The Villanova Wildcats, ironically, have not losing since also falling to the Owls. Villanova is on a seven-game winning streak since coming up on the short end in their match with Temple on December 5th of last year.
As Syracuse gets set to host Villanova back at home in the Carrier Dome, here is what you need to:
1. Their top scorer:
Forward Jayvaughn Pinkston leads the team in points so far this season. He is one of a mere two that average double-digits per game for the Wildcats. Ryan Arcidiacono is about a point shy of Pinkston's 13.3 per game.
Pinkston makes about half of the attempts he takes from the field (48.3%), second only to forward/center Maurice Sutton, who has made just under 54%, but has taken less than half as many attempts.
2. From long distance:
The long ball is what is commonly used to try and beat Syracuse's 2-3 zone, as seen in the Providence game.
Villanova, with Scottie Reynolds and company, typically took to this in attempt to defeat the Orange before.
Guard James Bell is best from long range at just under 40%, with leading scorer Vaughn following close behind at around 36%.
3. On the boards:
Teams that have challenged the Orange and kept the match close have been tenacious in rebounding the ball. In Syracuse's previous match, the Providence Friars were able to stay with Syracuse because of their play off the glass, grabbing second opportunities, which the South Florida Bulls had done the game before.
Villanova has grabbed almost 100 more rebounds than their opponents in total through 15 games. Syracuse needs to lock in on the boards, especially on defense, in order to prevent second-chance opportunities.
4. The extra period:
Villanova has played into overtime three times this season. They prevented the St. John's Red Storm from scoring in almost the entire overtime period in their most recent extra time contest.
The Wildcats have won two of their three games which have extended outside of the allotted 40 minutes.
5. Mouphtaou Yarou:
The 6'10" forward has been a big part of Villanova's 11-4 start.
Yarou, like Pinkston, Arcidiacono, and Bell, has led the team in scoring in three separate matches.
He averages about eight points per game, making about 42% of his attempts.
Yarou resides atop all Wildcats in rebounds with just under six per game.