350 Wins for Jay Wright
It took a good ten minutes of game time for Villanova to work off the turkey and stuffing but after a poor shooting, sluggish, start, the Cats scored at an 80 PPG clip for the remainder of the Thanksgiving day game and cruised past UC Riverside to a 71-46 victory. 'Nova won by virtue of a great defensive effort coupled with the first half scoring of Yarou and second half scoring of Wayns.
Only 8 turnovers
41.2% 3PFG Shooting and 88.9% FT Shooting
Defense - dominated the last 10 minutes of the first half
Lack of bench scoring. 11 points on 3-13 shooting
Wayns is logging a lot of minutes early in the season
Maalik Wayns (23 Points, 7 Assists, 1 Turnover)
His speed could not be matched by the Highlanders. In recent season, Villanova point guard like Reynolds and Fisher have seemed to wear down over the season by virtue of playing a lot of minutes and having so much responsibility to continually create offense off the dribble and high ball screen action. 'Nova will need the bench to step up in order to allow Wayns to play less pressure minutes and avoid wearing down. Wayns was aggressive on offense in the second half and looked confident in his shot.
Mouphtaou Yarou (11 Points, 10 rebounds, 3 Steals)
The Junior, big-man continues to post double-doubles. One thing he does well defensively is use his quickness to grab steals. Yarou continues to shoot the mid-range jumper well. He was the workhorse on offense for VU in the first half.
Dominic Cheek (2 Points, 3 Rebounds)
Cheek's shot was off considerably in this game - he not only air-balled threes but also missed a wide open lay-up. His defensive effort was solid. He did make a half-court heave but it was just after the first-half buzzer sounded.
James Bell (12 Points, 3 Rebounds)
Two quick fouled limited Bell's playing time on the first half. In the second half, Bell played strong at both ends of the floor. 12 points in only 13 minutes of play. Overly aggressive on defense in this game.
Darrun Hilliard (12 Points, 4 Rebounds, 1 Assists, 0 Turnovers)
A perfect 3-3 from beyond the arc and 4-4 from the floor. He looks more comfortable with each game he plays. It will be interesting to see how he continues to grow as the Cats play more and more athletic squads. Handles the ball well and makes good decisions.
JayVaughn Pinkston (4 Points, 5 Rebounds, 3 Turnovers)
Didn't play very aggressively on offense. Continues to struggle with turnovers - also struggled with fouls in this game. Needs to do a better job of playing defense with his feet vice his hands.
Achraf Yacoubou (3 Points, 1 Rebound)
20 minutes of action for the Frosh. He does not hesitate to shoot the ball when he gets an open look. He uses his combination of strength and speed to play good on-the-ball defense.
Markus Kennedy (0 Points, 1 Rebound)
Was strong on the glass but struggled to convert his scoring opportunities.
Tyrone Johnson (0 Points, 1 Assist)
Has yet to really get in the flow of a game … searching for his comfort zone.
Maurice Sutton (4 Points, 4 Rebounds)
Continuing to play quality bench minutes. Playing smarter basketball than in his previous years n the program.
Congrats to Villanova Head Coach, Jay Wright on career coaching win #350! The Cats tip off at 2:30 eastern time, Friday afternoon against the Billikens of St. Louis in the 76 Classic semi-final.