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What The Hell Happened To Villanova

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This is more of an open question than a definitive argument. Its a question that has surely perplexed many minds far more attuned to the foibles of College Basketball than me. If you are just now checking into College Basketball I get that. And I am sure you are stunned to find Villanova sitting on a sub 500 record in the middle of January. The question is why. Nova has really gone down hill since the December 28th game against West Virginia. They have lost 4 of their last five, being outscored by 32 points during that stretch. The only win in that stretch came against DePaul. The question is why. I have some theories.

1) The bottom has fallen out of the defense.

The Offense has gotten the pub for the Wildcats for most of the Jay Wright era. And with good reason, Nova has generally been a blast to watch during his tenure. I have never been a big fan of an individual player, but I loved the way the 2009 team played the game with tons of spacing and crisp precise ball movement. They were a joy to watch.

But there has always been a defense underneath that offensive veneer. This year? Not so much. By any metric this defense has taken a big step back. Even last year's team wasn't great defensively, but this years group has taken another step back. The offense is more or less the same, but the iffy defense has eroded their margin for error.

2) Too much Malik Wayns

Not so much too much, but not in the right places. Wayns is the best offensive player on the roster this year, and he does have to produce. But his efficiency has been terrible this year. He is shooting just 40 per cent from the field and a terrible 27 per cent from 3. On top of that he has a 1.6 assist/turnover ratio.* Wayns actually has the 2nd lowest O rating among WIldcat regulars, and he plays more minutes and has a higher usage rate than anyone else on the Wildcats team.

*For reference Cashmere Wright's A/TO is 2.2

3) Terrible From Deep

If you are a college Basketball team that is struggling on the offensive end, and Villanova is certainly struggling relative to their previous outputs, that can be worked around if you are good from three point land. Villanova is shooting 30 per cent from three on the year, and that is a big reason for their lack of production. In short the Wildcats play from behind religiously and the biggest weapon of scaling large deficits eludes them

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