Why should we care about exhibitions in Canada? 'Nova's two Coreys -- prize recruits Corey Fisher, a five-star point guard, and Corey Stokes, a five-star small forward -- were suiting up for the first time.
Two things we learned (From conversing with coach Jay Wright):
1. Villanova isn't going back to its four-guard attack, but it'll be boasting two of the Big East's best floor generals in the same starting five. The addition of Fisher gives the Wildcats some interesting options in the backcourt after a season in which Scottie Reynolds was forced to carry an extremely heavy burden. Wright tinkered with lineups in Canada, trying some configurations with Fisher as the primary ballhandler, some with Reynolds at the point, and others with Reynolds, Fisher and fellow frosh Malcom Grant all sharing the ballhandling duties. Said Wright, "Last year, especially at the end, when Mike Nardi was hurt a lot, Scottie had to play the point and score for us, so he never got any easy shots. Never. Everything was a battle. I know he enjoyed playing [in Canada] with Corey [Fisher] taking some of the load."
Fisher, according to Wright, appeared to be equally effective coming off of screens to get open looks at the two guard spot, and developed a good rapport with Reynolds despite having not played together extensively before the trip. "They don't seem to care either way [what their positions are]," Wright said of the duo. "That's how we like our guards to play; we just want them to be guards. They can both handle, both shoot, both make plays, both bring the ball up. It could be really beneficial for us."
2. The Wildcats finished seventh in the Big East in three-point percentage last season, at 35.2, but that figure should get better in '07-08. Reynolds, as was alluded above, should get better looks playing off the ball. As Wright recalled from the trip, "There were times when Corey Fisher would get into the lane, break down the D, and then with one quick pass find Scottie for an open 3. I laughed about it [with Scottie]. He said, 'It's nice to get some easy shots.'"
Reynolds knocked down an absurd 13 of 16 treys on the Canadian tour, but he wasn't the only red-hot shooter for the Wildcats. Stokes showed no signs of being gun-shy, hitting 13 of 27 trifectas. Having the freshman at the three spot gives 'Nova another deadly -- and taller -- perimeter shooting option.
Postcard Material: Other than a visit to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the Wildcats didn't have much time for sightseeing, given their basketball-packed schedule. After you've been to Brazil for the summer, as Wright and Reynolds were as part of the U.S. Pan American Games team, Canada can't be all that exciting.
Villanova should be ranked this upcoming season. The Big East is going to be a "great" conference, but Villanova will be the sleepers. Lead by Corey Fischer. If he stays four years will go down as the best point guard in Villanova History. Coach Wright is an amazing coach and is the best Coach in the Big East. Mark my word!
Agree that Nova will be better than expected this yr and will likely be ranked by the end of the season. they have a ton of talent but are a bit young which will make them exciting to watch. coach wright is an excellent coach, but in a league with two already in teh HOF that may be a bit of stretch right now