Will Sheridan Interview

Kyle Scudilla

What was your most memorable moment from your playing career?

That is a tough question. I don’t have one specific moment, but playing in the Pavilion when it’s packed, when the whole student section is going crazy; all the alumni are here, and our parents are up in the seats, our friends, our family. Definitely playing in front of a packed house at the Pavilion is one of the best moments of my career.

What was the best game you were involved in at Villanova?

When we played UConn at the Wachovia Center [in 2006], that was a big night for us. But I think it started with the Kansas game the year before. I think we beat them by a lot, and that was when we first got there.

What are the differences between the Pavilion and the Wachovia Center?

I feel like the Wachovia Center is bright lights, the big show. It’s like a concert. When we’re good, it’s a good place to be because everybody supports us. The Pavilion is like playing in your backyard. It’s home court; the rims are good, the shots always fall and you know the crowd is going to be for you because we have the greatest crowd.

What do you enjoy most about attending Villanova University?

Just all the relationships I’ve built between myself and my friends and the bonds that I created between these guys on my team; we’re like brothers. The student body, how they embrace me and how I embrace them. I really feel like a Villanova student.

Are there any other basketball players, past or present, that you model your game after?

Growing up and watching ball, I always really liked David Robinson. I can’t really think of anybody else that I model my game after, but coming here, they always brought up Brook Sales’ name, so I wanted to be like him, do what he did and try to be better if at all possible.

What are the biggest changes you’ve made as a player during your progression from freshman year to senior year?

I think that the biggest improvement that I made came with experience. I feel like freshman year I was just thrown into the fire or thrown into the pool and expected to swim, whereas senior year I felt like I had great composure. I really knew what was going on on the court, and I had a great sense of just the game in general. So I feel like I became a student of the game over the four years.

You’re known as an intangibles player and as someone who does the little things to help a team win. What drives you to play that way?

I think winning is one of my biggest motivations. I just like to be successful at whatever I attempt to do. I know it sounds like a cliché, but I try to do it with all my energy, all my might, 100 percent of all my effort. Really, to be honest, those relationships, those bonds that I’ve built with these guys on my team make us like family, so it’s just like playing for my family out there. It wasn’t always about me. I’m not really that selfish, but it was always about winning, to be honest.

You were obviously one of the leaders on this year’s team. What was the main point you were trying to get across to the younger players on the team?

That winning was important, but the way that we did it was more important. I felt that we had to play harder and be more classy than whoever we played against, and for the most part, I think we were relatively successful.

What’s your outlook for next year’s Wildcats?

I feel like they have great potential. I feel like Coach Wright is definitely going to whip them into shape. I just want one of them, or two or three of them, to step up and be leaders, and if that happens, then they have the potential to not lose a game and win a national championship and all of that, and I expect that.

Is there anyone in particular that you think can step up and assume a leadership role?

Scottie Reynolds was a freshman point guard all year and was relatively successful, and he definitely has the potential. Dante Cunningham I feel like is a lot like me. He’s very vocal, he has the ability, he’s athletic, so I think people will respect him. Shane Clark has that undying and relentless approach to the game that we need, and I think that combination, along with guys that really just buy in, that are like sponges, would be great for next year.

Which member of the basketball program had the most impact on you during your time here?

That’s not fair. I mean it would have to be Coach Wright; he’s the head coach. Just him being a grown man, him being a real person all four years, he was a model for me. He was a paternal figure. It wasn’t always fun; it wasn’t always good; sometimes it was just bad; sometimes it was ugly. But still, he just kept pushing me, and I think as a result I’m a better person, a better man, more mature, and ultimately, I’m better because of it. I’ve grown.

When you leave, what will you miss most about Villanova?

I mentioned how it was so important that I developed friendships and relationships with people. So, just that one-on-one, those late nights – everybody has them in college, when you’re up just talking about stuff and overcoming obstacles, struggling and being successful. Those little things, those relationships that I’ve built and the little things that I overcame here at Villanova will definitely be the things I’ll miss the most.

Villanova basketball has returned to national prominence over the last few seasons. What can you say about the role that the group of guys who have been here during that run have played in doing that?

Villanova always had great tradition in basketball, obviously won the national championship, been to the Final Four and the Elite Eight before. When we came in, we just wanted to win, and I feel that my attitude and with other players’ attitudes, including Mike Nardi, we just wanted to win. I think we did it and didn’t really even know what we were doing. The first year I played we were in the NIT. We never wanted to have that feeling again, and as fate would have it, we never did. We had great players around us: Randy Foye, Allan Ray, Curtis Sumpter, Jason Fraser. It’s only right that Villanova is back where it’s supposed to be, and those young guys need to carry the torch now.

What do you plan to do once you leave Villanova?

I’m definitely going to play professional basketball. Right now it’s looking more international, not domestic. I have an agent. Then whenever that career is over, then I’ll pursue something else. But I just want to grow as a person, evolve as a basketball player and just maximize all of my potential.

What is it that you think you can bring to the next team you’re going to play for?

I definitely have experience at a high level, and I’ve been relatively successful. I bring size, heart, passion, strength, low-post presence, defense. My defense is crazy; I don’t care what anybody says. I bring confidence; I mean I am what I am, and I’m going to bring that wherever I go.

What have you learned from your former teammates who have moved on from Villanova to play basketball professionally?

They definitely said it’s different. I’ve heard that it’s not the same as college and to enjoy college, and I did. I think one of the big concerns that alumni told me once is that all four years, your career has been about Villanova and the team, but when you’re a professional, it’s more about you and you need to know that. I think that I’m aware of that, and I have the ability to play that way.

You have been heavily involved in extracurricular activities, even working as an orientation counselor, during your time here. What can you say about that adding to the Villanova community and the role you played?

I feel like I’m in the position that I am for a reason. I’m blessed, and I feel like I maximized the opportunities that were presented to me. I feel like I represented myself, my family, my friends and Villanova basketball everywhere I went. So, me emceeing the 32nd Presidential Inauguration was because I was supposed to do that. It wasn’t luck or it wasn’t because I begged to do it. It was because I felt like I represent this University. It’s not in a conceited or cocky way. It’s just that I am Villanova. I bleed blue and white just like the T-shirt in the bookstore says, you know what I mean? So who else would be better for it?

Are there any hobbies or activities you plan on pursuing outside of basketball?

I’m a writer by nature, so I will probably pursue that. Like I said, I want to grow and evolve as a person, so I’ll find some hobbies. I really don’t have that much free time.

You will be forever known at Villanova for your game-winning shot in overtime against Boston College in the 2006 Sweet Sixteen. What are your thoughts about the shot?

That is a great memory. I just want people to know that I was misquoted. I said that was one of the biggest shots of my career and I didn’t get to see it go in. I didn’t say I missed it. (laughter) I didn’t say anything else. I just said I didn’t get to see it go in. So, if I’m remembered for that shot, then that pretty much sums up my career: all the effort and I don’t even get to see the results. (laughter) I mean what else can you do? It’s a humbling experience. I’ve learned from it. It was amazing. It was a great time, and I really enjoyed it.