Northwestern Wins: A College Hoops Blog

An ode to Verne Lundquist’s calls and everything college basketball

Posts Tagged ‘Scottie Reynolds’

Big East Preview Roundup

Posted by Zach on November 3, 2008

Here are all of my previews: 1. Connecticut, 2. Louisville, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Pittsburgh, 5. Marquette, 6. Georgetown, 7. Syracuse, 8. Villanova, 9. West Virginia and 10. Providence, 11. Cincinnati and 12. DePaul, #13-16

First Team
G- A.J. Price, Connecticut
G- Scottie Reynolds, Villanova
F- Sam Young, Pittsburgh
F- Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
C- Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut

Second Team
G- Jonny Flynn, Syracuse
G- Jerel McNeal, Marquette
F- Terrence Williams, Louisville
F- Jeff Adrien, Connecticut
F- Earl Clark, Louisville

Third Team
G- Kyle McAlarney, Notre Dame
G- Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati
G- Austin Freeman, Georgetown
F- Lazar Hayward, Marquette
C- DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh

Player of the Year:
1) Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
2) A.J. Price, Connecticut
3) Sam Young, Pittsburgh

Defensive Player of the Year
: Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut
Breakthrough Player: Austin Freeman, Georgetown
Freshman of the Year: Samardo Samuels, Louisville
Coach of the Year: Jim Calhoun, Connecticut
Dark Horse Player: Dar Tucker, DePaul
Dark Horse Team: Georgetown
NCAA Teams: 10
NIT Teams: 2
CBI Teams: 1

Top Five Games

1) Connecticut at Louisville (February 2)
2) Notre Dame at Pittsburgh (January 31)
3) Connecticut at Notre Dame (January 24)
4) Louisville at Notre Dame (February 12)
5) Louisville at Georgetown (February 23)

Big 12 preview up Wednesday and Bracketology on Thursday, while Tommy should have his ACC preview done by next Monday. Not sure if Pat feels like contributing to the site at any point with his Pac-10 preview.

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Posted in Big East Report, Conference Previews | Tagged: , , , , | 27 Comments »

Big East Preview: #8 Villanova

Posted by Zach on October 20, 2008

8. Villanova Wildcats– Coach: Jay Wright (8th season)

PG- Scottie Reynolds (JR): Everyone who watches ESPN on a regular basis has heard of Scottie Reynolds. It’s hard to say the star point guard doesn’t deserve the hype, though. As a freshman he won Big East Rookie of the Year and finished on the Big East All-2nd team as a sophomore while increasing his scoring average. Reynolds can contend for the conference player of the year this season if his development as a dynamic point guard and scorer both continue, because then Villanova wins basketball games. He already has over 1,000 points in two years at Villanova. It’s possible Wright will use Corey Fisher as more of a point guard this year to free Reynolds up for more scoring opportunities on the wing, either through his excellent jumper or ability to drive the ball.

SG- Dwayne Anderson
(SR): Dwayne is a complete player who energized the Wildcats during their mid-season slump last year through rebounding and defense. Anderson has a respectable jumper, but makes his mark for Nova through energy and an unmatched effort on defense. The Wildcats turned around their season last year with Anderson’s game-winning shot against Seton Hall and should have his starting spot entrenched from his effort at the end of 07-08. One area for Anderson to improve on are free throws (63%). He’s the unquestioned leader of this team as a senior.

SF- Corey Stokes (SO): Not one player on the Villanova roster made more strides last year than Stokes. He began the year looking like your typical lost freshman: liability on defense, inconsistent jump shot and turnovers galore. Then something clicked and Stokes went on to become the Wildcats second most valuable player down the stretch behind Reynolds, culminating in a 20-point performance against Siena in Tampa. Stokes made strides not only with his three-point shot, which has seemingly limitless range, but also on defense. The hyped sophomore from St. Benedict’s Prep will look to build on the second half of last year for 08-09.

PF- Antonio Pena (SO): Believe it or not, Pena is older than fellow senior postman Dante Cunningham. Following two years at a prep school, one year red shirted, and a freshman season that saw strides in development, Pena is ready to contribute for coach Wright on a consistent basis. With no true center on the roster, Pena needs to become a fearsome tandem on the boards with Cunningham. When Pena received the starting nod last year, his scoring and rebounding numbers rose, reasons why I feel Wright will have him pegged into the initial starting five, with Shane Clark on his heels if Wright wants to go small (and we all know he’s not scared of going small).

PF- Dante Cunningham (SR): As the lone player to start every game for Wright last season, Cunningham emerged as a fixture in the post. Formerly more of a complimentary force that hadn’t emerged from his shell, Cunningham finally used his talent to turn into a double-digit scorer and forceful rebounding presence. He has molded into a confident post player that demands the basketball and has grown into the team’s unsung leader. His scoring has increased every year since he arrived at Villanova; Wright is hoping for a boost from 10.4 PPG to around 14 PPG this season. Look for him to see plenty of minutes and continue his efficient play.

Bench: Sophomore Corey Fisher went through the typical freshman ups-and-downs with his jump shot last season. This year, with his comfort level rising, Wright will use Fisher effectively off the bench as a sparkplug who can drain a huge three to quell an opposing run. Fisher showed his potential with a big performance in the upset over Clemson in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament. Reggie Redding is used sparingly but often finds himself on the court at the end of games because of his intelligence on defense. Shane Clark went through a dismal junior campaign in which he disappeared from games and often didn’t even see the court. Wright hopes his head is on straight for this season because he can contribute offensively. Casiem Drummond is the only true center on the roster. He showed enormous potential before injuring his ankle early last season. He could break out for Villanova and give them much needed height and scoring down low.

Backcourt: B+
Frontcourt: B
Bench: B
Coaching: B+

Bottom Line: Villanova has reached the NCAA Tournament the last four seasons. They backed up their controversial selection last year with a Sweet Sixteen berth. With five starters back, including the outstanding Reynolds, how can I possibly have them eighth in their own conference? Well, the Big East is insanely good. This Villanova team did struggle for a good portion of last season and they’ll be better this year. Look for Villanova to run their March streak to five and see great strides from Fisher, Stokes and Drummond.

Key Non-Conference Games: 12/9 @ Texas, 12/11 vs. St Joe’s, 12/14 @ La Salle, 12/29 vs. Temple
Key Conference Games: 1/28 vs. Pittsburgh, 2/4 @ Providence, 2/7 vs. Syracuse, 2/10 vs. Marquette
Most Valuable Player: Scottie Reynolds
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA (One and done)

Posted in Big East Report, Conference Previews | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

NCAA Position Rankings: Top 10 PG

Posted by Tommy on July 17, 2008

The ability of a point guard to run an offense and distribute the ball is very key for a college basketball team’s success. Great point guards are tough to come by, and extremely tough to keep around because there is such a high demand for point guards in the NBA. I am going to run down the top 10 point guards in the country for the upcoming 2008-2009 season.

1.  Ty Lawson: Lawson is one of the few exceptions of highly skilled point guards that stick around for all four seasons. The “Roadrunner” is the fastest player with the ball in the NCAA, helping him run the potent UNC fastbreak. He can get the ball into the right hands, but Lawson is also a great scorer around the rim. With all the running UNC does, Lawson doesn’t get too many chances to show what he can do in a half-court offense, but he would be my first choice to run a fast-break. He spent the second half of last year bothered by an ankle injury so he’ll be back at 100 percent for the first time in a while.

2. Jeremy Pargo: As a freshman, Pargo was a guard with plenty of raw, unpolished talent. There was no question he could get to the bucket, but there wasn’t much else he could do with much effectiveness at the college level. Pargo has come leaps and bounds from where he was as a freshman, and now he is the leader of the Zags. He not only developed his decision making, but improved his shot as well, making him a big scoring threat from the point guard position.

3. Tyrese Rice: Rice was one of the few bright spots for BC last season. He can fill the hole with anybody in the country, just look at the UNC game last season. The only problem for Rice is that there was so little offensive talent around him last year that he had to do a lot of the scoring on his own as well as force the ball into tight holes. As a result, he averaged 3.4 turnovers/game and had a 1.45 assist-to-turnover ratio. It would be awesome to see a talent like Rice in Lawson’s place at UNC, but he isn’t, so that’s why he is my #3.

4. Scottie Reynolds: Unlike Pargo, Reynolds came to Villanova and performed as a point guard right away: he scored 40 points versus UConn as a frosh and was named 2006-07 Big East Rookie of the Year. Last year, Reynolds had a good year, averaging 15.9 ppg and 3.2 apg, but didn’t really live up to his high expectations. Villanova returns many of the same players so I think they’ll build more chemistry as a unit, and this is a big draft stock year for Reynolds as well so look for him to really try to improve his game.

5. Greg Paulus: Paulus has improved over the past couple of years more than anybody in the nation. He really struggled at times running the point for Coach K as a freshman, averaging 3.3 turnovers/game and only 6.7 ppg. Over the course of his junior season he cut his mistakes down to 1.6 turnovers/game and improved his scoring to 11.4 ppg. Although his stats show improvement, you have to watch him to see how much he has improved. You can see how his confidence has increased, not only as a point guard, but as a scorer as well. He stopped forcing passes and took better shots, not to mention he became deadly from behind the arc last season. If Paulus can continue improving, look for him to be a great true point guard.

6. Darren Collison: Collison has one of the most well-rounded skill sets as a point guard in the country. Nothing about his game really stands out on the offensive end when you watch him, but he does everything well. He is a good decision maker, can get to the rim pretty well, has a pretty good shot from beyond the arc and is a good floor general. What makes him different from most point guards in the nation is that he takes pride on the defensive end of the floor and is a lock-down defender. His well-rounded skills, coupled with his defensive ability make him a top tier point guard.

7. Stephen Curry: With Curry being a two-guard his entire college career, this is kind of based on speculation. He played point guard in high school so he knows what it takes, but the college game is a huge step up for point guards. Scoring-wise, we all know what Curry can do with the ball in his hand. The only question is whether he can make good decisions as a point guard. I wouldn’t be surprised if Davidson ran an NBA style pick-and-roll offense to give Curry chances to create. I think he’ll be a great point guard, but he’s at #7 only because his skills aren’t proven.

8. Levance Fields: Heart. It’s the first word that comes to my mind when I think about Levance Fields. He was expected to miss the whole second half of the season due to a broken left foot, but Levance made it back in the middle of the Big East regular season for the Panthers. He makes up for his diminutive stature (listed at a generous 5’10”) with his heart, and is the leader of the Panthers. His assist-to-turnover ratio was close to 3:1 last season, meaning he is a great decision maker and who could forget about his shot to beat Duke?

9. AJ Price: Price is one of the more talented guards in the country, and his improvement since his freshman year makes for a promising junior year for Price. Price suffered a near-fatal brain hemorrhage before his freshman season, resulting in an extra year of eligibility. His comeback from the hemorrhage has been remarkable, and I think he’ll continue to grow as a point guard. Last season he averaged a huge 5.8 apg, but he had 2.4 turnovers/game. If he cuts down on the turnovers he is a top tier point guard with plenty of scoring ability.

10. Devan Downey: One of the most underrated guards in college basketball looks to improve on his 18.4 ppg from last season for the Gamecocks. He transferred from Cincy to South Carolina after his freshman year and will be coupled with Zam Fredrick in the Gamecocks’ backcourt. Downey is a very explosive athlete and can get to the rim with the best of them. He also added 5.4 apg last year as a sophmore, but like AJ Price, committed too many turnovers with 2.7 TO/game. Look for Downey to surprise a lot of people this year with his explosive talent.

Also Considered: Jonny Flynn, Kyle McAlarney, Dominic James, Grievis Vasquez, Eric Maynor, Ish Smith, Chris Warren, Trevon Hughes, Kalin Lucas.

Posted in Player Rankings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments »