Villanova opened the 2012-13 season with a 78-58 win over the District of Columbia at the Pavilion. The Cats dashed out to a 15-2 lead in the game before a UDC shift to a 2-3 zone defense resulted in VU struggling to score on offense through much of the remainder of a first half which ended with 'Nova up 33-28.
The second half was a much different story as Villanova got better shots by both creating turnovers on defense and getting out in transition and by working the ball inside more effectively in the half-court offense.
Only allowed 2 offensive rebounds
Second-half shot selection improved over first-half
Only out-rebounded UDC by 10 despite a significant size advantage
Shot a tepid 5-17 (29.4%) from three-point range
Shot only 65.5% from the free-throw line (19-29)
Committed 20 personal fouls against a D-2 team (this is an area of emphasis/concern)
14 Assists to 17 Turnovers
Struggled against zone defense in the half-court set
Turnover problems both feeding the low post and securing the ball in the low post
Player Evals & Stats
28 Min, 3-7 FG, 2-6 3P, 3-4 FT, 3 Rebs, 4 Asst, 3 TO, 1 Stl, 11 Pts
Played a decent floor game for a Frosh starting his first ever college game. Scored 8 of his points in the first 4.5 minutes of the game off his only 3 made FGs. He drained 2 three-balls and scored on a tough finish in transition. He made several stand-out passes - two in transition and one excellent post feed. Villanova fans will enjoy watching him develop.
23 Min, 3-5 FG, 0-1 3P, 0-0 FT, 3 Rebs, 0 Asst, 1 TO, 3 Stl, 6 Pts
Hit a couple of sweet, right-handed floaters in the lane. His third make was a strong take in transition. Played active defense, anticipating passes and getting his hands in the passing lanes. Didn't get as many touches or open looks as he did in the exhibition game.
22 Min, 4-10 FG, 0-3 3P, 2-3 FT, 8 Rebs, 1 Asst, 3 TO, 10 Pts
Needs to be stronger with the ball and make better passing decisions. Led the team in FG attempts while playing 22 minutes. Pinkston was a force on the glass. His three-point attempts were well off the mark.
19 Min, 3-6 FG, 0-2 3P, 3-5 FT, 4 Rebs, 2 Asst, 2 Stl, 9 Pts
Bell's playing time was limited in part by his foul trouble. He was more effective in the second half when the Cats got out on the break with some frequency than in the first half when 'Nova played more in the half-court.
26 Min, 2-6 FG, 5-8 FT, 5 Rebs, 5 TOs, 9 Pts
Yarou has to play with more toughness and focus. 5 turnovers is a ton given how few touches he had. He failed to leverage his size advantage in the paint.
26 Min, 2-8 FG, 4 Rebs, 5 Asst, 0 TOs, 2 Stl, 4 Pts
There are things to appreciate about Chennault's debut with the Cats and things that appear to be lacking. He took great care of the ball and posted an impressive 5/0 A/TO ratio. He rebounded well from the guard position and played solid defensively. The things that appeared to be lacking were explosiveness and the ability to finish - plenty of games left for Chennault to prove that was an aberration.
16 Min, 4-8 FG, 4-5 FT, 4 Rebs, 1 TO, 1 Blk, 1 Stl, 12 Pts
Sutton played well on defense, took the ball aggressively to the basket, leveraged his height advantage, shot his FTs well, and generally didn't try to do too much. In the past, the staff has stressed that Sutton performs better coming off the bench with a specific focus in mind than he does when used as a starter. This may be reason enough to keep Sutton in the role of defensive stopper and tempo-adjuster off the pine.
19 Min, 3-4 FG, 2 Rebs, 1 TO, 6 Pts
Made efficient use of his touches on offense. He will be a bit of a work in progress on the defensive end as he learns Coach Wright's defensive philosophies and schemes. Ochefu will need to make a concerted effort to avoid fouls given that he comes with a bit of a reputation for getting into foul trouble and is now being asked to switch, help and close out much more on defense then he likely has ever had to before.
15 Min, 3-5 FG, 3-5 3P, 0-2 FT, 3 Rebs, 1 Asst, 1 TO, 3 Stl, 9 Pts
Played aggressively and effectively on both ends of the floor. He drained 3 of his 5 three-pointers with what looked to be a very fluid and confident stroke resulting in nothing but nylon. Yacoubou used his quickness to grab three steals and his strength to grab three rebounds.
6 Min, 2-2 FT, 1 Reb, 1 Asst, 1 TO, 1 Stl, 2 Pts
Brozja, given the opportunity to close the game out and play a little at the 1, showed a decent handle and the ability to make the highlight reel pass. He also made a weak pass on the wing that resulted in a UDC fast break. Scored the first points of his career at the FT line. Of note was Brzoja playing hard-nosed defense with good footwork and a willingness to get on the deck and scrap for loose balls.
Villanova laces them up again on Sunday in what figures to be the first real test of the season. A talented Marshall Thundering Herd team visits the Pavilion for a 1PM tip. The Herd is expected to compete for the Conference USA title.