1. Orange::44: Villanova beat
Brian: The Wildcats had a great shooting performance in that game, and the ability to connect on 11 3-point shots. It's hard to lose when you shoot that well. Early success in that game was largely a product of shooting over the zone, but later in the game they were able to penetrate as well.
2. Orange::44: Corey Stokes has been out injured the last few games. What is the latest on his injury and do you see him playing against
Brian: Stokes has told reporters and fellow students that he would return for this game. He was out with the team prior to the DePaul game for the shoot-around, and that is clearly a good sign. When he was pulled from the
3. Orange::44: Villanova lost at
Brian: Turnovers absolutely killed Villanova in
Against DePaul it was really a lack of scoring. For most of the team, the shots just weren't falling on Saturday. Four players attempted a three-pointer against DePaul, but only Corey Fisher actually netted one (he had 5). Villanova has had games like that before, and they need to find ways to compensate.
4. Orange::44: Corey Fisher is a good player but doesn't seem to get the acclaim that other Big East guards have been getting this season. Why not, and does he deserve more?
Brian: He was named a Cousy Award finalist, which is a pretty high honor. He hasn't had the type of season that Kemba Walker has had though, and largely that might be because there are other scoring options on the team (and for much of UConn's season, there wasn't).
DePaul was really his "Breakout" game, in my opinion, as the first one where he really just took over and won the game for Villanova. He has had other tremendous games here and there, but none where he really seemed to just will his team to a win like that.
He has definitely been deserving of some acclaim, but I'm not sure that he had ever been as important to Villanova as Kemba Walker is to UConn or Austin Freeman is to
5. Orange::44: It seems despite their stumble against
Brian: Nobody in college right now is unbeatable, but Pitt has been one of the toughest opponents in Big East play by far. Everyone has picked up a few losses in-conference so far, and Pitt's have come against some pretty good teams.
6. Orange::44: What will be the key match-ups Monday? What can
Brian: With Stokes out, I am most interested in seeing Mouph Yarou fight with Rick Jackson on the boards. It should also be interesting to see Scoop Jardine take on either Wayns or Fisher.
The 'Cats have had trouble with turnovers recently and the best way for
Getting out ahead early also helps. Wayns and Fisher are far more likely to cough the ball up when they feel the need to force plays to get back into a game.
Thanks to Brian for taking the time. You can read more from him on Villanova at VUHoops.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @brianisawesome. Check out the answers to my questions here, along with the usual Philadelphia ridiculousness in the comments. You stay classy Philly! John will have the Villanova preview later today so stay tuned.