Villanova Pre-Game Blog

Jan. 16, 2010

“If you want to pull the upset, you got to make your free throws.”

It was during the first weekend of the 2007 Tournament that I adopted this mantra, repeatedly said throughout the weekend by the Hoya Blue members in attendance, as a key way to understand low seed-high seed games in the Tourney. I remember watching the Tourney’s opening rounds in Kernersville and Winston-Salem, NC, where the Hoyas would advance past Belmont and Boston College to open their Final Four run. Specifically it was the Xavier-Ohio State game where a missed second free throw opened the door for Ron Lewis to save the Buckeyes, with a long three-pointer to send the game to overtime where Ohio State would pull away. At the time, I was just hoping to see the Buckeyes lose for pure schadenfreude. Two weeks later in Atlanta, Justin Cage’s errant toss loomed a lot larger after Ohio State ended the Hoyas’ season.

Free throws have played an important part in recent Georgetown-Villanova history. Last year in Philadelphia, the Wildcats visited the sin stripe 27 times, scoring 21 of their 56 points from the line. Two years ago at Verizon, Jon Wallace famously knocked down two free throws with one-tenth of a second left to beat the Wildcats 55-53. The year before, Jeff Green followed his leaning jumper with 19 seconds left with two free throws to extend the Hoyas’ lead to 58-55, the ultimate final score.

With the exception of Big East Tournament matchups, you can probably expect a relatively strong narrative to emerge when the Hoyas and Wildcats get together: free throws will be of particular importance, especially when both teams might have a violent aversion to scoring more than 60 points.

Statistically, the Wildcats have been remarkably nondistinct—at 15-1, they have certainly earned their #4 ranking in the polls, yet the numbers say they are not exceptional at any one component of the game. Their highly efficient offense (ranked 5th in the country per Ken Pomeroy) is fueled by above-average shooting, a strong presence on the boards, ball control, and free throw shooting. One point where the Wildcats have been particularly noticeable is their tendency to commit fouls (21.3 per game, 32nd most in the country) and allow opponents’ to get to the line; their ratio of opponents’ Free Throw Attempts to Field Goal Attempts is among the highest in the country.

So far this year, the Hoyas are 71.3% from the line, about in line with last year’s performance and better than any of the Green-Hibbert-Wallace years. Personally, I’m hoping the Hoyas have been spending a little extra time at the line in practice this week.

Paul Campbell (MSB '08)

More Headlines
Top Videos
Schedules
DOWNLOAD SCHEDULE: Add to calendar
Saturday, Aug 27
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Volleyball vs Howard L, 3-1 Livestats
Women's Volleyball at George Mason W, 3-1 Livestats
Sunday, Aug 28
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Soccer vs West Virginia L, 1-0 Live Stats
Women's Soccer Colorado College W, 4-1 GameTracker Watch
Field Hockey at Appalachian State W, 4-3 (OT) Live Stats
Friday, Sept 2
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Soccer at Maryland 7:30 PM Big Ten Plus
Women's Soccer at Rutgers 7:00 PM GameTracker
Women's Volleyball vs Florida Atlantic 11:00 AM
Women's Volleyball vs Western Carolina 5:30 PM
Field Hockey at Rider 7:00 PM
Saturday, Sept 3
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Football Davidson 1:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Women's Volleyball vs Stetson 9:00 AM
Sunday, Sept 4
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Field Hockey at Monmouth N.J. 12:00 PM
Monday, Sept 5
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Soccer Virginia Tech 1:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Thursday, Sept 8
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Soccer George Mason 4:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Friday, Sept 9
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Field Hockey William & Mary 1:00 PM Watch
Women's Volleyball Towson vs. Princeton 1:00 PM
Women's Volleyball Towson 4:30 PM Watch
Women's Volleyball Princeton vs. Maryland 7:00 PM
Saturday, Sept 10
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Football at Marist 6:00 PM GameTracker
Men's Soccer UConn 1:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Women's Volleyball Princeton 9:00 AM Watch
Field Hockey at Saint Francis (PA) 1:00 PM
Women's Volleyball Maryland vs. Towson 1:00 PM
Women's Volleyball Maryland 5:00 PM Watch
Women's Golf at William & Mary Fall Invite All Day
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field vs Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field vs Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational All Day
Sunday, Sept 11
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Soccer Virginia 1:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Women's Golf at William & Mary Fall Invite All Day
Monday, Sept 12
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Golf at The Sam Hall Intercollegiate (Southern Mississippi) All Day
Women's Golf at William & Mary Fall Invite All Day
Tuesday, Sept 13
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Soccer at William & Mary 7:00 PM
Men's Golf at The Sam Hall Intercollegiate (Southern Mississippi) All Day
Thursday, Sept 15
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Soccer at George Washington 3:00 PM
Friday, Sept 16
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Volleyball vs Northern Colorado 2:00 PM
Field Hockey vs Quinnipiac 3:00 PM
Women's Volleyball at Air Force 9:00 PM GameTracker
Saturday, Sept 17
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Soccer at Providence 7:00 PM BEDN GameTracker
Women's Volleyball vs Southern Utah 2:00 PM GameTracker
Women's Volleyball at Denver 9:00 PM GameTracker
Sunday, Sept 18
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Soccer at West Virginia 1:00 PM
Field Hockey at Yale 2:30 PM
Tuesday, Sept 20
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Volleyball St. John's 6:00 PM Watch
Thursday, Sept 22
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Golf at Lady Paladin Invitational All Day
Friday, Sept 23
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Field Hockey Old Dominion 1:00 PM Watch
Women's Golf at Lady Paladin Invitational All Day
Saturday, Sept 24
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Football Columbia (Homecoming) 2:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Men's Soccer Xavier 1:00 PM BEDN GameTracker
Women's Volleyball at Villanova 7:00 PM GameTracker
Women's Golf at Lady Paladin Invitational All Day
Sunday, Sept 25
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Soccer Providence 1:00 PM BEDN GameTracker
Field Hockey Lehigh 1:00 PM Watch
Women's Golf at Lady Paladin Invitational All Day
Tuesday, Sept 27
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Soccer American 3:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Women's Volleyball Seton Hall 6:00 PM Watch
Thursday, Sept 29
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Soccer Villanova 3:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Friday, Sept 30
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Football at Harvard 7:00 PM GameTracker
Field Hockey at Temple 6:00 PM
Women's Volleyball at Marquette 8:00 PM
Women's Golf at Princeton Invitational All Day
Saturday, Oct 1
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Soccer at Butler 7:00 PM
Women's Volleyball at Depaul 7:00 PM BEDN
Women's Golf at Princeton Invitational All Day
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field vs Paul Short Run All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field vs Paul Short Run All Day
Sunday, Oct 2
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Soccer at Xavier 1:00 PM
Field Hockey Longwood 1:00 PM Watch
Women's Golf at Princeton Invitational All Day
Monday, Oct 3
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Golf at The Firestone Invitational (Akron) All Day
Tuesday, Oct 4
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Golf at The Firestone Invitational (Akron) All Day
Thursday, Oct 6
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Soccer at St. John's 7:00 PM BEDN
Women's Golf at Ron Moore Women's Intercollegiate All Day
Friday, Oct 7
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Golf at Ron Moore Women's Intercollegiate All Day
Saturday, Oct 8
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Football Princeton 1:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Men's Soccer at Marquette 8:05 PM BEDN
Field Hockey at Liberty 12:00 PM
Women's Golf at Ron Moore Women's Intercollegiate All Day
Sunday, Oct 9
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Soccer Butler 1:00 PM BEDN GameTracker
Men's Golf at The Gridiron Classic (Notre Dame) All Day
Women's Golf at Ron Moore Women's Intercollegiate All Day
Monday, Oct 10
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Golf at The Gridiron Classic (Notre Dame) All Day
Tuesday, Oct 11
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Golf at The Gridiron Classic (Notre Dame) All Day
Friday, Oct 14
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Field Hockey Providence 1:00 PM Watch
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field vs Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field vs Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational All Day
Saturday, Oct 15
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Football Lehigh (Family Weekend) 2:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Men's Soccer DePaul 1:00 PM BEDN GameTracker
Sunday, Oct 16
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Soccer at Marquette 1:00 PM BEDN
Monday, Oct 17
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Golf The Georgetown Intercollegiate All Day
Tuesday, Oct 18
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Soccer Princeton 3:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Men's Golf The Georgetown Intercollegiate All Day
Thursday, Oct 20
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Soccer at Seton Hall 7:00 PM BEDN
Friday, Oct 21
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Field Hockey UConn 1:00 PM Watch
Saturday, Oct 22
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Football at Fordham 1:00 PM GameTracker
Men's Soccer St. John's 1:00 PM BEDN GameTracker
Women's Golf at Lehigh Fall Invitational All Day
Sunday, Oct 23
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Soccer DePaul 1:00 PM BEDN GameTracker
Field Hockey Towson 1:00 PM Watch
Women's Golf at Lehigh Fall Invitational All Day
Monday, Oct 24
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Golf at The Homewood Suites FGCU Invite All Day
Women's Golf at Lehigh Fall Invitational All Day
Tuesday, Oct 25
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Golf at The Homewood Suites FGCU Invite All Day
Wednesday, Oct 26
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Soccer at Seton Hall 7:00 PM BEDN
Online Stores & Tickets
HOYAS
Official Store
Vivid Seats
Gameday Live