To the Wildcat faithful-
For tonight's battle with the Seton Hall Pirates, I'd like to highly recommend the detailed and very substantive question exchange, between Chris at the fine Villanova blog, I Bleed Blue and White, and the equally fine Seton Hall site, Gonzo Ball.
Some key quotes from Gonzo Ball's GonzoSHU:
Seton Hall fans are all too familiar with Scottie as he came into South Orange last year and put forth one of the most impressive performances of his collegiate career finishing with: 40PTS (15-of-16 FT, 5-3PT) 4REB/3AST/2STL en route to a Wildcat victory. Paging Keon Lawrence. I don't care about Keon's offensive struggles thus far this season, if he can limit Reynolds to under 15 points, it will be considered a worthy performance whether or not he has a quiet offensive night himself...
The two teams play a very similar fast-paced offensive game, however, Villanova unquestionably has the superior talent. That doesn't mean Seton Hall won't be able to hang. What it does mean is Seton Hall will need a top notch defensive effort like we saw against Pittsburgh if the Pirates intend to keep this one close. I spoke more on this in my answers from today's Q&A with I Bleed Blue and White:
Will Gonzo drastically alter his game plan in an attempt to slow down Tuesday’s game? I don’t believe so. I think Seton Hall will be able to keep up with the Wildcats for much of the first half, but there will come a point where Hazell starts missing his shots, the Pirates will go through a scoring drought and the flood gates will open for Villanova. It’s important for Seton Hall to raise their defensive intensity from what was on display at South Florida in an attempt to slow Villanova during these stretches. If their defense doesn’t respond, the boys from Jersey are in for a long night at the Pavilion.The Pirates will need to jump all over the Wildcats defensively in an attempt to create turnovers, 'Nova does give up the ball as they sport a nearly even assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.1AST/1TO. It's imperative that the Pirates lock down defensively in their half court set as Villanova will have little trouble breaking Gonzo's full court press. Of course, the Pirates must also take advantage on the glass as Herb Pope will battle with Brooklyn native, Antonio Pena (10.9PTS/7.6REB) for the majority of the night.
Should the Pirates finish on top in the rebounding and turnover aspects of the game, I believe the game's winner will rest on Scottie's shoulders. If the senior scores 20+ the Wildcats win, otherwise, the Pirates could save their season with a stunning road victory. We've learned (at least) one thing from watching the Pirates this season, if they bring their A game, they will compete with anybody, the talent is there. The problem at hand remains, we've only seen brief glimpses of said A game and they're running out of opportunities to make the honor roll.
Full links - they're all worth reading in their entirety - check them out!
Finally, don't forget to check out the Viewpoint comprehensive preview on Seton Hall, as well as Villanova moving up to the #2 spot nationally.