After dropping two consecutive games to Georgetown and Notre Dame, Saturday’s affair – or tryst, if you will – with Nova looks like a must-win. Unfortunately, no team in the Big East is as hungry for a win as Jay Wright’s squad. After cruising through their non-conference schedule, Villanova again proved why the Big East is the premier basketball league in the country, dropping games to Depaul, Rutgers, and even the Johnnies. They have now fallen to a dismal 3-6 conference record, falling well short of expectations and turning the naysayers into soothsayers.
Villanova has an incredibly talented roster, with many players who hail from our great Garden State, which is actually infuriating. Two talented freshmen, Casiem Drummond and Corey Stokes, are from West Orange and Bayonne respectively, and together they account for more than 10 points per game – not bad for a couple rooks. Of course, the biggest challenge for the Hall will be to keep these sorts of talented high school standouts from Jersey in Jersey. This is a theme Dave and I will continue to harp on…it is the Rod Thorn in the side of every NJ college hoops believer.
It’s going to be very interesting to see the spread on this game. Nova is at home, and they have the talent advantage, but they’ve also dropped five in a row! I expect rebounding will be key in this game. Part of the reason Notre Dame absolutely destroyed the Hall was that they hit the boards consistently on both ends of the court. Look for Mike Davis to get a lot of minutes, and hopefully establish a physical presence inside. On the perimeter, the guards for Nova are nasty – Scottie Reynolds in particular – but guard-play (foreplay?) is a strength for Seton Hall as well. Also, Nunu tends to have his best games against higher profile opponents – think Singletary from Virginia.
Seton Hall has a good chance of pulling this one out, but I wish I felt a little more confident. It’s just hard to tell. Like a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos played in the basement, sometimes the table is slanted a little.
Seton Hall: 67