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Aftermath of Georgetown Loss: Six Questions

Georgetown Villanova Basketball

Today’s game against Georgetown left Villanova fans with a lot of questions, so let’s answer them.

1. Why did Villanova lose?  If I had to pinpoint one reason, it would be Georgetown’s defense.  The Wildcats found it nearly impossible to get the ball to Dante Cunningham all day long.  The Hoyas also did a tremendous job guarding the perimeter.  Villanova took 16 shots from beyond the arc and made just three of those attempts.  Overall, the Wildcats made just 15 of 45 shots and it wasn’t poor shooting, it was that they weren’t getting good attempts.

2. What’s the deal with Scottie Reynolds?  Down the stretch, Reynolds struggled and he heard about it from the crowd.  He committed six turnovers on the day, most of which came in the final 10 minutes of the game.  The types of turnovers were the real problem.  Reynolds struggled just catching the ball, and also seemed to dribble into impossible situations that ended the way you would expect, with a turnover.  To make matters worse for the junior guard, he shot just 2 for 10 from the field.  Reynolds has been up and down all season, but this may have been a new low point.  However, every other time fans are about to turn on him, he has delivered a strong performance.  Expect, a bounce back game against Notre Dame on Monday.

3. Where was the bench?  Over the course of its hot streak, Villanova has been able to get consistent production from its bench, particularly from Corey Fisher.  Today Fisher had six points and fellow sophomore reserve Corey Stokes also managed just six points.  Together they shot a very ugly 3 of 15 from the floor.  Everyone shot poorly today, so it is likely just a blip on the radar.  However, it shows that this team plays well when Fisher plays well, and he did not today.

4.  How did the struggling Wildcats defense do today?  It was really a mixed bag.  They started off strong, allowing the Hoyas to hit just 3 of their first 11 shots.  However, the Hoyas then converted on 13 of their next 16 attempts.  Later in the game, Villanova was able to keep Georgetown at 52 points for almost the entire final five minutes.  In the end, Georgetown scored 56 points, shot 48.9 percent from the field and 25 percent from beyond the arc.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was improving.  They will face a much tougher task Monday against Notre Dame.

5.  What does this loss mean for the NCAA Tournament?  There is one type of loss that the selection committee looks down on.  That is the loss at home to an unranked team, so without question, this was exactly what Villanova didn’t need.  The loss probably drops them down from a three seed to a four seed, which makes things a lot tougher for a spot in Philadelphia.  A loss by Clemson today eases the pain in that regard but not enough to feel comfortable.  Villanova is safely in the NCAA Tournament and will likely be no lower than a five seed, but to feel good about their chances of playing in Philadelphia they will need to win their final two regular season games.

6.  Does this loss mean no double-bye in Big East?  Not necessarily.  However, Villanova used to control its own destiny for a double-bye and now it does not.  The chances are still 50/50, I would say.  

Two things need to happen for Villanova to get the four seed.  First, Villanova must win their final two games against Notre Dame and Providence.  The game versus Notre Dame will be a tall task, considering the way Villanova’s defense has been playing.  The Fighting Irish can shoot the lights out and is a terrible matchup for the Wildcats.  Also, the Villanova offense has struggled the last two games.  This is a game Villanova must score close to 80 points to win.

Second, Marquette must lose two of their final three games.  Those games are @ Louisville, @ Pittsburgh and home versus Syracuse.  Fully healthy, that’s a tough schedule, but now without Dominic James that looks even more daunting.  The game against Louisville will be the biggest test because we will see how Marquette plays without James.  It looks very possible that they could lose at least two of those three.

-David Cassilo

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