Category: Villanova (page 1 of 11)

The Best Point Guard in the Country Just Committed to Villanova over Temple

From VU Hoops:

Jalen Brunson, a 6’1″ 190 lb. consensus 5-star point guard from Lincolnshire, Ill., has verbally committed to the Villanova Wildcats. Brunson, who plays his high school basketball for Stevenson (IL) and for the Mac Irvin Fire on the AAU circuit, announced his decision at a press conference at his high school on Wednesday afternoon.

Prior to the trip to Villanova, Brunson had visited in-state Illinois, and had planned trips to Temple (his father Rick’s alma mater), Michigan State and Purdue. Most had long considered the Owls’ the frontrunner due to the family ties, but Jay Wright and his staff were able to convince Jalen – originally from Cherry Hill, NJ – to continue his career in on the Main Line.


Victory_logoGet one.


Your Friday Mid-Day Roundup

And now, here’s some stuff that fell by the wayside this week:

Homefront Gameplay Walkthrough

That post-Korean-invasion video game that will be set in an occupied Philadelphia released a gameplay walkthrough at E3 this week. There’s not much in the way of landmarks or Philly-isms in the video, but hey, the game looks pretty cool.

Jay Wright at #18

ESPN’s college basketball site has been ranking the top 50 coaches in college basketball, and Villanova’s Jay Wright landed at the number 18 spot. Here’s some of what Dana O’Neil — who used to cover Nova for the Daily News — had to say:

“‘The perception is he’s the handsome guy that wears the $5,000 suits,’ said Patrick Chambers, the coach at Penn State who spent five years as Wright’s assistant coach at Villanova. ‘But so many people are out there trying to impress other coaches with how smart they are and what they do. Jay isn’t into any of that. He’s so comfortable in his own skin.’

Some of that comes with time. Wright has been at this head-coaching gig now for 19 years, the last 12 at Villanova. He knows the game, as in basketball, and he knows The Game, as in the business of basketball.

But so much of his talent is innate. In his first year at Villanova, he attracted a highly skilled recruiting class and most everyone expected immediate results. Immediate instead took a backseat to two painful years in the NIT. Yet when everyone — including those who now count themselves as die-hard, lifelong fans — wanted Wright out for lack of production, he didn’t blink.”

Report on the Katz Crash

The NTSB report on the plane crash that killed Lewis Katz and others has been released, and among its findings — according to the Inquirer — is that pilot error may be to blame:

“Flight data recorders found no evidence that the two pilots performed a preflight check. Apparently they didn’t realize that the Gulfstream jet’s tail flaps, known as elevators, were locked when it tried to takeoff from Hanscom field outside Boston on May 31, the report indicated.”

The Central Bucks Browns

As the Cleveland Browns hope to finally actually begin to rebuild, around one so-called Mr. Football, it’s worth pointing out the many of the minds behind Cleveland’s on-field product are local guys. New head coach Mike Pettine and his defensive coordinator and linebackers coach all played at Doylestown’s CB West under the coaching guidance of Pettine’s father. A piece follows Pettine back to Doylestown and also gives you an insight into the new head honcho of the Browns’ sartorial inclinations:

“Dressed in a Foo Fighters T-shirt and a pair of camo shorts, Pettine enjoyed his respite from trying to turn around one of the NFL’s perennial losers. He stood around a high-top table, watching the Belmont, sipping on a beer and accepting a few man hugs from locals who marvel at his transformation from high school coach to low-level NFL assistant to Browns head coach.

What made the two-day trip special was the toggling between past and present. Pettine brought members of the Browns coaching staff on a limousine bus across the width of Pennsylvania to work an annual youth football clinic run by Browns defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil. Pettine, O’Neil and linebackers coach Chuck Driesbach all played at CB West in different decades under Mike Pettine Sr.”

Long Fly Balls

deep fly

According to the estimations and calculations of ESPN’s Mark Simon, the Phillies outfield is one of the worst in baseball when it comes to catching balls hit to the deepest parts of the park. They rank 24th in making outs on balls hit 350-ish+ feet in the air. File this under “least surprising news of the week.”


attend loyalty

Gregory Kaminski at Maass Media took a look at fan loyalty in Philadelphia, factoring in attendance of the Phillies and Flyers — discounting the Eagles because of their small sample size and the Sixers because oh boy they’ve been terrible — and figured out what we already knew: Philly fans are loyal. Kaminsky discovered both the Phillies and Flyers, over the past eight years, have attendance numbers above the league average. Kaminsky says:

“So does this data prove anything? I’m not really sure, but it does help to move the conversation forward and give us sports fans something to talk and debate about. And isn’t that all we really want anyway?”

We disagree, what it tells us is holy shit the MLB has terrible league-wide attendance numbers.

Giving You The Peacock

And finally, up in New York, 30 Rockefeller Plaza (aka the G.E. Building and the RCA Building before that) will soon wear the brand of Comcast, a small regional company. According to PhillyMag, 30 Rock will soon sport “big, glowing neon lights that will shout ‘COMCAST’ to the Big Apple sky.” It’s a way for Comcast to flaunt their power over New York, but this is also a great time to point out the our own Comcast Tower has no large signage denoting it as such, and we’re 100% on board with that.


Just Jay Wright Hanging Out with the President

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Photo credit: Chuck Kennedy

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This popped up in my timeline this morning. It’s a picture taken last week when Jay Wright and other notable but less good looking college coaches visited Washington for a leadership forum at the Pentagon. The trip apparently included a stop at the West Wing for an Oval Office photo with the President.

That would be Jay’s wife, Patti, whom Obama’s right arm is around. And as you might recall, Patti has sort of a crush on Barry. From one of the first posts ever on this site (March, 2010):

“I always thought he had a great basketball mind. I really did,” Wright said about Obama. “I like his game. I saw him play. I hope he’s right. If the president likes your program, that’s a great thing. I’ll take it. I voted for him. If [his wife] Patti gets to meet him, that’s even better. She loves him, more than [she does] me. She said, ‘What does that mean? Do I get to meet him?’ [His son] Reilly wants to meet him to. But Patti’s got a crush on him.”

Tough to compete with the President and his massive Resolute desk.

Meanwhile, here’s a picture of Phil Martelli hanging out with a guy who looks like Joe Biden, I guess?


The Villanova Final Four Team is Reuniting for $500k Basketball Tournament in Philly

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Game over.

You’ve probably heard about The Basketball Tournament… a single-elimination basketball tournament (as it turns out) coming to Philadelphia University on June 6-8. 32 teams were selected out of more than 100 applicant squads– 24 based on the size of their “fan group” and 8 selected by the tournament committee. The final two teams to come out of that opening weekend will advance to play in the championship game on June 28 at the fan-decided home court of one of the two teams, with the winning squad taking home $500k in cash.

The rules are only this: Players have to be 18 or older, a legal US resident, and willing to forgo any amateur status that they may have (with the NCAA). This is a straight-up cash tournament, the likes of which has never been seen before. Needless to say, many former college and fringe NBA players are in the tournament – such as Smush Parker and Rashad McCants on Big Apple Basketball – but the best, most cohesive group, according to biased Nova grads, might be Team Roby:

The city of brotherly love will be well represented in TBTROBY (Rock Out Be You) brings back Villanova’s 2009 Final Four team, including Scottie Reynolds, Dante Cunningham, Dwayne Anderson, Corey Fisher and Reggie Redding. This time around, however, the team’s singular goal is to win the whole thing in front of an adoring Philadelphia fan-base.  At least four other contenders list their hometown as Philadelphia.

Good God, they’re getting the squad back together.

The Basketball Tournament has gotten a lot of attention online. I’ve had a few teams reach out to me about being a supporter, sponsor or manager of some sort (so they could get enough fans to qualify), and though I would’ve loved to have gotten involved, it was too much of a time commitment (hence why I’m hiring a second person). But consider my support firmly tossed behind Team Roby and the 09 Cats. In fact… they could probably use some warmups:


Tickets for TBT go on-sale May 22. You can read more details here.


Congratulations to Our Bracket Winners

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Congratulations to the winners of our Crossing Broad-Cibos bracket challenge. Your top finishers and prize winners:

First place: Kelbelle521-Totes Ma Goats, winner of an iPad Air

Second place: Rematch-thedahc, winner of their choice of a signed Domonic Brown baseball or a $60 gift card to the Crossing Broad Store

Third place: By virtue of National Championship score tiebreaker, Joey Beppler-Simply McNabbulous, winner of a signed Domonic Brown baseball or a $60 gift card to the Crossing Broad Store

I’ve already been in touch with Kelbelle, but if you’re Rematch or Joey Beppler, please email CrossingBroad[at]gmail[dot]com to claim your prize.

Thanks to our tremendous sponsor, Cibos. If you haven’t already, please, please check out the Cibos App, where you can get automated sports scores right inside your Twitter app. No need to search timelines for the latest Tweet on the game. It simply works and is beautiful in its simplicity.

You can download the app here. Also, follow Cibos on Twitter (@CibosApp).


Former Villanova Star Dante Cunningham Arrested for Domestic Abuse

First Tollie, then the Mack & Manco people, and now Dante Cunningham?!

One of my all-time favorite Villanova basketball players, Cunningham was arrested early this morning under the suspicion of domestic abuse:

At 4:01 a.m. Thursday, Medina police received a call of a physical domestic altercation at Cunningham’s residence in the 400 block of Medina Road, said Ed Belland, director of public safety for Medina.

An unidentified female displayed signs of an altercation, but no medical care was needed, Belland said. Belland declined to detail the signs or if children were present.

“The suspect (Cunningham) left the scene, but the suspect returned and was arrested without incident,” Belland said.

Belland said Cunningham returned within about 15 minutes and did not risk further possible charges for leaving the scene.

The Timberwolves put out a press release:

“We are aware of the matter involving Dante Cunningham and are in the process of gathering more information. Dante will not be traveling with the team to Miami this afternoon. The Minnesota Timberwolves organization takes the matter very seriously and does not condone the type of behavior that is associated with this situation. However, we need to let the legal process run its course, and will have further comment at the appropriate time.”

And you wonder why I’m a cynic. Everything that was ever sacred to me becomes ruined. I’m now seriously worried that the Ninja Turtles will be brought up on racketeering charges. Poor Splinter, he knew nothing!


There Hath Shall Be No Holy War

Photo credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

St. Joe’s

For a while there I wondered how I was going to reconcile an internal conflict that was developing, how I was going to flip the switch from rooting for St. Joe’s last night to burn them until they’re dead on Saturday. Unfortunately, Phil Martelli and his inability to orchestrate even the most basic of plays to put away UCONN cost the Hawks their lead and pretty much any shot of winning in overtime. The fact that they play five players doesn’t help, either. UCONN looked harder, better, faster, stronger down the stretch and in overtime. That was a winnable game for St. Joe’s and they pissed it into the night. It also demonstrated the difference between A-10 teams and major programs– depth. St. Joe’s and their starting five matched up fine with UCONN, but you can’t have a team with NO BENCH PLAYERS and expect to beat a program like UCONN. St. Joe’s didn’t get a point from a non-starter. Not a single fucking point. I’m sure Neil Hartman is disappointed that there will be no Hanging with the Hawks brought to you by some shitty local business segment this year.



I was never really worried when they were down in the first half and only up four at halftime. They didn’t make a three-pointer until midway through the second half, and they were still winning. Their defense looked quite good. [They were down 10 at halftime to American in the opening round in 2009 and went to the Final Four.] That said, they absolutely can not come out of the gate like that again. Their season will be over the next time they do. All year they took it to lesser opponents, but in the last two games they played down to their level for way too long. I don’t think getting up for UCONN (who looked disinterested for a while last night) will be a problem, and obviously anything after that is a huge game. Villanova will never stop shooting. Make or miss– their motto is shoot ‘em up, sleep in the streets (that’s actually their motto). That’s what Jay tells his kids– keep shooting. It’ll take them as far as they can go. If they’re making shots, coupled with their defense, they’re good enough to win the National Championship. Seriously. The problem is all it takes is one off shooting night to send them home quietly. They’re more well-rounded than other teams Jay’s had, but they still rely on the three. They should beat UCONN. They should beat them by a lot. But they should’ve beat Seton Hall by a lot and they should’ve crushed Milwaukee. I’m nervous.


Villanova-UCONN starts at 9:40 p.m. on Saturday.


My Perfect Bracket

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[click to enlarge]

I hath seen the future and bring to you its winners.

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