The Wildcats prepare for their only exhibition game against the Rams of West Chester University. Nova' Beat Writer Tyler R. Tynes gets you ready for the matchup.
November 8th marks the beginning of basketball season for the Villanova Wildcats, but until then they need to get prepared, they need to pick on a smaller, non-Division I opponent and West Chester is right up their alley.
Villanova (0-0) vs. West Chester (0-0)
When: Saturday, November 2, Noon
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Radio: 1520 AM WCHE
TV:WCHE, West Chester's broadcast parter, wche1520.com at 6 p.m.
Getting to know West Chester
2012-2013 Record: 20-8 (17-5)
Head Coach: Damien Blair, 5th season, 87-51
For starters, this isn't the same Rams squad that many fans in the Philadelphia suburbs may be use to watching. After losing a trio of talented senior players and following the dismissal of another young talent, West Chester doesn't have the same skills they did last year but they still retain a more than capable rotation.
The preseason PSAC East Division favorites are now weak in the frontcourt but are being led by 6-foot-5 swingman Cory Blake, who was named to the conference's preseason team, and 6-foot-9 center Eric Frans who've both had a decent amount of minutes since their freshman seasons. The Rams picked up two transfers in Eddie Mitchell (Rider) and R.J. Griffin (Dartmouth) who'll compete for minutes with returning players Shannon Givens and Troy Hockaday.
Luckily, the teams sort of know each other. Senior Tony Chennault and Darrun Hilliard were invited to the 2013 Global Sports Academy and toured Europe with Hockaday and were coached by West Chester assistant Roy Blumenthal.
No new friends, No new friends (Drake voice, Drake hand, Drake eyebrows). Man I wish, I had a GIF for that.
OH WAIT I DO:
Projected Wildcats' starting lineup
3 Things To Watch For:
1) Ball movement: See how well the Wildcats move the ball for their first time against capable competition. For one of the country's worse teams when it came to offensive efficiency, the hope is that Nova' has improved their guard play. If Arcidiacono shows that he's progressed, the Cats' can show a changed scheme.
2) Ochefu's offensive rebounding: Rebounding was a huge reason the Wildcats dropped a bunch of games in the 2012-2013 season. If Ochefu crashes the boards effectively, it will add a large number of wins this season. A huge rebounding game against Division II competition doesn't mean much, but a lackluster one, shows a worse day on the court.
3) The combination of Pinkston and Arcidiacono: if the two preseason All Big Second Team selections show that they have tremendous synergy on the court early in the season, it will be fun to watch in 2013. They're both needed for a tournament run in March.