Tuesday night was a walk in the park for the Villanova Wildcats. The Nicholls Colonels were simply no match for the Wildcats, as ‘Nova engineered a lopsided 113-77 victory at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
The ‘Cats are 2-0 for the 13th straight season and 15th time overall under head coach Jay Wright.
The star of the show was junior wing Mikal Bridges. Bridges was hot from the start, making the first four shots he took. Everything was going in, whether it be from short-range or long-range, even his free throws, as he made his first two attempts from the stripe. Bridges finished with 23 points in the win and had six boards, four assists, four blocks and five steals in 27 minutes.
Five other players were in double figures, including sophomore Donte DiVincenzo, who had 20 points on 6-8 shooting with four boards and four assists. Jalen Brunson had 17 points on 7-9 shooting. Phil Booth had 12, Eric Paschall and Collin Gillespie had 10.
What We Learned
No problems here: Villanova was clicking
After a skittish start this past weekend, Villanova was running and firing on all cylinders. The Wildcats were on point, shooting 57.5 percent from the field, 43.3 percent from long range and 69.6 percent from the free throw line. The defense was lockdown per usual, too. ‘Nova held Nicholls to 77 points on 91 possessions. They also had 13 blocks as a team, which is just ridiculous to say the least. Mikal Bridges had FIVE on his own. This was as good as a showing as you’ll see, opponent be damned.
Mikal Bridges is a stud
We probably figured this already, but Bridges announced his presence with a loud roar on Tuesday night in Philly. He did just about everything - shoot the ball well, score, defend, block shots, dish out assists, rebound - that you could want out of him. He is absolutely capable of these kinds of performances, and may be one of the most underrated players in the country. That designation may not last long if he plays like this, though.
Villanova’s tempo went way up
The Wildcats only had 70 possessions in their 75-60 win on Friday against the Columbia Lions. On Tuesday night, the ‘Cats had 90. They had no problem scoring at a prodigious level, scoring 1.256 points per possession while averaging 15 seconds per possession. This kind of fast play can really make it happen, and for a team with as many athletes that this ‘Nova team has, it might behoove Jay Wright to keep playing them this quickly.