Villanova ’09-10 Preview
‘Cat’apulting to the top.
Scottie Reynolds is back after watching his 2009 Draft stock crank up a notch. What does this mean for Villanova, a team that rose to the top of the guard-geared Big East with a Final Four berth?
They will have one of the country’s elite backcourts led by the savvy veteran Reynolds whose made headlines since his freshman season. The Wildcats will have considerable balance in this top-tier backcourt, strengthened by the arrival of blue chips Dominic Cheek and Maalik Wayns and the return of junior Corey Fisher, who could be on the cusp of a breakout campaign.
Dante Cunningham | 6-8 | Forward
Maryland basketball junkies will tell you that this Blue Devils AAU product who was shaped by a health food-crazy family and good basketball bloodline (Cunningham’s sister, Davalyn Cunningham, played in the WNBA) was NBA-bound. The athletic, pogo-stick leaper and his 16 points, 7 boards per will be missed.
Dwayne Anderson | 6-6 | Guard/Forward
Role player averaged 9.2 points and 6.2 boards his final season and boasted a solid all-around game, a defensive prowess and solid chemistry with Cunningham.
Shane Clark | 6-7 | Forward
Solid backup from Philly provided meaningful minutes off the pine the past three seasons.
Scottie Reynolds | 6-2 | G | Senior
Should steer the ship back into charted Final Four territory. Reynolds averaged 15.3 points last season and shouldered the onus of high-pressure player and leader. The Wildcats will go as Reynolds—who needs to make consistency a necessity—goes. Has been carving up opponents since his freshman year in 2006-2007, when he hit up UConn for a 40-spot.
Corey Fisher | 6-1 | G | Junior
Bronx Boy had plenty of silver linings last year, shot the eyes out of the ball many a times. 10.8 PPG and a propensity to go lights out every now and then…Must also tackle consistency issues.
Corey Stokes | 6-5 | G | Junior
New Jersey product averaged 9.3 points and earned the name Corey Strokes after surfacing as the squad’s three-point assailant.
Reggie Redding | 6-5 | G | Senior
Another experienced, savvy guard who can knock down threes and balance the scoring attack, as the Philly-bred guard proved while turning in a 18-pound, 7-board show in a 67-57 win over Pitt last season. However, Redding, who also doubles as the resident defensive-stopper for the club, will be unavailable until December as he is suspended from the team due to a run-in with campus police that resulted in a marijuana charge this summer.
Antonio Pena | 6-8 | F | Redshirt Junior
Started off Big East play smoking, including a 13 ppg average in three consecutive games against Louisville, St. John’s and UConn. His numbers dipped, significantly, down the stretch. Look for Wright to get the best out of Pena, who should receive an uptick in minutes with the departure of the aforementioned forwards.
• Expect redshirt frosh Maurice Sutton, a 6-11 center who runs the floor well and possesses athleticism, agility and shot-blocking ability, to play meaningful minutes and make an impact.
Taylor King | 6-6 | G/F | Sophomore
Expect this rangy sniper to make an immediate impact after sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules..
Dominic Cheek | 6-6 | G | Freshman
McDonald’s All-American averaged 14.2 points, 9 boards, and four dimes playing for legendary Bob Hurley Sr. at St. Anthony’s HS. Jersey City product can create his own shot or dial in from downtown, scoring in a variety of ways overall. He’s also got springy hops and rebounds well.
Maalik Wayns | 6-1 | G | Freshman
Innate point guard with court vision and quickness beyond his years..McDonald’s All-American and Philly native averaged 19.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists at Roman Catholic last season.
Isaiah Armwood | 6-7 | F | Freshman
Athletic forward from B-more played at traditional hoops breeding ground Montrose Christian last season…Brings to the table a blend of mid-range sho oting, boardwork, and ability to run the floor and finish well in transition. Averaged 12 points and eight boards his senior year.
Mouphtaou Yarou | 6-10 | F/C | Freshman
You know he’s a special player when Jay Wright made the grueling, 20-whatever hour flight to Africa to recruit this young man. Polished post-up game and great hands and feel for the game. Like Armwood, Yarou also played at Montrose Christian. Big fella averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and three swats his senior season.
Zach Smart has written for Big East Basketball Report, Hoops Addict and The East Coast Bias. Read more on his blog.