A number of the other fine Villanova blogs, have assembled tremendous previews, for this evening's game, between the Wildcats (1-0 overall) and the Penn Quakers (this is their season opener) .... Take a look at what they had to say, thus far-
Villanova by the Numbers - Penn Preview
greyCat does his usual superb job, with a particularly long analysis... Here's a sample:
The Wildcats and Quakers face off in the opening game of the 59th renewal of Philadelphia's famed Big 5 series, at the Pavilion on Villanova's campus. The series, held annually since 1955, pits (a period during the 1990s excepted) Philadelphia's four city colleges (La Salle, Penn, St. Joseph's and Temple) and Villanova in a round robin series of games that, in the period before conferences, often reached a climax as each season ended. Today, Villanova typically plays most, if not all, of their Big 5 slate before they launch into the Big East regular season. This season is unusual in that Villanova will play 2 of their 4 rivals even before the end of November.
...Should the Wildcats beat the Quakers, they will have notched at least 30 wins in the decade, and be guaranteed a winning percentage no worse than 0.750. Villanova has won the City Series 5 times since 2004, sharing the title twice during that run (2005 & 2008, both times with Temple). Villanova leads their series with Penn, 39-17, and puts a six game winning streak versus Penn on the line...
I Bleed Blue and White - preGame: #5 Villanova vs. PennWhat Others Say......Blue Ribbon projects the the Quakers to finish 3rd in the Ivy League -- an improvement over last season's #7 finish (in the 8 team Ivy League) -- and gives the backcourt a B, the frontcourt a C and the bench/depth a C. Rush the Court writer Dave Zeitlin also projected Penn as the 3rd place team in his Ivy League preview, citing the return of Andreas Schreiber and Darren Smith as reasons to look for Coach Miller to have a solid starting line up. But Harrison Gaines' departure will have the Quakers looking for scoring from the remaining members of the rotation.
A sample from Chris's preview:
What I Want To See: The defense that came out in the 2nd half against FDU. That was an embarrassing performance in the opening 20 minutes. Chalk it up to pregame jitters for the team, but that can’t happen again, especially in a Big 5 game. Villanova is the hated school in the Big 5, and Penn will be gunning to ruin their night. Suffocate their perimeter shooting early and build a lead and then put the nail in the coffin.And, last but not certainly not least, of course, VUHoops, which has posted A Look at Penn, authored by derp.... This is a very substantive preview, breaking down each Quaker player, for example. Here's another sample from the end of the preview:
Penn lost their first game this season to Penn State by a score of 70-55. The Quakers really struggled to contain Taylor Battle, meaning the quicker Villanova guards could give Penn trouble on the defensive end. Given Villanova is arguably the toughest game on the Penn schedule and is a local rival, expect the Quakers to give the Wildcats everything that they have. This does not seem to be a team that will beat themselves and has a good amount of veteran leadership.
The Quakers do not have many incredibly big players with no one taller than 6’9, but boast 12 players 6’6 or taller, so Villanova will have to play relatively big or hope their athleticism allows them to compensate for a lack of height on the defensive end and rebounding if they play small.
Penn definitely could give Villanova a tough game with their experience and ability to convert from the stripe if/when some of the Wildcats younger big men foul, but based on the Wildcats recent history in the Big 5 and against the Quakers, superior talent level, and Penn’s recent loss to a Penn State team that most would agree does not have near the talent that our Wildcats have, I would expect a Villanova victory by a relatively large margin. As Fairleigh Dickinson showed us in the first half on Friday, however, a hungry team with less talent (and some good experience in the case of Penn) can cause these somewhat inexperienced Wildcats problems.
Of course, to read the full versions, just follow the respective links above.... And I'll have a complete wrapup of the Penn game, after the conclusion of tonight's City Series opener...
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