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No. 7: Villanova Wildcats

Image (1) VillanovaWildcats.png for post 351

2009-10 record: 25-8 (13-5), tied for second in Big East
Lost to St. Mary’s in NCAA tournament second round
Coach: Jay Wright, 203-99, 9 years (325-184 overall)
Last NCAA miss: 2004

2010-11 roster [click here]
2010-11 schedule [click here]

The good: Guard-U won’t miss a beat despite losing Scottie Reynolds to graduation. Not when Corey Fisher, Maalik Wayns, Corey Stokes and Dominic Cheek are on the roster. Fisher shouldn’t have any trouble taking over Reynolds’ scoring role, though Stokes should see his 9.5 ppg average increase.

There’s better news up front where sophomore Mouphtaou Yarou is fully healthy after a bout with Hep B last season. His 6-10, 250-pound frame will be bonus down low.

The bad: If Young doesn’t fulfill his promise, the Wildcats are left with role players in the post. Senior Antonio Pena posts nice stats (10.5 ppg, 7 rpg), but is overmatched against most power forwards. Sophomore Isaiah Armwood is a boost off the bench, nothing more. Freshman JayVaughn Pinkston could make an impact, but his conditioning is an issue.

Still, lack of dominant post play has never been an issue for coach Jay Wright in the past.

The unknown: Who steps into Reynolds’ role as the go-to guy in crunch time? Fisher’s the likely bet, but he’s never had to do so in the past. Does he focus on running the offense, or can he score and dish? If he has a hot hand, does Waayns get more playing time at the point?

It’s all mostly hand-wringing at this point and shouldn’t be an issue. Probably.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.