The Villanova Wildcats open the 2013-2014 campaign against the Lafayette Leopards at the Pavilion, tip-off is set for 8 p.m.
The Wildcats return four starters from a 2012-2013 team that finished 20-14 and reached the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in nine seasons. They take on a fierce Lafayette team that advanced to the Patriot League Championships last season and finished 19-15 overall and 10-4 in conference play.
Our friends from CityOfBasketballLove.com had an interesting preview here as well.
Lafayette will be paced by swingman Seth Hinrichs. Hinrichs, a Second-Team All-Patriot League player averaged 14.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He also shot 45.9 percent from behind the arc last season leading the Leopards to a 38.4 percent mark from the three-point line -- good for 19th in the country.
Things to Know About the Leopards
- Lafayette is 64-40 all time in season openers, 22-22 in openers on the road
- Leopards are 20-33 all time against current Big East opponents
- The all-time winningest coach in Lafayette and Patriot League history and longest-tenured coach in the conference, Fran O'Hanlon (Villanova, '70) is entering his 19th season as the Leopards' head coach.
- Lafayette was picked to finish second in the Patriot League's Preseason Poll
- Leopards were 19th in the nation in three-point shooting last season
According to Mike Sheridan of Villanova's Media department, Coach Jay Wright expects both Ryan Arcidiacono and Kris Jenkins, who suffered injuries during the exhibition season, to play in the season opener.
Jenkins has been practicing all week and Arcidiacono has been at practice all week but it's been a tough few days for the sophomore guard according Wright.
"I don't think it's going to be a long-term injury," says Wright, "but for this game I don't think he's going to be 100 percent. We'll see how it goes."
Wright also had this to say in regards of the High IQ Lafayette squad:
"This is a great home opener in the sense that we have Fran O'Hanlon coming back but it's a bad home opener in the sense that they are a well-disciplined team that is extremely well-coached," states Wright. "This is a high IQ team that you don't want to play early in the season because if you are not disciplined enough defensively, you can get sliced up.
"That's the concern. This is a very good shooting team. They went to the Patriot League finals last year. They're used to winning. It's going to be a good game."
The game in Radnor, PA will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 2 and heard on radio on 610 WIP. The last time the teams met in 2010, the Wildcats defeated the Leopards 86-41 the last time the two teams met in 2010.