VUSports: It must have been mixed emotions for you when you heard Omari Spellman would not be eligible to play this season.
Dylan Painter: Yeah. It was kind of sad because we have kind of developed a friendship as both being Freshmen but when I heard that news I thought “alright, I got to step up ... one of my teammates is down and that is what we do for each other - we step up for each other”. It is kind of sad but he is making this great. He is working on his game, he is working on his body, he is helping us out a lot in practice … he is just going to make this a positive.
VUSports: Now that you have begun to see what it is really like here at Villanova, what has been the biggest adjustment for you as a Freshman?
Dylan Painter: The speed and physicality of the game has definitely been hard to adjust to. When I first got here in the summer, everything was going so fast but throughout the fall and the practices it is starting to get slower day-by-day. I am able to adjust a little bit better every day and that is what you have got to do.
VUSports: Have you found it tougher to adjust to what Jay Wright wants you to do offensively or defensively?
Dylan Painter: The defensive end is definitely harder. Offense is not that much of an adjustment. It is a little bit faster, there is a little more screens and different options that you have got to go through but defensively all the concepts and the speed of the game are just harder. Also, guarding ball screens is something I never really had to do. I have been improving on it a lot but that is tough.
VUSports: Now, when there are switches you are out on the perimeter guarding is that proving difficult?
Dylan Painter: Yeah it has. In the summer, there was no chance but as we have been going on it is getting a little bit better. Everybody is seeing my improvement and I am seeing a little bit of it myself but I have got to get a lot better at it.
VUSports: Speaking further about the game starting to slow down for you - do you find that when you get that entry pass now you are more likely to try to feel your defender and look to score instead of looking pass first as you were at the beginning?
Dylan Painter: Yeah. I have been watching film a lot with the coaches to see where my passing options were, where the doubles come from … so I know if I am one-on-one I am confident I can score but my problem is when the doubles come I have got to learn where the open guy is - usually it is opposite and I have got to be able to make that pass
VUSports: Looking toward Hoops Mania on Friday - if you could choose the musical artist, who would it be?
Dylan Painter: They would not agree with me [motioning in the direction of his teammates]. We listen to a lot of different types of music but I would probably want a country musician like the Zac Brown Band or Luke Bryan. But, I feel like a lot of students here would be like “oh, who is this?”.
VUSports: How are you feeling health-wise.
Tim Delaney: Pretty good. I am all good now. Legs feel great.
VUSports: You have the 100% bill of health?
Tim Delaney: Yup.
VUSports: What do you see as your role on the team this year and how are you embracing it?
Tim Delaney: Just to contribute in any way that I can to make the team better. I am going to do whatever I am asked to do - whether that is to encourage everyone else or to get out there and play a little bit so I am looking forward to it.
VUSports: It seems that many fans thought when you were recruited that you were likely to be the next 5-man and play primarily in the post. Now there are more bigs on the roster and your skill set is more along the lines of a stretch 4. Where do you fit in positionally?
Tim Delaney: We all play every position so I will definitely be able to do some 5, do some stretch 4 or whatever the group of personnel on the team really needs. I will fit in wherever I need to.
VUSports: Do you anticipate the line-up will be smaller than perhaps the fans have been used to seeing the past several years - perhaps playing with 5 out and none in at times?
Tim Delaney: It may be. We are always going to play big though. We always play tough.