By Matt Leon

VILLANOVA, Pa. (CBS) — Villanova University opened the Big East portion of its schedule with a couple of tough road matchups, losing at West Virginia (see game story) and Marquette (see game story).

Now, the Wildcats will look to bounce back and get into the conference “win” column on Thursday night as they host South Florida.

Villanova head coach Jay Wright says the team may have fallen short but did take something out of those matchups.

“I think we just got a little mentally tougher in those two games,” Wright tells KYW Newsradio.  “I think we learned a lot from it.  Getting ready for South Florida, feeling like we’re a better team.”

Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Coach Jay Wright in this CBS Philly SportsPod…

Right-click to download podcast

The South Florida Bulls come to the Pavilion with an 8-7 record, and are coming off a 67-65 win over Rutgers last time out.

Wright says they present problems:

“They’ve got some veterans players, and obviously (6’10” senior forward) Augustus Gilchrist is one of the best big guys in the country — a pro prospect.  He is a beast inside, he makes free throws, he rebounds the ball.  He’s going to be a handful for us.”

Gilchrist leads the Bulls in scoring at 11.1 points per game, and he is second on the squad in rebounding, pulling down 6.3 rebounds per contest.

Villanova is 7-7 overall heading into this game, and they have dropped seven of ten since their 4-0 start.


So where is the team 14 games into the season?

“We’re a little behind where I thought we’d be,” admits Wright.  “But I understand why we are.  It’s not lack of effort, it’s not lack of commitment on our guys’ part, it’s just lack of experience.”

Villanova and South Florida battle Thursday night at 8:00pm at the Pavilion.


More CBS Philly Sports News


Watch & Listen LIVE