Rothstein Files: Five Observations From BU-Villanova
By Jon Rothstein
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1. FEED THE BEAST
Villanova has been a school that’s been associated with great guard play during Jay Wright’s ten years on the Main Line but for this specific team, continually going to the low post might be the Wildcats best chance at success. Even though it was against an AEC team in BU, Mouphtaou Yarou was dominant inside and a force on the backboards in the Wildcats 68-43 win, finishing with 13 points and 13 rebounds in 25 minutes of action. Villanova will need a nightly double-double from the junior big man once they hit the Big East.
2. D.J.’S DAZZLE
Operating with the focus of a surgeon, BU point guard D.J. Irving made sure his chance to be in the spotlight against a BCS level opponent wasn’t one that was wasted. The 6-foot sophomore buried two three-pointers to start the game for BU and continually ran the Terriers offense with poise and precision for the majority of the game against Villanova. If Joe Jones can get this team to the NCAA Tournament in March, this tough minded floor general will be one of the reasons why opponents will cringe if they see their name next to the Terriers on Selection Sunday.
3. DEEP DOUBT
It’s hard to remember a season when Villanova didn’t have multiple guards that could get them a basket when they needed it — but this team is different. Other than Maalik Wayns, the Wildcats have a plethora of question marks on the perimeter and that inexperience has resulted in Villanova really struggling to make shots from the outside. The continued confidence and development of freshmen guards Ty Johnson, Achraf Yacoubou, and Darrun Hilliard along with sophomore James Bell will be paramount for Villanova once they hit the Big East.
4. JAYVAUGHN’S JOURNEY
Jayvaughn Pinkston missed one entire year of basketball related activity and for the first month of the season, the rust was obvious — but it’s slowly starting to fade away. The former Bishop Loughlin product seems to getting a little more comfortable with each game for Villanova, who desperately need the versatile forward to develop into the player they anticipated he’d be when he arrived on the Main Line.
5. CHEEK’S CHANCE
There is no time like the present for Dominic Cheek — and he was a major reason why Villanova was able to get out of the gate at the start of the second half and rally to a victory against BU on Tuesday night. The 6-foot-6 junior made multiple outside shots to stretch the defense and played a solid floor game, finishing with 14 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes. If the Wildcats are going to have a chance in every game they play, this Jersey City native will have to be a big piece to the puzzle.
BY THE NUMBERS
13 and 13
The number of points and rebounds for Villanova junior center Mouphtaou Yarou.
What Boston University wing Darryl Partin shot from the field. He came into the game averaging 22.7 PPG.
THEY SAID IT
“We are a work in progress, but I like where we’re headed,” – Jay Wright on Villanova.
“He’s one hell of a guard,” – Wright on BU sophomore point guard D.J. Irving.
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