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)

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Schedules

December 8
W, 69-56
George Mason
McDonough Arena
RECAP
December 9
All Day
Hoosier Open
Bloomington, Ind.
December 9
All Day
Hoosier Open
Bloomington, Ind.
December 10
2:00 PM
La Salle
Miami, Fla.

ESPN2
106.7 FM
December 11
2:00 PM
Alabama
McDonough Arena
December 17
12:00 PM
Syracuse
Syracuse, N.Y.

ESPN
106.7 FM
December 22
6:30 PM
UNC Greensboro
Verizon Center

FS1
106.7 FM
December 28
8:30 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
99.1 FM
December 28
2:00 PM
DePaul
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
December 30
2:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena

MASN2/BEDN
Watch
December 31
11:00 AM
Xavier
Verizon Center

FS1
99.1 FM
December 31
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 1
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 4
7:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

CBSsn
99.1 FM
January 4
7:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.

BEDN
Watch
January 6
TBA
Pepperdine women only
Malibu, Calif.
January 7
12:00 PM
Butler
Verizon Center

FOX
99.1 FM
January 8
2:05 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

BEDN
Watch
January 9
6:30 PM
St. Johns
Verizon Center

FS1
106.7 FM
January 10
7:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
Watch
January 13
7:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena

FS1
January 13
5:00 PM
George Washington/Bowling Green
Washington, D.C. (GW)
January 14
12:00 PM
UConn
Verizon Center

FOX
99.1 FM
January 14
1:00 PM
American
McCarthy Pool
January 14
All Day
Nittany Lion Challenge
State College, Pa.
January 14
All Day
Nittany Lion Challenge
State College, Pa.
January 15
2:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 16
9:00 PM
Providence
Verizon Center

FS1
106.7 FM
January 16
1:00 PM
Rider
McCarthy Pool
January 20
8:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

FS1
January 20
All Day
NY Gotham Cup
Staten Island, N.Y.
January 20
All Day
NY Gotham Cup
Staten Island, N.Y.
January 21
1:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
January 22
2:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

CBS
106.7 FM
January 22
1:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
Watch
January 25
7:00 PM
Creighton
Verizon Center

FSN
106.7 FM
January 27
1:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
January 27
5:30 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
January 27
All Day
Penn State National Open
State College, Pa.
January 27
All Day
Penn State National Open
State College, Pa.
January 28
8:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

CBSsn
106.7 FM
January 28
1:00 PM
Villanova
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 28
All Day
Penn State National Open
State College, Pa.
January 28
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
January 28
All Day
Penn State National Open
State College, Pa.
January 31
9:00 PM
DePaul
Rosemont, Ill.

FS1
106.7 FM
February 3
12:00 PM
Providence
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 3
All Day
Armory Invitational
New York, N.Y.
February 3
All Day
Armory Invitational
New York, N.Y.
February 4
12:00 PM
Seton Hall
Verizon Center

FS1
106.7 FM
February 4
All Day
USA Jr. Cross Country Championships
Bend, Ore.
February 4
TBA
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass.
February 4
All Day
USA Jr. Cross Country Championships
Bend, Ore.
February 4
All Day
Armory Invitational
New York, N.Y.
February 4
All Day
Scarlet & White Invitational
Boston, Mass.
February 4
All Day
Scarlet & White Invitational
Boston, Mass.
February 4
All Day
Armory Invitational
New York, N.Y.
February 5
1:00 PM
Creighton
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 5
TBA
Harvard
Boston, Mass.
February 7
7:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.

FS1
106.7 FM
February 8
TBA
Morgan State
Arlington YMCA
February 10
7:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.

BEDN
February 10
TBA
Florida International
Miami, Fla.
February 10
11:00 AM
Massachusetts
Washington, D.C.
February 10
All Day
FasTrack National Invitational
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 10
All Day
FasTrack National Invitaitonal
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 11
12:00 PM
Marquette
Verizon Center

FOX
106.7 FM
February 11
10:00 AM
Providence
Providence, R.I.
February 11
4:00 PM
Monmouth N.J.
Washington, D.C.
February 11
All Day
Liberty Elite Invitational
Lynchburg, Va.
February 11
All Day
Valentine Invitational
Boston, Mass.
February 11
All Day
Liberty Elite Invitational
Lynchburg, Va.
February 11
All Day
Valentine Invitational
Boston, Mass.
February 11
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 11
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 12
2:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
February 15
TBA
Temple
Arlington YMCA
February 17
7:00 PM
Butler
McDonough Arena

MASN2/BEDN
February 17
6:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 17
12:00 PM
Colgate
Greenville, S.C.
February 17
2:00 PM
Furman
Greenville, S.C.
February 18
2:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 18
11:00 AM
Towson
Spartanburg, S.C
February 18
1:00 PM
USC Upstate
Spartanburg, S.C.
February 18
All Day
Penn State Tune-Up
State College, Pa.
February 18
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 18
All Day
Penn State Tune-Up
State College, Pa.
February 18
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 19
3:30 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

FS1
106.7 FM
February 19
2:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 19
1:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 22
7:00 PM
DePaul
Verizon Center

CBSsn
106.7 FM
February 22
3:00 PM
Coppin State
Baltimore, Md.
February 22
11:00 AM
Morgan State
Arlington YMCA
February 22
All Day
Day 1
Long Island, N.Y.
February 23
All Day
Day 2
Long Island, N.Y.
February 24
8:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

BEDN
February 24
4:00 PM
USC Upstate
Spartanburg, S.C.
February 24
12:00 PM
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 24
All Day
Day 3
Long Island, N.Y.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 25
12:00 PM
St. Johns
New York, N.Y.

FSN
106.7 FM
February 25
2:00 PM
Wofford
Spartanburg, S.C.
February 25
All Day
Kiawah Spring Invitational
Kiawah Island, Sc.
February 25
All Day
Day 4
Long Island, N.Y.
February 25
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 25
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 26
1:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

FS1
February 26
12:00 PM
Dayton
Spartanburg, S.C.
February 26
All Day
Kiawah Spring Invitational
Kiawah Island, Sc.
February 27
All Day
Kiawah Spring Invitational
Kiawah Island, Sc.
February 28
6:30 PM
Seton Hall
Newark, N.J.

FS1
106.7 FM
February 28
2:00 PM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
February 28
All Day
Kiawah Spring Invitational
Kiawah Island, Sc.
March 1
2:30 PM
George Washington
Arlington, Va.
March 3
2:30 PM
Chicago State
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 4
12:00 PM
Villanova
Verizon Center

FOX/FS2
106.7 FM
March 4
TBA
First Round
Milwaukee, Wis.

BEDN
Watch
March 4
2:30 PM
Boston College
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 4
All Day
IC4A Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 4
All Day
ECAC Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 5
TBA
Quarterfinals
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS2
March 5
10:30 AM
Ball State
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 5
1:00 PM
UC San Diego
San Diego, Calif.
March 5
2:30 PM
UC San Diego
San Diego, Calif.
March 5
All Day
Battle at Boulder Creek
Las Vegas, Nv.
March 5
All Day
ECAC Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 5
All Day
IC4A Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 6
TBA
Semifinals
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
March 6
All Day
Battle at Boulder Creek
Las Vegas, Nv.
March 7
9:00 PM
Championship
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
March 7
4:00 PM
Central Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 7
TBA
Long Beach State
Long Beach, Calif.
March 7
All Day
Battle at Boulder Creek
Las Vegas, Nv.
March 7
TBA
UC Irvine
Irvine, Calif.
March 8
2:30 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.