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No. 5 Villanova vs. Pennsylvania: 3-Point Preview

Here are three things to watch for when the Wildcats take on the Quakers Saturday.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Wildcats' defense be able to turn over Tony Hicks?

One of the most impressive parts of this Villanova team so far has been its ability to play periods of suffocating defense and cause turnovers, as the Wildcats are ranked 37th nationally in steals alone. Against this Penn Quakers team, this style of defense could prove extremely effective, as Pennsylvania turns the ball over 17 times a game. The key guy Nova must target when looking to force turnovers is Quakers' guard Tony Hicks. So far this season, Hicks has been Penn's most dynamic player, as he leads the team in both scoring and assists. At the same time though. he's known to turn the ball over quite frequently as well, coughing up the ball 3.5 times a game. This seems like a match made in heaven for the 'Cats, and if they can do what they do best and force Hicks to make mistakes early, it should be a rather easy victory for Jay Wright and Co.

Does Villanova start strong out of the gates?

Let's not kid ourselves with this game, Penn is not a very good basketball team and should not provide a challenge to this much more superior Wildcat team. Therefore, it'd be pretty easy for Nova to already be looking past this game with a conference road showdown against Georgetown looming on Monday. With that in mind, it'll be interesting to see how motivated they come out for this game. Do we see a Wildcat team which wants to crush the Quakers' chances of winning early or does Villanova come out slow and sluggish and therefore need a strong second half to put away Penn? I think the answer is a little less clear than many may think

Which Villanova leads the offensive charge this game?

If your tirec of this offensive narrative thus far, you might want to avoid reading or listening to anything in the media when it comes to this Nova team. Once again against Xavier, no one player really separated himself from the pack offensively, and it resulted in an 88-point outburst. The question therefore remains the same: which player will step up and lead the offense against Penn? Last game leading scorer Darrun Hilliard disappeared after an early five points, so once again it may be anyone's guess who paces this Villanova offense on Saturday.