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Observations from open practice

Yesterday, I attended the press conferences and open practices for Villanova.  Here are a few notes from each:

Jay Wright Press Conference

– Wright, as expected, has a lot of respect for the American team.  He compares Garrison Carr to A.J. Abrams and Derrick Mercer to Jonny Flynn.

– He had the team watch American’s game against Tennessee in last year’s tournament.  Everyone came away very impressed, and Wright stressed to them that the Eagles are even better right now.

– Wright said he was surprised how long it took Dante Cunningham to became a go-to player on offense.  He noticed he would give up the ball as a respect to others on the team.  However, since he has assumed that role, he has taken pride in it from day one.

– In an interesting response, Wright admitted that the team has not figured out why they blew two leads in both their Big East games.  He says they need to go out and play a game to really figure things out.  Rather than dwell on it, the team has instead decided to move on.

– Wright had some fascinating observations from the team’s last trip to Philadelphia in the tournament.  When things got close against Monmouth in the first round, he recalled the Wachovia Center crowd turning on Villanova and cheering for the underdog.  However against Arizona in the second round, Wright said that the team would have lost had that game be in anywhere else.

Open Practice

– The practice was run entirely by Coach Chambers and Coach West, and appeared to be more for the crowd than an intense workout.  They started with stretching and then did various shooting drills before closing with free throws.

–  Every three to five minutes a buzzer would go off, and they would switch the drill.

–  The only other interesting thing of note was that Corey Fisher dunked during one drill.  I had no idea this was possible.

Finally, I had a brief paragraph put up about the team on ESPN.com, and if you would like to check it out, click here.

-David Cassilo

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