The GM's Office: 'Nova Nailing It
By Gina Morrone '14
Published: Friday, February 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 00:02
Villanova basketball made two hardcore statements with wins against then-no. 1 Louisville and then-no. 3 Syracuse . Coming into the season surrounded by low expectations, Jay Wright’s young squad has shown that they can hustle harder than the rest of ‘em. I’m not saying this is going to be some sort of championship season or anything, but these guys are not going to let their own past haunt them any longer. Is this team really the same group of guys who lost to Columbia by 18? To Alabama by 22?
The wins can be attributed to my favorite shot from my fifth-grade basketball days: the 3-pointer. Although the team averages just fewer than seven successful 3-point shots per game, in every game in which they’ve scored at least seven, they’ve won. Against Syracuse, they made nine, including that Ryan Arcidiacono buzzer beater in the Wells Fargo Center that sent the game to overtime. The freshman has made 4411 (add in stats from ND game)already this season. The way I see it, it’s pretty simple. If you can score, one, two, or three points at a time in basketball, why wouldn’t you choose to maximize the 3s?
Coming off a close loss to the Irish, Nova is looking at three should-win, must-win game situations next week. Providence, Depaul & USF round out the Big East in the last three slots. My hope for these guys is that all their hard efforts are rewarded, and they snag a 16-8 record, which would put them in a good position to make the NCAA Tournament.
If Arcidiacono continues to do what he’s doing beyond the arc, the team’s relevance can only improve. The Villanova team has shown that it cannot only hang with the best teams, but it can beat the best teams. This year might not be the year they dance all the way to April, but they’re certainly going to have fun in March.