Villanova - SJU(PA) Preview

VUSports preview - Villanova (#2 AP, 7-0, 1-0 Big Five) hosts St. Joseph’s (PA) (3-3, 0-1 Big Five) on Saturday afternoon at 1PM at the Pavilion ...

Villanova (#2 AP, 7-0, 1-0 Big Five) hosts St. Joseph’s (PA) (3-3, 0-1 Big Five) on Saturday afternoon at 1PM at the Pavilion.  The game is available on CBS Sports Network, 610 Sports (WTEL-AM) and VUSports Live Chat.

The Hawks started the season with wins over Toledo (77-76, home), Columbia (85-65, home), and Loyola Chicago (71-57, neutral) but have since dropped three in a row, losing to Mississippi (81-68, neutral), N.C. State (73-63, neutral) and on Wednesday at home to Temple (78-72).

Villanova has been on a roll of late in Big Five games.  Since losing to Temple on December 5th,  2012, the Cats have won an unprecedented 15 straight City Series tilts.  Jay Wright is 49-12 (.803) in Big Five games during his ‘Nova tenure.

Kenpom predicts a 78-58 win for ‘Nova and gives the Cats a 96% chance of grabbing a win.

Examining the Four Factors for each team entering this game:

VUSports (data per Kenpom.com)

a few things stick out:

  • The Hawks take good care of the ball but are an average shooting team overall
  • That said, the Hawks have been more effective from 3-point range than 2-point range - which plays into Villanova’s favor given the Cats have been better able to defend the 3 than the 2.
  • The Cats are ranked 7th nationally in effective FG% and the Hawks are 239th in effective FG% defense
  • St. Joseph’s has been keeping teams off the offense glass
  • The Hawks haven’t committed fouls at a high rate on defense

other stats of interest:

  • Villanova doesn’t get a lot of offensive rebounds
  • The Cats allow teams to make a high percentage of 2PFGA
  • On the flip side of that, the Joeys are below average in 2PFG%
  • St. Joe’s hasn’t shot FTs particularly well early in the season

The Hawks staff the 1 and the 2 primarily with two small guards - six-footers, Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble”.  Though they aren’t tall or long, both players make up for it with toughness and physicality.  Chris Clover fills in the other minutes at the 1 and the 2.  The 3 and 4 spots are staffed, primarily, by a committee of 6-6 and 6-7 athletes - Charlie Brown, Nick Robinson and Brendan Casper - with a sprinkle of Clover.  The 5 hole is filled by Javon Baumann and Markell Lodge.  Gang-rebounding has been the preferred approach for the Hawks this year.


Shavar Newkirk (6-0, 180, Jr.) (35.3 mpg, 21.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.0 spg, 47.8% 3PFG, 52.4% FG, 82.1% FT, 127.7 ORtg) Newkirk has been the primary offensive weapon for the Hawks.  Expect him to see a heavy dose of Mikal Bridges and Donte DiVincenzo - to make things a bit more difficult for him shooting the ball.  He takes a high percentage of shots for the Hawks but converts his scoring opportunities with a high degree of efficiency.  He has been strong with the ball.

Lamarr Kimble (6-0, 190, So.) (36 mpg, 14.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.5 apg, 31.4% 3PFG, 35.6% FG, 56.5% FT, 97.1 ORtg) “Fresh” could be a bit of an X-factor in this game, if he can get his jumper on track.  He has been making good decisions and been solid from an A/TO perspective, but for the number of shots he has been taking, he has not been scoring at a rate to really get the Joey’s offense operating on all cylinders.  How will he hold up defensively when he has to guard the longer Wildcat three-point shooters or try to slow down the dribble-drive of Hart and Bridges?

Charlie Brown (6-6, 185, Fr.) (30 mpg, 10.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 45.2% 3PFG, 37.9% FG, 87.5% FT, 111.8 ORtg)  Hawk fans are high on this young’n.  The Freshman has played very well defensively, taken care of the rock and shot the three-ball well.  The Cats will want to face-guard him and try to get him to put the ball on the deck.

Markell Lodge (6-7, 214, So.) (17.3 mpg, 4.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 75% FG, 41.7% FT, 118.0 ORtg)  Lodge is strong, physical and athletic.  He uses his bounce and strength to be a factor on the offensive boards and a force as a shot-blocker.  Offensively, he is selective - taking high percentage shots and converting them at a high rate.  His FT shooting has been a bit of an adventure.

Nick Robinson (6-6, 2-1, Fr.) (22 mpg, 5.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.8 apg, 45.5% 3PFG, 37.9% FG, 57.1% FT, 90.0 ORtg)  Another St. Joe’s frosh that oozes potential.  Like Brown, he has been feasting from beyond the arc but struggling from within the arc.  His defense and rebounding have been a plus.

Brendan Casper (6-6, 213, Sr.) (16.2 mpg, 2.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 16.7% 3PFG, 35.3% FG, 80.0% FT, 80.5 ORtg)  Focuses on doing the dirty work, rebounding and defending.  Not asked to pick up a scoring load.

Javon Baumann (6-8, 255, Sr.) (16.7 mpg, 4.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 66.7% FG, 36.4% FT, 123.3 ORtg)  The Senior, pivot-man has been efficient on offense, good on the offensive boards, blocking shots at a decent clip, and avoiding turnovers.

Chris Clover (6-3, 213, So.) (13.5 mpg, 3.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.5 tpg, 25.0% 3PFG, 31.3% FG, 62.8 ORtg)  Struggling on offense but still taking a high percentage of shots.  He has been a bit of a black hole - when he gets the ball it is a shot or a turnover - not an assist.  A grinder on defense and on the glass.

Not expected to play:

St. Joe’s: Jai Williams (6-9, 240, Jr.) and James Demery (6-6, 198, Jr.)

Villanova: Tim Delaney (Hip).  There is a possibility that Junior guard, Phil Booth will not play for Villanova on Saturday.

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