Cats Herd the Herd

The Cats moved to 2-0 on the young season with an 80-68 victory over the Marshall Thundering Herd at the Pavilion. Villanova played physical, shared the ball on offense and did an excellent job rebounding the ball against one of the better rebounding teams in the country last season. Instead of being content jacking threes, the Wildcats took the ball to the basket, worked the ball for good looks and generally kept the Herd off-balance on defense - resulting in a 17 point and 22 attempt advantage at the free-throw line.
Aggressive defense without a lot of fouling
Shot the ball well: 50% from the floor and 40.9% from three
19-23 from FT line for 9 of the 10 players
Out-rebounded Marshall significantly
17 point scoring margin at the charity stripe
Not so goods:
Three-point defense
Feeding the low post from the high post = turnover
Few FG attempts from the 5s and Pinkston
More turnovers than assists
Player Evals & Stats
Ryan Arcidiacono
35 Min, 6-11 FG, 4-9 3P, 9-10 FT, 4 Rebs, 6 Asst, 3 TO, 2 Stl, 25 Pts
One of the better first performances against D1 competition for a Villanova freshen in a long time. Arcidiacono drained 20 first half points on his way to a game high 25 points. His passing ability will make everyone on this team more effective. He delivers the ball in the right place and at the right time to create quality scoring opportunities for his teammates. How will he follow up this effort on Thursday when he takes the floor at Madison Square Garden for the first time? Should be fun to watch. A couple of his turnovers were certainly of the "freshman mistake" variety as he tried on several occasions to make flashy behind the back dribble moves in traffic. Expect Coach Wright to nip that in the bud.
Darrun Hilliard
24 Min, 5-8 FG, 2-3 3P, 3-4 FT, 1 Reb, 2 Asst, 0 TO, 2 Stl, 15 Pts
Hilliard played a great game. His shot selection was excellent and coupled with a strong floor game and active defense. He posted a very quiet 15 points in only 24 minutes and didn't commit a turnover.
Jayvaughn Pinkston
30 Min, 0-3 FG, 0-2 3P, 6-14 FT, 7 Rebs, 2 Asst, 4 TO, 2 Stl, 6 Pts
There won't be many games where Pinkston is shut out from the floor. Hopefully there won't be many games where he shoots below 50% from the free-throw line. After being yanked quickly at one point in the game for a couple of bad possessions on both ends of the floor, Pinkston returned to the game with more energy. He began to get after it on the glass and play with more passion on defense.
James Bell
27 Min, 7-12 FG, 3-5 3P, 2-2 FT, 4 Rebs, 1 Asst, 5 TOs, 2 Stl, 19 Pts
Other than the turnover issues, Bell played quite well at both ends of the floor. He stroked the three-ball, took the ball to the basket off the dribble with effectiveness, and played good positional defense. Bell was strong inside when he needed to be against some of the Marshall size and yet able to be effective out on the wing as well. If Bell and Hilliard can before this well with consistency, the Cats will be a much better team for it.
Mouphtaou Yarou
30 Min, 2-2 FG, 0-1 FT, 4 Rebs, 1 Asst, 4 Pts
It certainly didn't seem as if Yarou played 30 minutes - given his lack of touches on offense and his minimal presence on the glass. He finish strong on a dunk in the first half and drained a 15-footer in the second half. His defense was inconsistent - at time good … other times not so much. He will need to pick up his play as the season progresses.
Tony Chennault
13 Min, 2-5 FG, 1 Rebs, 0 Asst, 1TOs, 4 Pts
Chennault made a couple of tough finishes around the cup and contributed some hard-nosed defense. The offense looked ragged on a couple of possessions around the 15 minute mark of the second half where Chennault ran the sets as the PG. The Cats didn't get a shot off on either possession and Coach Wright adjusted back to what had been the normal flow of the offense previous to that.
Maurice Sutton
16 Min, 1-1 FG, 4-4 FT, 5 Rebs, 3 TO, 1 Stl, 6 Pts
Sutton rebounded the ball well and made him self available to receive passes in low post scoring position. These touches led to a very efficient 6 points scored on 1 FG attempt and a perfect 4-4 from the free-throw line. His passing is a liability right now.
Daniel Ochefu
6 Min, 0-1 FG, 1-2 FTs, 3 Rebs, 1 TO, 1 Blk, 1Pt
Ochefu made good use of his minutes. He was all over the glass and made his presence felt in the paint.
Achraf Yacoubou
18 Min, 0-3 FG, 0-2 3P, 0-0 FT, 5 Rebs, 2 Asst, 0 TO, 0 Pts
Defense. Rebounding. Controlled aggression. Yacoubou is earning his PT
Mislav Brzoja
1 Min
Played only in the last minute with the game decided.
The Cats are off to a nice start to the season. They are focusing on the right things - playing hard, defending, rebounding and playing as a team on the offensive end of the floor. There appears to be not a lot of star power on this team but there is more depth than some may think and a lot of moxie.
Villanova will be in action again on Thursday night at 9:30 from Madison Square Garden as the Cats take on Purdue.