head west to UNLV -- we figured you might be interested anyway. The former four-star small forward prospect averaged 3.6 points and 2.4 rebounds for the Runnin' Rebels in 2012-13, but was forced out of that program following an arrest for petty theft and trespassing that he pled guilty to. He spent a year in Junior College afterward, never playing, and has now landed at Arizona State -- following now ASU assistant Barret Peery from Indian Hills Community College. Goodman scored 28 points and 10 rebounds in the Sun Devils' internal scrimmage, but won't be available to play in a real game until their December 16th date with Marquette, due to NCAA rules.