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Wildcats find comfort level, now ready to play

NCAA Final Four Villanova Basketball

Six days ago Villanova was on top of the world following Scottie Reynolds’ shot to send the Wildcats to the Final Four.  Now though, the questions are old, the memories are beginning to fade and the task at hand is growing more evident by the minute.  It is time to play basketball.

“I think we all are ready to play,” said Head Coach Jay Wright.  “It actually worked our pretty nicely here.  I don’t know if it’s because of our game ended the way it did against Pitt, but we needed a couple of days to enjoy that and come down from it.”

Now the only thing on the team’s mind is the Final Four.  The Wildcats are considered the “new kids on the block” this weekend as they are the only team without any Final Four experience from their players or head coach.  At times Wright must remind his team to keep their cool.

“Today’s practice, they’ve never seen anything like.  It’s just a good start.  We talked about that.  Just how to handle distractions around us and try to keep our concentration.  We talk about 94-by-50 feet.”

One aspect of the game that Villanova can rely on is familiarity with the venue.  Although it may not be the best of memories, Villanova was in Detroit last year for the Sweet 16 when it lost to Kansas.  The team has tried to take away some of that experience to help prepare for this weekend.

“Last year I remember when we came on the floor for the first open practice, we came out and were kind of in awe because of the atmosphere, the size of the arena, et cetera,” said senior guard Dwayne Anderson.  “This year we came out, it was strictly business. Basically this is a business trip for us.”

By now though, the team is adjusted to the venue, city, hype and media extravaganza.  The only thing left to do is to get out on the court.  Although the game is still over a day away, the team is anxious to start playing.

“I think we’re very prepared,” Anderson said.  “We just can’t wait to get on the floor.  For example, last night we were watching film.  I looked over and could see in [Reggie Redding’s] eyes he just cannot wait to be on the floor.  So we’re definitely counting down till the ball goes up in the air.”

Tomorrow, all the distractions will be gone, and the trip will be about nothing more than a basketball game.  Then, the Wildcats can finally do what they came here to do – take care of business.

-David Cassilo

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