villanova

Jay Wright to receive John R. Wooden 'Legends of Coaching' honor

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Jay Wright to receive John R. Wooden 'Legends of Coaching' honor

Jay Wright will recieve the John R. Wooden Award's "Legends of Coaching" honor in 2018. The award goes to coaches who personify legendary coach John Wooden's standards of coaching success and personal integrity.

Wright will be honored on April 6 at the College Basketball Awards in Los Angeles.

Wright has 23 years of coaching under his belt with his last 16 coming at Villanova. In his last 13 seasons on the Main Line, the Wildcats have reached the NCAA Tournament 12 times, including a national championship in 2016 with a thrilling 77-74 victory over North Carolina.

Wright and his squad begin the 2017-18 season Nov. 10 against Columbia at the Wells Fargo Center.

Injuries continue to mount for Villanova football

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Injuries continue to mount for Villanova football

While injuries often influence a team's season, 12th-ranked Villanova has been especially challenged in recent weeks.

On Monday, the Wildcats were awaiting MRI results for quarterback Zach Bednarczyk, who suffered a knee injury early in a 24-9 win at Towson on Saturday night.

It occurred one game after senior safety Rob Rolle, the CAA Football preseason defensive player of the year, suffered an ACL injury and was lost for the remainder of the season. Two other starters, tight end Ryan Bell and running back Matt Gudzak, also were injured in that loss to Albany and missed the Towson game.

Earlier last month, top wide receiver Changa Hodge was lost to a season-ending foot injury.

"It's been difficult. We don't have a huge roster as it is," first-year coach Mark Ferrante said Monday. "When you lose guys of that magnitude, it's never an easy thing and it's always going to be a challenge.

"Unfortunately, we're playing a lot of first-year players. Not just redshirt freshmen, but we're playing probably more true freshmen than we anticipated playing and had to take some redshirts off from guys. I'm sure that will gain them some valuable experience and things for down the road. But we've got to try to do the best we can in the present."

Bednarczyk, a 2 1/2-year starter, has been one of the top quarterbacks in CAA Football this season. The left-hander has completed 70.2 percent of his attempts for 1,068 yards and six touchdowns without an interception, and rushed for 87 yards and two touchdowns.

He was replaced in the Towson game by redshirt freshman Jack Schetelich, who accounted for all three Villanova touchdowns.

The Wildcats (3-2) will host Maine on Saturday.

Villanova vs. Lafayette: In return to FCS play, Wildcats host Lafayette in home opener

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Villanova vs. Lafayette: In return to FCS play, Wildcats host Lafayette in home opener

No. 7 Villanova (1-1) vs. Lafayette (0-2)
Villanova Stadium
Saturday, 6 p.m.

Fresh off an impressive showing in a loss to city rival Temple, Villanova returns to FCS play and welcomes Lafayette for its home opener.

Here’s a closer look at the matchup:

Scouting Lafayette
Picked to finish last in the Patriot League after a 2-9 season last year, the Leopards have once again struggled out of the gate. They dropped a 31-12 decision to Monmouth in their opener before falling to Sacred Heart, 38-24, last week. The good news for Lafayette is that its freshman quarterback, Sean O’Malley, threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns in just his second career start. The Leopards are also led by a first-year coach in John Garrett, who was hired to replace longtime head man Frank Tavani, making this something of a rebuilding year for a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2009. But they do have some players Villanova will need to keep an eye on, including all-league linebacker Brandon Bryant and tight end Dylan Wadsworth.

Scouting Villanova
After opening its season with a 38-35 win over Lehigh, Villanova had a valiant effort vs. Temple last week, rallying to tie the game before losing on a late Owls field goal, 16-13. Quarterback Zach Bednarczyk threw for 382 passing yards in the game — the team’s highest single-game total since 2005 — with receivers Ryan Bell, Taurus Phillips and Changa Hodge as his top targets. Jeff Steeb (eight tackles) and the ’Nova defense also had a big performance, although the Wildcats’ rushing attack was mostly bottled up in the loss.

History
Paced by two defensive touchdowns, Villanova rolled to a 31-14 victory over Lafayette last year in the first matchup between the two programs since 1920. Lafayette won that 1920 clash, as it did in 1898, 1899, 1914 and 1920. Saturday’s game marks the first time Villanova has ever hosted Lafayette.

Storyline to watch
Villanova owns a 30-4 record against Patriot League opponents since 1985, and should have little trouble improving that mark Saturday. The biggest thing to watch is how the players handle the emotions of a home opener and how well they can control the game on the ground, led by running backs Matt Gudzak and Aaron Forbes, against an overmatched opponent.

What’s at stake?
Saturday marks the final regular season non-conference game for Villanova, which will then play eight straight CAA contests. A loss would certainly be detrimental for their FCS playoff hopes but the most important part of the Wildcats’ schedule begins next week.

Prediction
It would be a surprise if this one was close.

Villanova 49, Lafayette 10.