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Previewing Villanova, Briefly

Villanova's offense is off to a hot start in 2008 (#1 in adj off eff), shooting well, protecting the basketball, grabbing offensive boards in bunches. Despite losing a couple of excellent offensive rebounders from a year ago, they haven't missed a beat so far, as the new starters are also capable on the offensive glass. And the starting lineup features plenty of height: 6-2, 6-5, 6-7, 6-8, 6-10.

The Man To Know in this one is Scottie Reynolds, a point guard who will shoot it from everywhere. While he shot well from three last year, scoring from inside the arc was a struggle (and that trend has continued into 2008).

Statistically, the defense has been about as bad as the offense has been good, but that's because they're enduring a bit of early season bad luck: almost 50% of their opponents' field goal attempts have come from outside, where those opponents have shot 44.1%. But they're forcing turnovers and rebounding well, which indicates that they're active and sound fundamentally, and their 2FG% defense has been fine. That's not to say they don't have a weakness along the perimeter--the Cats' 3FG% defense was average in '07--but they're going to regress in the right direction, obviously.

They tend to commit plenty of fouls, though, and that's something we can definitely take advantage of.