I’m warning you now: if Villanova keeps playing the way they have been lately and makes a run to the Sweet 16*, it’s going to get real insufferable around here for St. Joe's and Temple folks**. With that being said, here’s an awesome collection of .GIFs of the Villanova #BenchMob from our friend Brian Ewart of VUHoops.com.
*It’s not as crazy as it sounds. The Villanova team that made the Final Four in 2009 was hardly Jay Wright’s most talented (Randy Foye, Allan Ray, Kyle Lowry, Mike Nardi and Curtis Sumpter in 2005). But it was his most athletic. Dante Cunningham, Dwayne Anderson and Shane Clark were the three long, athletic forwards that took Villanova to the next level. Unlike on the four guards teams, those three guys, along with 6’5 Reggie Redding, gave Villanova inside and mid-range scoring that put an end to the long scoring droughts that plague guard-heavy teams. More importantly, those guys contributed to a helter skelter defense that became a nightmare for teams like UCLA and Duke in the tournament. Their long arms, quickness and tenacity made it virtually impossible, for long stretches, for the opposition to get the ball into the paint, and when they were able to, a crazed double or triple-team often greeted them. This year’s team is much more inexperienced than the 2009 squad (obvs), and doesn’t have Scottie Reynolds and an NBA forward. But they play a similar style. There were substantial portions of the second half in the Pitt and Georgetown games when those teams struggled to get anything going offensively thanks to Villanova’s team defense. It can be exploited with good ball movement, but it requires patience, something that teams trailing in the second half of, say, NCAA tournament games might not have. Villanova can lose to anybody… but they can also beat just about anybody. I’m a homer and I like them as an upset special, baby!
**The comments on this should be fun.