Posts for Villanova Category

An Excellent GQ Article on Jay Wright

Kyle Scott - March 13, 2017

Jay Wright is the subject of an excellent GQ article written by Larry Platt – wait, ball photo-sending Larry Platt? yes, indeed – which focuses on Wright’s zen and the mental approach he teaches his players. It’s an outstanding sports article, but if you need a further hook, this did it for me:

To spend some fly-on-the-wall time backstage with a major college basketball program is to marvel at the diversity of decisions that confront the head coach. He is a CEO toiling at a strange and singular work, running a lucrative, persnickety operation. Wright focuses on minimizing his choices and the worries. This is how the Philadelphia-area tailor Gabriele D’Annunzio found his way to Wright’s office one day when I was hanging out there.

The 72-year-old D’Annunzio has outfitted the likes of Frank Sinatra and Frankie Avalon. On this day, though, D’Annunzio comes to Wright, and the coach barely interrupts a day focused on Villanova basketball. To further aid in eliminating decisions, D’Annunzio will later give Wright photos of outfit combinations that populate his two spacious closets—one dedicated to his suits and just shy of 50 shirts, another providing a home to his shoes.

While the coach and the tailor huddle over a table full of fabrics, a parade of Villanova staffers burst in to run a variety of pressing matters by Wright. As he discusses team chemistry with associate head coach Baker Dunleavy, he drops his gym shorts and slides on a pair of tuxedo pants.

Where were we? Ah, right, the article. It’s good. Go read it here.

Villanova Is The Greatest College Basketball Team in Philly History

Kyle Scott - March 13, 2017

Glen Macnow, after my own heart:

You’re not compelled to root for Villanova. College basketball divides the local fan base into a half-dozen smaller constituencies. There are thousands of enthusiasts with cherry-red sweatshirts or Holy War scars who struggle to cheer for the Main Line Wildcats.

You must, however, admire what is happening here. As Jay Wright’s defending National Champions head into the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, the magnitude of their greatness cannot be overstated.

This is the best college basketball team in our history. They stand to be the top local team, any sport, since those Flyers of the mid-1970s.

I AGREE. Read the full thing here.

Side note: My Holy War scar? It’s the reason for my Phil Martelli hate. As a Nova student, I’m sitting in the stands at the Palestra and Martelli is headed to the locker room at halftime, crushing us, and looks up at the student section, claps his hands facetiously, and flashes a menacing smile. He was dead to me after that. Jay Wright would never do such a thing to an opposing fan base, let alone a local school’s. He has too much class. So does Fran Dunphy, Dr. G, and whoever coaches Penn (probably). That was a Boeheim move from Martelli. Even Jim Calhoun has more respect for the game. And so, when I had to deliver a rant on Great Sports Debate a few years ago while Martelli was at the table, it took every fiber of my being not to stop what I was doing, look him directly in the eye, and declare that the Hawk was dead.

Let’s Talk About The East Region

Kyle Scott - March 13, 2017

The National Champions, who have won their last three tournaments and five of their last seven – SEVEN! – who finished the season 31-3, with the number one RPI, are the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. It’s almost like… the best just keep getting better.

Some thoughts on the East Region: 26, 25, 20, 19. Those are the combined loss totals of the 8 and 9 seeds in each of the four regions. The 19 represents the combined loss total of Wisconsin and Virginia Tech in the East– one of which will face Villanova in the second round. Explain to me, pllllleeeeeease, how the top overall seed gets a 25-9 team from the Big 10 or a 22-10 team from the ACC IN THE SECOND ROUND? These aren’t mid majors that racked up wins with a St. Joe’s-like schedule. These are teams from arguably the top two conferences in college basketball, each with 10 or fewer losses. THAT AIN’T MAKE NO SENSE!

Look, I know Wisconsin nearly imploded down the stretch, going 2-5 to end their regular season before making it to their conference championship game (…), but I am flummoxed that a Big 10 team with under 10 losses gets matched up with the top overall seed. Say nothing for how pissed you’d be if you were a Wisconsin fan, even one who doesn’t think they’ll beat VT:

Virginia Tech will get throated by Villanova if they advance.

But back to Wisconsin. To me, they are the scariest NCAA team every year. To my dad, too. When he called me last night, on speaker, in front of my 15-month old, the first word out of his mouth was: “FUCK!” He also hates Wisconsin. Why? They’re basically an automatic for the Sweet 16. Look at this: Continue Reading

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Villanova’s Proposed Pavilion Renovations Look AWESOME

Kyle Scott - March 9, 2017

I wasn’t too bullish on a Pavilion reno that won’t increase seating capacity or raise that God awful roof. But new renderings released yetserday show off what Villanova has planned for the Finneran Pavilion (whose name I assume shall remain so long as its benefactor doesn’t shoot a wrestler), and I’ve got to admit, it looks good:

It seems they’re keeping the exposed wood beams but painting the ceiling white, adding a second level to the open area that doubles as a concourse behind the south stands (student section), building a court-level club area and new student seating under the north stands, and giving the disconnected concourse and seating bowl a more cohesive flow. It should be a great place to host one of the best programs in college basketball.

Pics after the jump. Continue Reading

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Excellent Parenting

Kyle Scott - March 9, 2017

Great fathering here. Never mind the work it took to put together the excellent stop-motion – complete with nonchalant Jay Wright bang – the ability to set aside rooting interests for the betterment of your offspring is truly something all parents should strive for. Like me. My wife’s family has a few Yankees fans in it and already broached the subject of buying Kyle 2 a Yankees hat. I quickly squashed that noise, but I am preparing a highly edited, unfiltered 10-minute video clip recapping the 2004 ALCS and Game 1 (Game 1 only) of the 2009 World Series to brainwash uh, influence his decision on who to root for should there be any hesitation.

As for Villanova– he doesn’t have to go there. I just have one simple rule: he can go to Villanova or any school ranked higher (Princeton, Harvard, etc.). So he can’t, for instance, go to St. Joe’s. Though I’d be happy to make him a stop-motion of John Lucas III’s shot:

IT’S MARCH MADNESS, BABY!

Side note: Jim Nantz has really improved as an announcer. His 2004 call was disjointed and anticlimactic, while his call of Nova’s shot was descriptive and perfectly captured the moment. I’m coming around on Nantz.

H/T to (@mnelson228)

Villanova Fans Chanted “Trust the Process” at Joel Embiid

Jim Adair - February 7, 2017

I’m writing this because Kyle is either 1. at the game or 2. freaking out so much he’s unconscious.

Joel Embiid decided to take in the Villanova game tonight against Georgetown:

And Nova fans noticed – you can’t exactly miss the dude – and welcomed him:

And Embiid himself recorded it as part of his Instagram story:

Image uploaded from iOS (6)

It’s damn near impossible to find a bad thing to say about Joel Embiid and I’m going to be really, really sad when that’s not true anymore.

ESPN Fawns All Over Villanova

Kyle Scott - February 4, 2017

The National Champions were the topic du jour on College Gameday today and, somewhat surprisingly given that Villanova doesn’t play its games on ESPN, the crew raved about the best team in college basketball.

There’s something magical about this team. There’s something that just feels right about this team.

You’re goddamn right there is.

Kyle Lowry May Have Won The Muslim Ban Protest

Kyle Scott - January 30, 2017

Leave it to that Villanova education to cut through all the particulars and boil a matter down to its essence: “It’s bullshit.”

I yearn – YEARN – for the Sixers to sign Kyle Lowry when he becomes a free agent next year– he’s shown he can play with a ball dominant scoring guard, he’s a great defender, and would add a great veteran presence on the Sixers. And he’s a local kid who was molded by molder of men Jay Wright. No bullshit.