AP

'Nova Pounds Penn: 82-57

Villanova (#2 AP, 7-0) drubbed Penn at the Palestra this evening to jump to a 1-0 start in Big Five play ...

Villanova defeated Penn, 82-57, tonight at the Palestra to grab the Cats 15th straight Big Five win - a new record.  The Wildcats are now 7-0 on the season and will play another Big Five game on Saturday at 1PM at the Pavilion against St. Joseph’s (PA).

The ‘Nova Senior class is now 13-0 in Big Five games and still has an opportunity to tie or eclipse the record, 15-1 Big Five career mark registered by the 2009 Wildcat Senior class.  During the 13-0 run, the Cats have an average victory margin of 21.1.  Jay Wright is 49-12 (.803) in Big Five games.

It was the Seniors that led the way for ‘Nova.  Kris Jenkins was 6-7 beyond the arc on his way to 22 points and 5 rebounds.  Darryl Reynolds tallied 12 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.  Josh Hart scored 12 points, dished out a career-high 9 assists and pulled down 6 boards.

Goods:

  • 12-26 (46.2%) from three-point range
  • Held Penn to 32.1% FG and 29.6% 3PFG
  • Limited the Quakers to 0.81 points per possession

Others:

  • 17 turnovers.  9 from the primary bigs
  • Hart not starting
  • Allowed 11 O-boards by the Quakers
  • Second-half offense was inefficient

Players:

Kris Jenkins (31 Min, 7-11 FG, 6-7 3PFG, 22 Pts, 5 Rebounds, 164 ORtg)  Best game of the season so far for “Big Smoove”.  Shot the three-ball beautifully - the only miss was a very deep attempt from the left wing in transition.  Other than that jumper, Jenkins forced nothing and was strong with the ball.  Played well defensively too.  Became the 64th Villanova player to tally over 1,000 career points.

Josh Hart (28 Min, 12 Pts, 6 Rebounds, 9 Assists, 167 ORtg)  Played an excellent game in nearly every respect.  This was the best passing game of his career by far.  He found cutters, he passed off dribble-drive - the offense will be positively impacted against better teams if Hart can continue to pass the ball effectively as in addition to his potent scoring punch.

Darryl Reynolds (27 Min, 12 points, 8 rebounds, 4 turnovers, 99 ORtg)  Was a monster on the glass in the first half, played some good defense and shot the ball well - 4-4 from the floor and 4-5 from the FT line.  The issue for Reynolds today was the turnovers - brief moments of indecisiveness in the low post or on receipt of the ball on the wing allows the defense the opportunity to warn him and he has trouble putting the ball on the deck on the perimeter when closely guarded.  When he delays in the low post, passing lanes get tighter.

Mikal Bridges (30 Min, 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 121 ORtg)  Another efficient offensive game for Bridges - coupled with great defense.  He gave Penn fits in the passing lanes and applying ball pressure in the 3/4 court press.  Bridges picks his spots to be aggressive off the bench and generally delivers the goods when he does.

Jalen Brunson (29 Min, 11 points, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 steal, 101 ORtg)  A good, not great, outing for Brunson,   He played a decent floor game and shot the ball reasonably well.  His defense continues to improve.  His effort and toughness are constants.

Donte DiVincenzo (24 Min, 13 points, 3-5 3PFG, 4-4 FTs, 3 rebounds, 4 fouls, 143 ORtg)  Played a nice game in his first Villanova start.  He is starting to find a nice happy medium between aggressiveness looking for his own shot and shooting good shots in the flow of the offense.  His leaping ability and physicality were difference-makers on defense and the boards.  Got in some foul trouble.

Eric Paschall (20 Min, 2 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 5 turnovers, 31 ORtg)  

Paschall was physical and aggressive on defense - securing some tough rebounds in traffic and swatting some shots as well.  Watching him try to find his offensive from the low post has been interesting.  When he gets the ball from about 10 feet and out, he looks comfortable and seems to make better decisions on passing vs. shooting.   When he gets the ball inside of 8 feet, he becomes more hesitant, struggles to make the right pass and/or gets smothered by the trees.  His 5 turnovers in 20 minutes of action were simply too many.  Looking back to how he performed offensively at Fordham when he won A-10 Frosh of the year, it is worth noting how similar some of his stats were.  His ORtg so far this year is 96.6 - his ORtg at Fordham was 96.5.  Though he played more minutes at Fordham his usage was similar - he was at 30.4 vice 27.1 % shots.  From a shooting perspective the only significant delta is at the FT line.  Effective FG% at ‘Nova this year is 45.7 - it was 47.2 at Fordham.  3PFGs 29.2% (was 30.4%) … 2PFGs 47.8% (48.3% at Fordham) … FTs 64.7% this year (was 80.4%).

Dylan Painter (8 Min, 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal)  This was a good game in which to get some minutes for Painter.  The game still seems a bit too quick for him as he adjusts to the speed of the college game.  He hustled like a banshee - jumping on loose balls, setting picks, boxing out and playing defense.  Painter is a bit robotic on offense and he still appears uncomfortable reading the defense and making the right pass or move when he receives the pass.

Walk-Ons (1 Minute a piece)  The play of the game for the walk-ons was a soaring, offensive rebound for Matt Kennedy that was right out of Hart’s book of favorite plays.

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