Villanova vs. La Salle Grades: Hilliard and freshmen shine

Ochefu and Chennault are like "Daaaaamn, where you get that suit Playa?!" - John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 8 Villanova Wildcats crushed cross-town foe La Salle 73-52 on Sunday afternoon at the Pavilion in front of a raucous group of underclassmen.

The gamer can be viewed here and a story on Darrun Hilliard's accolades and 'Nova's rise up the Associated Press' rankings can be seen here.

Now let's dissect the game shall we?

Player Grades

Player Grade Comments
Ryan Arcidiacono C+ Until the last seven minutes in the game, Arch played pretty terribly. He hit three consecutive midrange jumpers at the end of the game to pad his stats after the contest was out of reach. Arch still shot 1-for-5 from deep and was held scoreless for a majority of the game. He was constantly beat off the dribble by La Salle's guards all afternoon. Arch also wasn't the best point guard on the floor for the Wildcats. Hilliard and Ennis did a better job running the floor. I'm still a fan of Arch playing a sixth man role this season.
James Bell C- This may have been Bell's worse game this season. Defensively he did a few good things well, he had a few blocks even though only one was recorded, two steals and all of his rebounds were defensive. Those qualities are the only things that save him from getting a D or lower. He was in foul trouble the entire game and was also getting beat off the dribble by La Salle's guards. He looked slow on Sunday.
Daniel Ochefu B+ Ochefu played one of his best games this season. The big man had 4 assists and led the break more than once in transition. He was also a gnat defensively, bodying up on Jerrell Wright and limiting him to two second half points. He recorded two blocks and two steals, didn't miss from the field, had seven boards and didn't get into foul trouble. Great day for Chief.
JayVaughn Pinkston C+ Pinkston's second half was certainly better than his first, but a below average game for the New Yorker. Seven points and seven boards in 21 minutes while playing the game in foul trouble. What got him in trouble was his three turnovers and a few low IQ shots. He took a contested three-pointer early in the game. Not a fan of contested shots.
Darrun Hilliard A- The second strong game in a row for Hilliard, he's becoming the most consistent piece when the Wildcats start faltering. Only problem I have with Hilliard is that he didn't step inside the arc after missing many uncontested shots from deep. He keeps proving he's the best defensive player Villanova has. 4 steals and a block combined with 21 points and only one miss from the line. Stuffed stat sheet.
Dylan Ennis B Ennis impressed me because in the second half when Arch got benched, he played the best from the point guard position than anyone all year. In three less minutes than Arch he put up Five points, Five boards and seven assists plus a bunch of hockey assists and the team played better together at the start of the second half. He drew fouls. He did more than anyone at that position. He needs to see some starter time.
Darryl Reynolds/Patrick Farrell B They played and didn't mess up in the two minutes they did.
Josh Hart B Again another reminder of how good Hart can be in another season or two. When no one else was scoring in the first half, Hart stepped up, attacked the rim and drew fouls that got him more opportunities and the Explorers in early foul trouble. Didn't play amazing defense, was a liability on some plays, but made up for it with a block coming from good timing in the defensive rotation. Not amazing numbers, but one of three Wildcats in double figures in only 23 minutes.
Kris Jenkins A+ For the role that he currently plays, Jenkins absolutely dominated in every way. 11 points in 13 minutes and played above average defense on his assignment. He even nabbed two steals in the process and drew enough contact offensively to get to the line. Jenkins had me jumping from my press seat.
Tony Chennault D+ Possibly the third one of these "why are you playing" games for Chennault. In 13 minutes he missed his only shot, got beat off the dribble by nearly everyone. Threw a turnover and had two fouls. I'm no longer seeing his purpose on the floor.
Nick McMahon/Henry Lowe B- Moral victory for both guys, they take the minus hit for Lowe (once again) not being able to hit his free throws.
Team Grade Comments
No. 8 Wildcats B A team known for big second half spurts, this time they did it again against the Explorers, but not in the same impressive fashion as they did to St. Joseph's a week ago. For a team that relies too much on shots from the perimeter, they did a sub-par job at sinking their attempts. 24 attempts and made 6. Yawn. The turnover problem wasn't as bad as usual (12 TO's) but it still wasn't good, La Salle was able to almost pluck the ball whenever the felt like it in the first half. They also left some points at the foul line, missing seven attempts and shooting 70 percent from the stripe. Their defense was stellar, holding the Explorers to only one make from deep in the second half, but still giving up way too many attempts from the perimeter. Defense saves them and of course the win on the glass (35-29). Wildcats are averaging a 23.8 point advantage per Big 5 win now.
Coach Grade Comments
Jay Wright A

The most impressive part about Jay Wright on Sunday (outside of his spring time Gucci grey suit and purple Versace shirt combo), was understanding that his players were getting beat off the dribble and adjusting to it in the second half. How'd he adjust you ask? By taking out Arch and letting Ennis get some time to run the point, which he did fantastic at. He also ran some sets to get Jenkins involved immediately and gave Hart the green light to keep attacking the basket. Additionally, he beat La Salle so bad that he came in the post game presser asking about what happened to the Eagles before talking basketball. Gotta love Mac Daddy Jay.

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