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Villanova Q&A With IBBW

You're welcome for not using that weird cat here.
Syracuse plays their biggest game of the season so far with Villanova coming into a record crowd in the Carrier Dome. This game will most likely decide the regular season Big East Champion so the magnitude of this game is obvious. Therefore we bring you another question and answer session with Chris from the great Villanova blog I Bleed Blue & White. We talked to Chris last season before that tragic game in Philadelphia for the Orange. We're hoping the outcome changes this time.

1. Orange::44: Scottie Reynolds seems like he's been at Villanova forever. What kind of legacy do you see him having once he finally leaves school?

IBBW: It really depends on how this year shakes out. If we go back to the Final Four, he's in the conversation for greatest ever. If we win it all, he's absolutely the greatest to ever wear a 'Nova uniform. He's got a great shot at becoming the all-time leading scorer in school history (I think he's got it in the bag actually).

Really, he's been the rock of this program for the last 4 (okay fine, 9) years. After Ray, Foye and Lowry left there was a lot of uneasiness about what would happen to the program. His freshman/sophomores years both felt like they would be spent rebuilding, but he continually took us to the NCAA Tournament and beyond.

I think I'm in love with him.

2. Orange::44: How has your team managed to be so successful this season? Is Jay Wright doing something different or is it simply a matter of talent?

IBBW: A lot of it is just pure talent. You've got Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher, who you could argue are the top 1-2 combo in the country some nights. Pena has really stepped up his game and is filling Cunningham's role nicely, and Reggie Redding and Corey Stokes have been there too. Then you have the new guys, who have all been fabulous for freshman. Even Mouphtaou Yarou seems to finally be coming on.

Jay deserves his credit too though, as he's instilled an attitude amongst the team that 1. we're a team, not a bunch of players, and 2. your spot is not safe. That has led to a lot of the younger guys only getting 5-8 minutes a game, but they KILL themselves while they are out there. They know their role and they are good at it, because every one of them has gone through the doghouse phase it's felt like where their effort wasn't up to par.

3. Orange::44: Unlike Syracuse getting flack for LeMoyne beating them in a fake game, Villanova got beat in a real one by Temple in their home gym. Temple is a pretty good team this year, but it's still Temple. What happened?

IBBW: You son of a bitch, I knew you'd bring it up. Temple has turned into a pretty decent team this season, so it doesn't hurt as bad, and all 'Nova fans are accustomed to our one "what the hell?" OOC loss every year.

In that game, Temple (specifically Juan Fernandez) shot the friggan lights out and we couldn't shoot it in the ocean. They are a great defensive team, so I wasn't SHOCKED we didn't shoot well, but I was shocked at how they shot. That is really the story of the game. They would wind the clock down, hoist a 3, and bury it.

4. Orange::44: How will Villanova attack this revamped 2-3 Zone and do you think they will find success?

IBBW: I know you don't want to hear it, but we are one of the few teams that has consistently been able to beat your zone. I realize it is revamped, and I also realize that we don't have Dante Cunningham's automatic 12-15 footer anymore, which is a big issue.

Pena hasn't shown he can hit that foul-line jumper, but I think he's a smart enough player to do some damage in that area. And we're also going to need Corey Stokes and Taylor King to have great shooting nights. There will be stretches where we can't get it inside, so can we hit the jumpers? That's a big issue. Corey Fisher should be able to get by the top of that zone though, and he can cause havoc in the lane.

5. Orange::44: Who, besides Reynolds, will step up for Villanova and make an expected or unexpected impact on the game?

IBBW: As I just mentioned, Stokes and King will be huge. If we're going to win they need to hit some treys. Corey Fisher as well, because if he can get into the zone, he can get the bigs in foul trouble and finish as well. And lastly, Antonio Pena and Mouphtaou Yarou are going to need to deal with Jackson and Onuaku. They're a load. Pena needs help and Yarou looks like he cold be ready to play some D.

6. Orange::44: Finally, prediction time. How do you see this game playing out? Who do you see claiming the top spot in the league?

IBBW: My head says Syracuse. Playing too well right now, and The Dome is going to be insane (still pissed I'm not going). I think they'll be too much for us at their place. I can't believe we aren't playing twice this year. Seems like a crime.

But who would I be if I didn't pick my boys? Scottie adds to his legend and gets us back into the hunt for a #1 seed and gives us the inside track to the conference title. 'Nova squeaks one out 78-76.

Thanks to Chris for the time and answering the questions. The answers to his questions on his site are right here. Get your knowledge on folks.

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