- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
- Sarah Palin’s online channel hits snag as Stephen Colbert buys similar URL
- SWAT spends seven hours in standoff with empty home
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan
Georgetown could learn from ‘Nova
Question of the Day
Georgetown should take a long, hard look at Villanova because in many ways Saturday's opponent has overcome much of what the Hoyas have not this season.
Like Georgetown, the Wildcats have a limited frontcourt rotation that relies on the undersized pairing of 6-foot-8 forwards Dante Cunningham and Antonio Pena for a post presence.
But Villanova hasn't just survived this size-strapped situation, it has thrived inside. The Wildcats took down Pittsburgh in their only meeting with the Big East's most rugged team and boast the league's fourth-best rebounding margin (plus-4.5).
Villanova also features a mixture of upperclass staples (Cunningham and junior guard Scottie Reynolds) and more ballyhooed underclassmen (sophomore guards Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes). The young and old Wildcats have meshed into a single effective unit as Reynolds and Stokes have shared the ball in the backcourt, while Cunningham (16.4 points, 7.2 rebounds) has taken a major step forward as a scorer.
Cunningham, a Silver Spring native who attended Potomac High School, has nearly doubled his scoring output as a senior.
"This year, the final piece is that he's become a confident shooter," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "He's always been a great leader, a great rebounder and an outstanding defender. ... This year, he's become a much better shooter, and I think that's caught everyone's attention. ... He's always been a coach's dream."
And while Villanova (23-5, 11-4 Big East) looks to improve its NCAA tournament seeding down the stretch, the Hoyas (14-12, 5-10) need to reverse their recent skein (losses in nine of their last 11 games) just to stay eligible for the National Invitation Tournament.
Statistics don't suggest Villanova is superior to Georgetown, at least not six games superior in Big East play. On paper, the only real difference between Georgetown and Villanova is experience. Five members of the Wildcats' eight-man rotation are upperclassmen, while only two of Georgetown's 10 scholarship players are.
"When you evaluate and vote [in the preseason], it's on how much talent do you have in your senior and junior classes," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said after the Cardinals beat Georgetown on Monday. "Outside of the Fab Five [on Michigan from 1991 to 1993], I haven't seen too many great teams with freshmen and sophomores.
"Georgetown is talented. They're good. They can get wins. But it's just experience that comes in the last 10 minutes [that is holding them back]. Georgetown is going to be great. ... They're young, and young teams don't win consistently in the Big East."
With just one senior on the roster (guard Jessie Sapp), the Hoyas could field one of the Big East's most experienced teams next season, particularly if both freshman center Greg Monroe and junior forward DaJuan Summers delay their NBA futures. Monroe has been emphatic in his plans to return to the Hilltop, and Summers on Friday denied rumors that he's considering making the jump to the NBA.
"There's too much basketball left to be played for any of us to address that at this point," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "I can assure you that all of my guys are totally focused on the immediate future of turning around this season."
About the Author
- Hoyas starting off with familiar test
- Hoyas open Big East play with win
- Back Judge: The bowl smorgasbord awaits
- Behind trio, Hoyas post matinee win
- Hoyas quickly bounce back
Latest Blog Entries
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Al Gore's climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- GOP report sees ties between rich donors, green 'nonprofits'
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- NAPOLITANO: Is the president incompetent or lawless?
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- House votes to sue President Obama over claims of presidential power
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world