Villanova dominated the second half against American to the tune of 50-19 to cruise to a final score of 90-48 and advance to 12-0 on the season. The game was simply a mis-match. After a bit of a slow start, the Cats put it in gear and there was nothing the Eagles could do to keep pace.
The Cats played some man, some 2-3 zone and mixed up some different full court pressure - 3/4 court “nuisance” pressure and some trapping, full court pressure more geared at turning the opponent over than just shortening possessions. This has been a somewhat common tactic by Coach Wright over his Villanova tenure to keep his team mentally engaged and active in a “holiday season” game where the Pavilion is less noisy and the players have an eye on a break.
‘Nova opens Big East play next Tuesday (12/28) against DePaul at the Pavilion at 6:30 p.m. There is one out-of conference game remaining to be played. The Cats host UVA at the end of January.
- Dominant second half
- 38-17 rebounding edge
- +16 from the FT line
- 58.5% FG, 38.1% 3PFG, and 80% FT
- held American to 37.3% FG and 27.3% 3PFG
- 1.34 points per possession for VU vs. 0.72 for AU
- All seven rotation players had ORtgs of 121+
- 27 points and 15 rebounds off the bench for ‘Nova
- The defense in the first 10 minutes was not particularly intense
Josh Hart (30 Min, 20 Points, 7-14 FG, 2-7 3PFG, 7 Reb, 3 Assists, 1 Block, 1 TO, 135 ORtg) Another strong outing for Hart. Multiple announcers on multiple channels covering college basketball this evening mentioned Josh Hart as the leading candidate for National POY. He has the type of motor and “grind it out” mentality to continue to work hard - if the by-product of that is National POY recognition, so be it. He missed his first three shots from the field and then heated up.
Kris Jenkins (30 Min, 7 Points, 7 Rebounds, 4 Assist, 2 Steals, 126 ORtg) Though Jenkins isn’t putting up big scoring numbers, he is contributing a lot of everything across the board. He is generally not forcing his offense, he is an improved defender, and his defensive rebounding work is more consistent as he looks to help out the team effort to “gang rebound”.
Darryl Reynolds (21 Minutes, 7 Points, 5 Rebounds, 1 Steal, 121 ORtg) Reynolds scored most of his points quite early in the game as the Cats looked to get started on the interior. He finished strong around the rim.
Mikal Bridges (30 Min, 15 Points, 5-7 FG, 3-6 3PFG, 2-2 FT, 2 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 0 TO, 1 Block, 2 Steals, 182 ORtg) Bridges was fabulous in this game. Great defense, lots of ball pressure, challenged the passing lanes … on offense he stroked the 3-ball well, got to the rim for an impressive right-hand jam and slashed to the rim on a nice hesitation dribble move for a bucket in the second half. Turned his rebounds quickly into transition.
Jalen Brunson (30 Min, 14 Points, 5-9 FG, 4-4 FT, 6 Assists, 3 TOs, 1 Steal, 135 ORtg) Got to the rim with some consistency - showing handle, craftiness, and a great ability to read the defense. Brunson kept the ball moving well on the perimeter and used the dribble to help create passing lanes for use in getting the ball to his teammates. Solid.
Eric Paschall (20 Min, 15 Points, 5-6 FG, 6 Rebounds, 3 TOs, 125 ORtg) Paschall provided a great scoring boost for the Cats off the pine. Funneled home a bouncy, three-pointer from the wing that was un-guardable - should he start canning threes with frequency, he will really be handful for defenses to scheme for. He continues to be a little sloppy with the ball at times. Paschall had a few impressive rebounds where he either out-leaped or out-strengthed the opposition to bring them in.
Donte DiVincenzo (23 Min, 12 Points, 4-5 FGs, 5 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 2 Steals, 1 Block, 1 TO,133 ORtg) He really used his athleticism and hops to make a difference in this game. DiVincenzo made some strong dribble moves on which he game “oh so close” to jamming it down hard on the heads of his defenders. Shot only 3-6 from the FT line. He continues to show a lot of upside. Stroked a smooth as butter, deep three-ball in rhythm late in the game. Look out when he puts it all together.
Dylan Painter (6 Min, 4 Rebounds, 0-1 FG) Painter was a beast on the boards in his short run but missed his lone FG - an attempt on which he backed his man down and tried a jump-hook with his right hand over his left-shoulder. He looks mechanical and a little slow in transition but he is willing to battle physically in the paint and he plays with a good motor.
Tim Delaney (6 Min) Didn’t get the opportunity to make much of a dent in the box score. Handled the ball well enough on the wing to keep the half-court offense moving properly.