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Staring Down the Musket At...Villanova (Part II): Q&A with The Nova Blog

After doing the Q&A with VUHoops, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to also ask the same questions to our SBNation cousin, The Nova Blog.  Chris Lane was more than happy to oblige.  You can see my answers to his queries HERE.  Let's not waste anymore time...

TSM:  Everybody knows about Corey Fisher.  Who else do we need to be wary of?

Chris:  You definitely need to be wary of the other two guards, Corey Stokes and Maalik Wayns.  Stokes is a true deep-threat (although lately he's been shooting it like crap) but he's a guy that if he's on, he's really unstoppable from out there; pretty good defender as well.

Wayns is one of the fastest players in college basketball.  He can blow by a defender and is a great finisher around the hoop, similar to Fisher.  He's not a great outside shooter, so defenses tend to sag on him and make him take jumpers.  He's been taking them and outside of the Syracuse game, they haven't been falling.

TSM:  OK, tough and respectable losses against Georgetown and UConn.  What happened against Providence?

Chris:  It starts and ends with the fact that we couldn't throw a ball in the ocean.  Seriously, I've never seen so many open shots NOT go in.  I think 6 in-and-outs for Stokes at one point.  It was just the perfect storm really.  Nobody could make a bucket.  The most frustrating part too, was that Providence didn't exactly light it up.  We were just THAT bad.

Lately, our FG% has been terrible.  A huge reason why we've been in such tight games lately.

TSM:  'Nova is known for it's guard-centric offense.  What makes it work in a bruising league like the Big East?  Does the rebounding suffer because of this?

Chris:  I'd have to look up the stats (and I'm on a New York Rangers hangover right now, so that's not happening) but I'm pretty sure we're one of the best rebounding teams in the conference.  Part of that is having 3 guys who are genuine glass cleaners when they apply themselves in Antonio Pena, Mouphtaou Yarou and Isaiah Armwood.

The bigger part is having guards who are not afraid to mix it up.  That's a big part of the culture of our program.  If you get switched off onto a big man, deal with it.  No excuses.  You're capable.  We've haven't had many guards that shied away from that challenge.

Plus, in college basketball, guards are usually king from what I've experienced.  Having guys that can get the other team in foul trouble and run the game is huge.

TSM:  Can WVU expect to see any players with size thrown at them that are effective down low?

Chris:  As mentioned before, Antonio Pena and Mouphtaou Yarou are two big guys with skill.  Pena is a 5th year player and just went over 1000 points and 700 rebounds for his career.  He's added the Dante Cunningham 18-footer to his game and has been really effective.  He's also a great defender.  Yarou is uber-talented, but he's still figuring out how to put it together.

There are nights like we had on Wednesday when they dismantle the other team (Pena had 14 and 11, Yarou had 18 and 6) and there are nights where they don't show up, and we're bamboozled.  Hopefully it's the former against a talented WV frontline.

TSM:  I'm a football guy much more than I'm a basketball guy.  Is Villanova going to make the move up to FBS?  If so, when?  Will Philly support a college football team?

Chris:  I think the biggest question is definitely 'Will Philly support college football?'  And I don't know the answer.  Temple isn't much of a brand in Philly, whereas Villanova is.  We can get 20,000 people to watch us play basketball.  Football, in my mind, is a big-time event, so I would hope we could get 20K to a football game as well.

At the end of the day, I DO think Villanova will make the move up.  There are way too many negatives if we don't - the biggest probably being that we put our basketball program in serious jeopardy, and lose Jay Wright in the process.

TSM:  Where can WVU fans get the good eats and their drink on near the arena Saturday?  Any good cheese-steak stands/establishments near by?

Chris:  There isn't much right around the stadium, although there is plenty if you're willing to take a 15 minute drive.  McFadden's is open at Citizen's Bank Park for lunch and it's a huge post-game spot for 'Nova fans after the game. Definitely go the cheese-steak route.  Obviously you've got Pat's and Geno's if you're looking to do the touristy thing.

I'd recommend Jim's on South Street though.  Pat's and Geno's are overrated, these guys are the kings.


Thanks again to both Brian and Chris for the interaction today!!  Enjoy the game By-Godders!!! 

Let's GOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!