Wildcats look to redeem themselves against Providence

Joe Groglio

The first week of February was a whirlwind that saw the Villanova Wildcats demolish Rutgers at their home court and reach the top 25 polls for the first time in five years. These events all led up to a highly-anticipated battle with Big East rival UConn.

In a match up between the No. 24-ranked ‘Cats and the No. 23-ranked Huskies, the ‘Cats fell up short, losing 81-76, despite tying the game with less than a minute remaining.

After a loss like this, fans can expect the Providence match up to be an absolute statement game, in which head coach, Jay Wright, will expect his players to regain that momentum they had going into Wednesday night’s game.

The only way to describe Providence is simply that they are a bad team with a great player. Nonetheless, having future NBA first round pick senior Ryan Gomes on their frontline makes them capable of an upset on any given night. Besides that, this team is as streaky and inconsistent as anyone in the nation.

The backcourt features junior point man Donnie McGrath, once hailed as the next Big East guard. Donnie averages about eight points per game and possesses a great handle but just simply cannot shoot the ball with any kind of consistency. His two-guard mate, however, picks up the slack for him. Sophomore Dwight Brewington is a sniper from anywhere on the court. He has shown flashes of brilliance this season, leading him to average 14 points per game. Sophomore Gerald Brown is the sixth man, averaging about seven points per game.

The rest of the frontcourt includes Tuukka Kotti. At six-foot-nine-inches, he is a tough match-up, but he also is inconsistent, averaging only 9.3 points per game. Desean White is a promising freshman and former high school teammate of Kyle Lowry. Herbert Hill and Randall Hanke give them some size and depth coming off the bench.

The key to Saturday’s game is plain and simple: make shots, play defense and don’t make costly turnovers.

Despite an 0-7 mark in conference play and a 9-11 overall record, the Friars are capable of going on runs and taking advantage of mistakes as much as anyone. That’s how they stayed with us in our first match-up and how they’ve hung in there with Pitt among others.

They don’t have any great shooters, so zone should be the go to defense for this game. The ‘Cats did a decent job of containing Josh Boone, so Gomes, who tends to play down in the big games, should be stoppable. But even if he does go off, we must stop his teammates from getting hot, as Hill and Kotti fueled PC in the last match up, which ‘Nova ending up winning in overtime.

The bottom line is if the Wildcats play the way they have been playing the last couple weekends, then they should add another precious win. Monday’s match up against St. Joseph’s presents a very similar type game. Winning three out of the next four is crucial; four out of four would be monumental.

One thing’s for sure: everyone’s in for an interesting and exciting finish to this regular season.