Villanova Savoring #6 Ranking, Readying For DePaul
By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – These are good days to be a Villanova Wildcat.
After a Saturday win over St. John’s, the Wildcats are 15-1 and this week they moved up two spots in the AP Top 25 poll. Villanova is now the #6 team in the country as they get ready to host De Paul on Saturday.
“So far, so good,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright tells KYW Newsradio. “It’s still early, but we’ll take it for right now.”
One thing that really jumps out at you about this Villanova team is how deep they are. Nine players average at least 11 minutes a game and no one averages more than 31. Wright talks about whether he expected to be able to consistently go nine deep heading into the season.
“We we’re hoping we could, because we have some unique situations,” Wright says. “(Guard) Tony Chennault, a senior, comes off the bench and does it unselfishly. We have a sophomore in (guard) Dylan Ennis, (he) was a redshirt, so he was here last year. And then three freshmen that we really thought had good basketball IQ’s. So that’s a unique combination.”
DePaul is 10-8 and 2-3 in the Big East. They’ve won two straight tight games. They beat Butler on the road in double-overtime last Thursday and then they held off St. John’s on Saturday.
“Their game against St. John’s, what they really showed was for the second game in a row, they can close tight games,” Wright says. “They’ve got two outstanding seniors in Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young. One’s a guard (Young) and one’s an inside player (Melvin). Both of them made big plays at the end of the game against St. John’s and also at Butler. Then they have two great freshmen, Billy Garrett, a point guard and Tommy Hamilton, a big man who can shoot the ball. They’ve got depth, they’ve got experience and they’ve got a couple young guys that are really adding some excitement to their team.”
While everything seems to be working for the Wildcats, Wright says there is still room to grow.
“We can definitely get a lot better,” Wright says. “We have to stay hungry and humble. We don’t need to get beaten a couple of times to get humble. We’ve got to keep getting better and stay humble ourselves. We can definitely defend better, we can definitely rebound better, we can take care of the basketball better.”
Villanova and DePaul will tip-off at 4:00pm on Saturday at the Pavilion.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.