NCAA

Villanova with big challenge; Penn still aiming for 1st Ivy win

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Villanova with big challenge; Penn still aiming for 1st Ivy win

Villanova (4-3, 2-2 CAA) vs. Elon (6-1, 4-0 CAA)
Villanova Stadium, Villanova, Pennsylvania
Saturday, 3:30 p.m.


Last time out
Villanova lost to James Madison, 30-8, on Oct. 14.

Elon beat Rhode Island, 35-34, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Villanova has allowed just 49 rushing yards per game this season. The Wildcats boast a strong scoring defense, as well, with the second-best unit in the CAA, allowing only 15.6 points per game.

Elon’s key to winning the game is to keep its high-powered rushing attack going. The Phoenix average 193 yards on the ground, second in the CAA, and are led by junior running back Malcolm Summers, who has rushed for 755 yards this season on 134 attempts, good for 5.6 yards per carry. This game will be won between the tackles and in the trenches.

Series history
This is the second meeting between the teams. Villanova won, 42-7, last season. 

What’s next?
Villanova hosts Richmond.

Elon hosts Towson.

Penn (2-4, 0-3 Ivy) at Brown (2-4, 0-3 Ivy)
Brown Stadium, Providence, Rhode Island
Saturday, 12:30 p.m.


Last time out
Penn lost to Yale, 24-19, last Saturday.

Brown lost on the road to Cornell, 34-7, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Both Penn and Brown are winless in the Ivy League this season and are struggling to keep its seasons together. Both defenses are struggling, as well. Penn has the second-worst scoring defense in the league and Brown has the worst. Penn allows 31.2 points per game and Brown allows 32.2 points per game. Both are in the bottom two in total defense, as well, each allowing more than 440 yards per game. 

This one will be a high-scoring affair and look for Penn to establish the run game early in an attempt to get its first win in the Ivy League this season.

Series history
This is the 86th meeting between the teams. The Quakers hold a 60-23-2 advantage and Penn has won the last two editions.

What’s next?
Penn hosts Princeton.

Brown is at Yale.

Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

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Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

Fresh off a second national championship in three years, this was bound to happen. Jay Wright is a hot name. 

And according to the New York Daily News, the Knicks plan on reaching out to Wright about their vacant head coaching job. 

Just don’t expect Wright to be interested. 

The 56-year-old coach has been determined to build Villanova into a powerhouse since he took the head coaching gig way back in 2001 and he’s finally done that. On the surface, maybe some think that would be enough to make him want to take his coaching to the top league in the world. Not so fast. 

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Wright said pretty flatly that he’s staying at Villanova because he loves it there. 

“The NBA does intrigue me,” Wright said. “That challenge is appealing but it’s not worth giving up working with these guys. The whole thing is, to take a new challenge you have to give up what you have. I don’t want to give up what I have. Would I like to coach in the NBA? Yes. But I have to give this up in order to do that, and I don’t see that happening.”

In that interview, Wright talked about his time at Hofstra and quoted Jim Valvano, who once said, ‘Don’t mess with happy.’ That was true at Hofstra until the Villanova job came around, so maybe there’s a chance the Knicks could blow him away. It just doesn’t seem likely. 

The Knicks just fired head coach Jeff Hornacek after a 29-53 record in 2017. The Knicks haven’t had a winning record since 2012-13. 

The New York Daily News cites a source, who said the Knicks believe Wright would be a “perfect candidate for a rebuilding club.” The Knicks might be right, but don’t bet on them getting Wright. 

Jalen Brunson hires agent, declares for NBA draft

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Jalen Brunson hires agent, declares for NBA draft

Villanova is losing its second star player in two days. 

Guard Jalen Brunson has decided to hire an agent and enter the 2018 NBA Draft, he wrote in a letter to Nova Nation on ESPN. He will forego his senior season at Villanova after an incredible college career. 

This news comes a day after his teammate Mikal Bridges announced he will also head to the NBA draft.

“It is with great honor and privilege that I have called Villanova University my home for the past three years,” Brunson wrote in ESPN. “When I decided to commit to Coach Jay Wright and the basketball program, I was driven by three goals: getting my education, competing at the highest level and winning a national championship. While I pride myself on remaining disciplined and focused to achieve these goals, I have grown as a man and have established lifelong relationships with my teammates, classmates, members of the basketball staff, fellow student-athletes and the wonderful educators and administrators of this prestigious university.”

Brunson leaves Villanova as one of the greatest players in Wildcats history, helping lead Villanova to its second national championship in three years. 

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 18.9 points, 4.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game this season. Brunson was named the Big East Player of the Year and was the Wooden Award and Naismith Award winner this season.