Villanova Wildcats

Villanova NCAA Tournament Notes: Wright's fashion faceoff with Huggins

Villanova NCAA Tournament Notes: Wright's fashion faceoff with Huggins

Printable bracket with game times

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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It's the NCAA Tournament, so a little smack talk is in order.
 
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins started things off Wednesday during his press conference at KeyBank Center, taking aim at Villanova coach Jay Wright.
 
"I keep telling him, if I'd lose a little bit of weight, he'd be the second-best looking coach out there," Huggins said.
 
OK, so maybe it's not exactly bulletin board material for the Wildcats, who will begin defense of their national championship Thursday night against 16th-seeded Mount St. Mary's (see story).
 
Huggins, who will lead his team against Bucknell, dished on his relationship with Wright.
 
"I think he's a heck of a coach," he said. "We had just great games when we were both in the Big East."
 
The topic eventually turned to fashion, and Huggins explained how it came to be that he is known for wearing a pullover during games. The short story is that he sweated through a suit and tie one game so badly he needed to change at halftime.
 
That led to Wright being asked about his fashion sense.
 
"The reason that I dress that way, it's just been the tradition, you know, in coaching you wear a suit and tie," he said. "But Hugs is -- I would like to do an article on the lines Hugs gives me before the game when you shake hands about your attire, his attire, your look, his look. It's great. It could fill an article.
 
"I like Hugs' look. When you wear a nice suit and you're in the huddle and they're sweating on your suit, the guys are dripping on top of you. I'm thinking, 'Why am I wearing this nice suit?' But it's tradition."
 
Battling old memories in Buffalo
Buffalo hasn't made the best impression on Josh Hart.
 
The Wildcats' senior guard was part of the Villanova team that lost as a No. 2 seed to UConn in 2014. The Huskies went on to win the national championship that year.
 
"I remember that one vividly," Hart said. "Shabazz Napier, that UConn team, they were tough and talented, but we try not to think about that too much now.
 
"Obviously, you know, we knew we were playing in Buffalo. That was the first thing. When we heard Buffalo, we were like, 'We went there freshman year. We had a tough game against UConn there.' But now, we don't really think about it. I think the only time we thought about it was the first time we heard we were probably going to be going to Buffalo. And it was like, 'Oh, Buffalo.'"
 
Hart and his teammates arrived in western New York Monday in an effort to beat a snowstorm that hit much of the East Coast. The weather in Buffalo has been pretty much what you might expect -- snowy.
 
"I thought I'd get to see the sun," Hart said. "I hope that's not what it's like up here all 365 days. I mean, I like the warm weather, so I don't want to say go back home because I think it's snowing in Philly, too. We just got to tough through it the last couple weeks and put up with the weather. So I guess you could say we feel like Buffalonians."
 
The Wildcats holed up inside their team hotel Monday night.
 
"We watched a movie together. That was really about it," Hart said. "I wish I could tell you we had like this epic snowball fight and it was amazing. But, no, not really. We've just been in our rooms, just relaxing, taking our mind off the tournament, and just enjoying each other's company."

Know your foe
The Wildcats gathered as a team Tuesday night to watch Mount St. Mary's victory.
 
Senior forward Darryl Reynolds came away impressed with what he saw.
 
"They're a good team," he said. "They're a good team like every team in this tournament. They play fast, they seem to play hard. They're disciplined in their coaching."
 
After he was done responding, Reynolds moved toward the microphone and said, "Sorry if I wasn't talking loud enough. I just realized I could have leaned a little bit forward. … I'm sitting here whispering. I'm sorry about that."
 
"You're coachable. Good work," the press conference's moderator replied.
 
One shining moment
Get ready to see arguably the greatest moment in Villanova history on repeat.
 
Kris Jenkins' game-winning three-pointer in the national championship game against North Carolina last year immediately became one of the iconic plays in college basketball. Jenkins, however, insisted again Wednesday that it's just that to him -- history.
 
"I don't even think about it," he said. "I talk about it when I'm asked about it. It wasn't hard for me because I still have a lot that I want to accomplish. I'm a part of this great team with these great guys and the guys in the locker room. So, when you have guys around you like that, it's easy to refocus."

That ability has amazed Wright.
 
"He's a confident, cocky -- in a good way -- kid," the coach said. "We talked about it right after the season. And he's real bright. He's really bright. When we talked about, 'You still got a year left, you want to get better, you got this for the rest of your life.' He right away internalizes that."
 
Wright has specifically watched Jenkins during practice to see if there is ever a moment he lets his guard down.
 
"When the guys do shooting drills at the end of practice or they're doing competitions, you would think one time it would slip, 'I hit the big shot,'" Wright said. "I've never ever, ever seen him mention it ever, and it's really impressive."

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

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USA Today Images

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.

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

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AP Images

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.