Villanova Wildcats

Frank Mason III wins John R. Wooden Award; Josh Hart named Julius Erving small forward of year

Frank Mason III wins John R. Wooden Award; Josh Hart named Julius Erving small forward of year

LOS ANGELES -- Frank Mason III of Kansas and Kelsey Plum of Washington won the John R. Wooden Award as national players of the year Friday night.

They received their trophies during the third annual College Basketball Awards in a nationally televised show from The Novo in downtown Los Angeles.

Mason also claimed the Bob Cousey point guard of the year award. The senior became the first player in Big 12 history to average 20 points and 5 assists in a season.

"When you step out on court you have to play with toughness. You can't be a punk out there, you have to play with pride," Mason said. "It's been a good year. I wouldn't say great because a great year to me is winning it all."

The Jayhawks were eliminated by Oregon in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament

Plum became the NCAA Division I career scoring leader (3,527 points). She also set marks for single-season points (1,109) and career free throws made (912).

Mason won the Wooden Award over UCLA's Lonzo Ball, Villanova's Josh Hart, Caleb Swanigan of Purdue and Nigel Williams-Goss of national runner-up Gonzaga. Mason had already earned player of the year honors from The Associated Press and Atlanta Tipoff Club.

"I want to thank John R. Wooden," Mason said, referring to the late UCLA coaching great. "I want to thank my parents, coaches and teammates. Nothing would have meant more to me than the national championship, but I really appreciate it."

Plum claimed the women's Wooden Award over Connecticut teammates Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson, Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell, and A'ja Wilson of national champion South Carolina.

Hall of Famer Ann Myers Drysdale presented Plum with the trophy as Wooden's daughter, Nan, looked on.

Plum set the career scoring record with a 57-point effort in one game.

"I'm grateful to the University of Washington, my coaches and my teammates. Something like that doesn't happen without great people," said Plum, adding that she ate a few packets of applesauce on the sideline that night.

"That was what got me through," he said.

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw received the Wooden Legends of Coaching award.

Other winners were:

* Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski earned the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar center of the year for averaging 12.2 points on 59 percent shooting and 5.8 rebounds. Abdul-Jabbar was on hand to present to the 7-footer from Poland.

* Kentucky's Malik Monk won the Jerry West shooting guard of the year for his SEC-leading field goal percentage of 37.3 and SEC second-best 19.8 scoring average. West presented his namesake trophy.

* Villanova's Josh Hart took home the Julius Erving small forward of the year after leading the Big East with 18.7 points per game. Erving handed out the trophy.

* Johnathan Motley of Baylor accepted the Karl Malone power forward of the year award from the Hall of Famer. He led the Big 12 with 9.9 rebounds.

Villanova picked to win Big East in preseason coaches' poll

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Villanova picked to win Big East in preseason coaches' poll

For the fourth year in a row, Villanova was picked to win the Big East in the league's preseason coaches' poll.

The Wildcats received eight of the 10 possible first-place votes in the poll, which was released on Wednesday and doesn't allow coaches to vote for their own teams. Seton Hall and Xavier received the other two first-place votes.

Villanova finished the 2016-2017 season with a 15-3 record in the Big East, good for first place in the conference, and capped it off with the Big East tournament crown.

The Wildcats finished last season with a 32-4 record overall and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The team returns two starters from last season, including forward Mikal Bridges, who was picked for the All-Big East second team, and point guard Jalen Brunson, who was selected as the 2017-2018 Big East Preseason Player of the Year. Brunson's averages of 14.7 points and 4.1 assists led him to an All-Big East first team selection in 2016-2017.

Sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo, who averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game on his way to making the Big East all-freshman team, is another returning player that will play a big factor for 'Nova. The Wildcats also add freshman forward Omari Spellman to the mix after he redshirted last season. Spellman was picked in the coaches' poll as the preseason Freshman of the Year.

Jay Wright's squad tips off the 2017-18 season on Nov. 10 against Columbia.

James Madison shows why it's No. 1 in FCS with win over No. 11 Villanova

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James Madison shows why it's No. 1 in FCS with win over No. 11 Villanova

BOX SCORE

HARRISONBURG, Va. — Bryan Schor threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns, and defending FCS champion James Madison beat Villanova 30-8 on Saturday to set a conference record with 18 straight victories.

The Dukes broke Richmond's Colonial Athletic Association mark, set from 2008-09. James Madison hasn't lost to another FCS member since the second round of the 2015 playoffs against Colgate.

James Madison built a 13-0 lead at halftime after holding Villanova to just 58 yards with three sacks and an interception. The Wildcats pulled to 16-8 early in the fourth but Schor connected with David Eldridge for a 29-yard score. Brandon Hereford capped it with his first career pick and touchdown with 1:57 left.

Terrence Alls made seven catches for 83 yards for James Madison (6-0, 3-0), which hosted ESPN's College Gameday for the second time.

The popular pre-game program aired for the eighth time from a FCS location. It helped draw the second-largest crowd in school history with 25,993.

Jimmy Moreland made an interception on Villanova's third play of the game and James Madison got to the Wildcats' 5 before settling for a 3-0 lead. Clayton Cheatham extended it 13-0 by catching an open pass over the middle and breaking tackles near the end zone for a 23-yard score.

Schor went over 5,000 career passing yards in the first half.

Freshman Kyle McCloskey started the second half at quarterback for Villanova (4-3, 2-2). He threw for 15 yards and added 43 yards on the ground. The Wildcats, who entered allowing just 13.2 points per game, were held to 174 total yards.

College Gameday
The ESPN crew was also live from James Madison in 2015 in front of more than 12,000 fans. The game against Richmond drew a Bridgeforth Stadium-record crowd of 26,069.

Up Next
Villanova has a bye week before hosting Elon on Oct. 28.

James Madison plays at William & Mary next Saturday.