Villanova ended a three game losing streak with a hard-fought, 62-52 road win against Vanderbilt. The Wildcats were powered by a balanced scoring attack that focused on scoring inside while knocking down just enough three-balls to keep the defense honest. Defensively, 'Nova forced the Commodores to shoot primarily from beyond the arc.
Better shooting (FGs, 3PFGs, and FTs)
Consistency - won both halves by a score of 31-26
Scoring balance - this team features 5 players with the ability to score 10+ ppg - in each game a couple of pair of players exceed that while another player or two fall short.
Out-scored Vandy by 9 at the FT line
Won the game by doing a better job attacking the basket than Vandy did
Not so goods:
Only 6 made FGs from the guards
Player Evals & Stats
32 Min, 1-6 FG, 1-5 3P, 5-6 FT, 4 Rebs, 4 Asst, 2 TO, 0 Stl, 8 Pts
His play has been consistent if nothing else. He takes the majority of his shots from beyond the arc (and misses the majority of them), he is ineffective driving the lane, his ability to stop dribble-drive on the defensive end of the court needs to improve, his FT shooting is excellent and he makes a handful of stand-out passes every game. Against quicker, more athletic teams in up-tempo games his A/TO ratio is poor while against slower, more methodical teams his A/TO ratio is improved.
27 Min, 3-8 FG, 2-3 3P, 0-0 FT, 2 Reb, 1 Asst, 1 TO, 2 Stl, 8 Pts
Hilliard has the same shooting line as James Bell in this game. The both shot the ball fairly efficiently while being very selective on when to drive the ball to the basket. His defense continues to be a positive. There will be times where Hilliard will need to be more aggressive driving the ball when defenses take away some of the Cats' other scoring options.
26 Min, 6-9 FG, 0-0 3P, 1-2 FT, 8 Rebs, 1 Asst, 1TO, 2 Stl, 13 Pts
Coming off the bench has seemed to have a positive effect on Pinkston's game. His attack mentality hitting the court as a bit of a change-up to the established pace of the game is one positive but he also seems to make an immediate impact on the glass and jumping into passing lanes as well. Pinkston has been shooting the ball more efficiently and the last couple games and putting in a better effort at both ends of the floor.
33 Min, 3-8 FG, 2-3 3P, 0-0 FT, 3 Rebs, 1 Asst, 1 TOs, 8 Pts
It is always a bit of a balancing act trying to evaluate the play of Bell in any particular game. There are head-scratching moments mixed in with positive plays at key moments in games. Bell had a strong drive to the basket from the wing that he finished with a thunderous dunk, mixed in with some poor positional defense resulting in personal fouls … then he pops in a couple of deep threes off the dribble and follows up with an odd passing decision. In this game, Bell did have the foul trouble but he made better decisions, took better care of the ball and shot the ball relatively efficiently.
31 Min, 3-7 FG, 10-12 FT, 7 Rebs, 0 Asst, 4 TO, 2 Blk, 1 Stl, 16 Pts
Another strong effort from Yarou. He will be a significant part of whatever this team can accomplish this season. Coach Wright is starting to get him touches in areas where he can be more effective. His mid-range jumper is beginning to become more of a weapon and he is catching the ball while moving towards the bucket vice when stationary in the low post. This subtle difference benefits Yarou significantly as he is more likely to then make a positive, quick basketball move instead of pondering the meaning of life prior to action.
16 Min, 1-2 FG, 1-2 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 3 Rebs, 0 Stl, 2 Asst., 2 TOs, 3 Pts
Knocked down the first trey of his Villanova career. Played an OK floor game on the offensive end of the court. Lost his man on screens and switches from time to time on defense and he continues to develop a feel for what Coach Wright expects from him on that end of the floor in various situations. He looked better in this game the he has in some previous games - it is important that he continue to grow into his role to revive pressure from Ryan Arcidiacono.
9 Min, 0-2 FG, 1-2 FT, 2 Rebs, 0 Asst., 1 TO, 0 Blks, 0 Stl, 1 Pt
Despite getting the start his minutes were limited. This was due in part to picking up two fouls but he also didn't appear to get into the flow of the game at either end of the floor.
14 Min, 1-1 FG, 1-3 FTs, 4 Reb, 0 Asst, 1 TO, 1 Stl, 3 Pts
Continues to show a good feel for the game, some passing ability and a desire to finish aggressively around the tin. Appears to be getting more comfortable in Coach Wright's defense with each game. His FT shooting should improve as he gets more minutes and more reps in games. His shooting stroke in general is solid for a young post player.
12 Min, 1-3 FG, 0-2 3PFG, 0 Rebs, 0 Asst, 1 Stl, 0 TO, 2 Pts
Played some good defense. Hit a difficult floater along the baseline. He has a quick release on his three-ball and seems to shoot it at every opportunity where he has the space to do so. At some point in time he will need to temper his shooting enthusiasm and look for a post feed or look to drive and dish. Quick three jacks prior to Villanova obtaining some semblance of floor balance to rebound the ball can be counter-productive.
DNP - Coaches Decision
Villanova advances to 4-3 on the season … just in time for the remainder of the Big Five schedule. Temple visits the Pavilion on Wednesday night at 9PM. That game is followed up with a road trip to Penn and a home tilt with SJU(PA).