Assistant Coach Dwayne Anderson Bloodied In Villanova Win


Courtesy of Olivia Pasquale/Villanovan Photography

Director of basketball operations Joey Flannery and graduate guard Collin Gillespie hold Anderson after the blow.

Colin Beazley, Co-Editor-in-Chief

PITTSBURGH 一 Although No.15 Delaware put a scare into No.2 Villanova early, holding the lead throughout parts of the first half, the Wildcats were able to emerge unscathed with an 80-60 victory. However, one Wildcat wasn’t so lucky. 

Assistant coach and former Villanova guard Dwayne Anderson was forced to leave the Villanova sideline after attempting to prevent graduate forward Jermaine Samuels from crashing into the bench chasing after a loose ball, only to be rewarded with a Samuels elbow to the face. Anderson’s nose began to bleed, and with the outcome no longer in doubt, Anderson went back to the locker room for treatment.

“I knew the ball was coming out of bounds, and I was trying to jump out of his way, but he was trying to catch me,” Samuels said. “And I guess he moved his head towards my elbow. I was trying to move out of the way. But it was an accident. And just shows how much he loves us by trying to catch me. But [I’m] sorry it happened.”

Villanova was up 19 at the time of the incident, and with so little time remaining in the game, many players would have elected to protect themselves instead of going for the ball. However, that isn’t Samuels.

“No, that’s not what we do here at Villanova,” Samuels said. “We’re going to play a full 40. That’s just the way we play here no matter what’s going on around us.”

Villanova head coach Jay Wright agreed with Samuels’ decision to go for the ball, even after Samuels struggled with back spasms during the Big East Tournament last weekend.

You get 40 minutes to play,” Wright said. “So if you get 40 minutes, play every minute regardless of the score.”

Wright said his assistant coach agreed.

“Tell you what, Dwayne Anderson would have gotten really mad at Jermaine if he didn’t go after that loose ball,” Wright said. “That is why he went after it.”

After the game, Anderson posted an update on Twitter, saying “Thanks for all the calls, texts, messages, etc. I played in the old big east, I’m fine. Villanova tough.”

Anderson is known as one of the toughest players in Villanova history, appearing in 98 games for the Wildcats from 2005-2009. Anderson averaged 21 minutes per game on a Villanova team that advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2008, before becoming a key starter for the 2009 squad that advanced to the Final Four.

“I’d also like to say Dwayne Anderson has played for us and got hurt worse than that and never even came out of a game, Wright said, smiling. “Now he’s a coach and leaves the bench when he gets hit like that. But he got it pretty good. We stopped and saw him. He got it good across the nose.”

Wright and the Wildcats return to the court on Sunday against No.7 Ohio State, who defeated No.10 Loyola-Chicago 54-41 to earn a matchup against the Wildcats. Although Wright said Anderson’s injury “doesn’t look good,” one can only assume that, given Anderson’s history and mentality, the assistant coach will be back on the bench.

“Like I said,” Wright said, “Dwayne would have really been mad at Jermaine if he didn’t go after that ball.”