Monday, February 8, 2010

This Isn’t a News Flash: Villanova Lacks Balance

Georgetown 103 Villanova 90 Villanova probably has the best group of guards in the country. Any team with Scottie Reynolds is going to be good and Villanova is very good. Good and balanced, as we found out this weekend, are two different things. Balance is this team’s missing link to greatness. In Saturday’s loss, Villanova started 4 guards and 1 forward, Antonio Pena. Pena, by the way, measures in at 6’8. Villanova’s guards played 132 minutes. Their forwards and centers played only 68 minutes.

That’s Jay Wright’s thing, I realize. Throw a lot of really good guards on the floor and win some games. At 20 and 2 it may seem silly to knock it. Until you come up against a team like Georgetown. On Saturday their frontcourt scored 47, and their backcourt 56. Greg Monroe was a handful down low, going to the free-throw line seven times for 11 points. When they weren’t getting punished in the post, there was Jason Clark with another 3, on his way to a remarkable 6 for 7 from behind the arc. Georgetown came with a balanced, almost methodical attack, and they tore into Villanova just like they tore into Duke the week before.

Georgetown is shaping into a very capable team down the stretch and showing why they should be taken seriously as a Final Four contender. Other serious contenders: Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, West Virginia and Texas (yes, I’ve seen the losses). They all have formidable front and backcourts. Even Michigan State, which has been primarily a jump shooting team this year, has the potential to develop a presence down low with guys like Raymar Morgan, Delvon Roe and Derrick Nix. Villanova doesn’t have that capability. They have no frontcourt to grow. With dates still to come at West Virginia, Pitt and Syracuse, Villanova is going to live and die by their guards.

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