Where ‘Nova Has Gone Wrong

The Villanova Wildcats (11-13), to say the least, have struggled this year. They have yet to win a game against any team in the AP top 25, and are 4- 8 in Big East play.

The Cats have not been under 500% since the 2002 – 2003 season where they went 15 – 16, but that was coach Jay Wright’s second season. This is Jay Wright’s 11th season, and all of a sudden, he is right where he started. This catastrophe of a season was unepxected to Villanova fans. Everybody knew this was not going to be Villanova’s best year, but a season this bad never even crossed the minds of some ‘Nova fans. The Wildcats have the players and the coaching to have a great season, but why are they faring so poorly?

Wayns is 'Nova's top scorer, but his efficiency problems are major detractors.

Maalik Wayns is the fourth-leading scorer in the Big East, averaging 17.8 points per game. Wayns also grabs 4 rebounds per game as well as dishing out 4.5 assists. He has been one of the most respected guards in the entire country, let alone conference. Coming off a season where his play was overshadowed by the excellence of guards Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes, Wayns has developed into one of the most versatile guards the ‘Cats have ever had.

Dominic Cheeck averages 12.6 points per game and chips in with 4.0 rebounds as well, starting at power forward. Mouphtaou Yarou averages 11.4 points per game. The big man also helps out with an average 8.3 rebounds per game as well. Both of their scoring rates have gone up, and while Yarou still needs to work on his efficiency, it isn’t like he is a weak spot on this team.

Freshman forward Jayvaughn Pinkston averages 9.7 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game in his first year, and recently he has been lighting it up. Pinkston hit a game winning layup against Providence and pitched in 27 points while he was at it. His unbelievable talent has been already noted by NBA scouts, and he could be the future of this program.

Villanova coach Jay Wright is 357 – 208 in his career coaching both Villanova’s and Hofstra’s basketball teams. Wright is undoubtedly a qualified basketball coach, and has undeniably talented players. However, the Wildcats are missing one thing: teamwork.

A team can have many good players but not be successful. This happened with the Miami Heat last year. They had arguably three of the best players in the league, but while they had regular season/early postseason success, their chemistry was not enough to push them over the top.

Wright is one of the best, but this team needs to focus more on chemistry to compete.

The Villanova Wildcats have the same problem. They have a lot of guys who can score, but most of the time everyone on the team is thinking of themselves. They have nobody on their team who has more than 4.5 assists. Wayns leads the team in assists, but most of the time he is thinking only about himself, passing up perfect opportunities for teammates and taking an off-balance jumper. Yes, he averages 17.8 points per game, but he also averages nearly 3 turnovers per game.

‘Nova is averaging more shots and more empty possessions per game. Instead of working the ball around and looking for good shots, they are firing up bricks instead of finding the open man.

Recently though, Villanova has looked more like a team. If they want to make the Big East Tournament, they need to continue winning to secure a top 12 spot. The way to do that will be for Pinkston and Wayns to continue to progress in their point guard-ability, and start to slow down an offense that simply doesn’t take enough time to take high-percentage shots.

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16 Comments on “Where ‘Nova Has Gone Wrong”

  1. John
    August 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    I stopped reading when you called Dominic Cheek a Power Forward.

  2. Ryan Bowman
    February 20, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    I would like to point out that I agree with Mr. Burke. But it still was a good article Jack.

  3. February 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    McDonalds All-American means nothing if you can’t play in college. For as many threes as Cheek has made this season, he is still shooting less than .300 from beyond the arc. Wayns is awesome, but Yarou and Cheek are not great complementary players. Nova has one star, 2 decent juniors, a stud freshman, and nothing else. That isn’t a talented team. A talented team has starting seniors, which nova does not. A talented team doesn’t have a freshman as its second best player. They just aren’t a good team.

    • jackmcaleese
      February 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

      Now when Kentucky took it deep in the tournament with John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins and an all freshman starting line, you think that’s not talent? A team does not necessarily need seniors to be good…

    • February 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

      Since when do you need seniors to be good? Just look at another Big 5 team, the SJU Hawks, who don’t have a single starting senior but are still top 4 in the Atlantic 10 and have a good winning percentage.

      • Sean Burke
        February 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

        Kentucky isnt fair because they have literally the best recruits in the nation. And teams like st. Joes have jones Galloway and hollis Jefferson, all of whom are better than cheek and Pinkston. As well as cheek played last night, I still can’t forgive him for that turnover at the end of regulation. And Pinkston forces way too many shots and is only a freshman. And Yarou is very average.

        • jackmcaleese
          February 21, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

          Well Mr. Burke, even though Kentucky has had very good recruiting classes, ‘Nova is always in the top 10 recruiting classes. Age and grade are only numbers, my friend.

  4. February 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    ” This catastrophe of a season was unepxected to Villanova fans.”

    HOW WAS IT UNEXPECTED THEY LOST FISHER, STOKES AND PENA!!!!!

    “Wright is undoubtedly a qualified basketball coach, and has undeniably talented players.”

    HOW ARE THEY TALENTED THEY ARE STARTING 2-3 FRESHMAN PER NIGHT!!!

    Seriously, have you watched a Villanova game this season?

    • February 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

      He watches every ‘Cats game. Clearly you don’t, otherwise you’d see that their only consistent freshmen starter has been the, as Mr. Burke admitted, extremely talented Pinkston. That is only 1, not 2 or 3. They also start three juniors and a sophomore.

    • Lebron James
      February 25, 2012 at 11:36 am #

      teddy bailey you are cray

  5. February 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    I disagree 100%. Nova isnt good because they arent very talented and they are young. Cheek (who is a shooting guard, not a power forward) is average at best and Yarou struggles around the rim. Pinkston is awesome but is only a freshman. Comparing them to the Miami Heat is garbage. This team has one of the worst field goal percentages in division 1. Trust me, their lack of wins is due to lack of talent and experience, not lack of teamwork.

    • jackmcaleese
      February 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

      To start, ‘Nova has very solid players. Maalik Wayns is fourth in scoring in the Big East. He just does not always play with the team in mind. Dominic Cheek was a McDonalds All – American, so don’t even try to come up into this article and say he is an average player at best. All of the guys who play minutes have basketball talent, they just do not play exactly as a team. You are extremely outspoken, and yes, Dominic Cheek is a SG. Calling him a PF was accidently typed in there. Sorry if that mistake ruined your day, Mr. Burke.

      • Teddy Bailey
        February 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

        YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL. I DON’T GIVE A SHIT WHAT HAPPENED.

        THEY SUCK. Are you smoking pot?!?!

      • Jack Henderson
        February 20, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

        Please refrain from using inappropriate remarks on this website.^

    • Jack Henderson
      February 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

      Your opinion is no more valid than that of Mr. McAleese. I’m not saying one of you is right and the other is wrong. It’s just that this is an opinion-based article and if you have a problem with this particular outlook on the reason for Nova’s standing, then you can go write about it on your own blog. You are free to express your opinion, just please do not insult other’s opinions and ideas in the process.

      • February 20, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

        Totally agree with Mr. Henderson. Not only are YOUR points opinion-based, but Mr. Burke and Mr. Bailey are acting like opinions are wrong just because they have a typo and they disagree with it. If YOU, Mr. Burke, had actually watched a ‘Nova game, you’d see how talented Pinkston and Wayns are, and how Yarou, when playing well, can dominate the paint.

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