Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins enjoy one last homecoming in win over Georgetown

Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins enjoy one last homecoming in win over Georgetown


While Georgetown honored three seniors suiting up for the last time at the Verizon Center Saturday afternoon, it felt appropriate that No. 2 Villanova would be the last opponent on the Hoyas' schedule.

Villanova seniors Josh Hart (Sidwell Friends) and Kris Jenkins (Gonzaga) both played their high school basketball inside the District, yet somehow both escaped the nation's capital and found their way a few hours up I-95 for the next steps in their basketball journey.

Since their arrival at Villanova, there has been a complete reversal of fortunes in the heated rivalry with the Hoyas and Saturday was no different. The D.C. duo combined for 40 points, as Hart led the Wildcats with 21 and Jenkins had 19 in the 81-55 Villanova victory (see Instant Replay). It was Villanova's fifth straight win over the Hoyas, matching a program record going back to 1950.

When asked about if it was nice to come back home for their final college regular season game, Jenkins responded with a large grin, immediately turning to Hart who was to his right with head coach Jay Wright in the middle before answering, "Just our next game, man."

Hart was able to add more description to the homecoming.

"It's always great being able to come back home," he said. "Obviously I know Kris and myself had a lot of people come to the game. All that is something that we can think about after the game. But before that we've got to be dialed into Georgetown and during the game, we can’t think about trying to go get a bucket because we got people here coming to see us."

Since arriving at Villanova, Hart and Jenkins have a record of 8-1 against the Hoyas with a possible tenth game awaiting next week if Georgetown beats St. John's in the first round of the Big East Tournament. Before their arrival, Georgetown had won eight of its last 10 meetings with Villanova.

Georgetown head coach John Thompson III, who has been under heavy scrutiny this week for his team's second consecutive losing season, knows just how important Hart has been to Villanova.

"His mindset," Thompson III said when asked about what sets Hart apart. "He finds a way to impose his will on most contests that they have. Sometimes it's for long stretches, sometimes it's for the entire game. Every game he’s in you know he’s in."

When Georgetown looked to make it a game in the second half, it was Hart who blew things open with consecutive three-pointers in pushing a nine-point lead up to 60-45 with 7:09 remaining. Villanova never saw its lead shrink below 14 the rest of the way.

"What stands out is Josh hits those two three-pointers and we didn't bounce back," Thompson III said. "I don’t know if there's anyone in the country that plays as hard as him. For four years now, he's given his teammates confidence and energy. And you can see the improvements in his game offensively to let you know he's working on the practice court too when it's not a contest."

Jenkins failed to hit at least one three-pointer for the first time in 10 games and just the third time this season. But he still found a way to be a thorn in the Hoyas' side by hitting 11 of his 13 free throws.

"I just feel like we're getting better, and as long as we continue to get better and play Villanova basketball, we'll accept the results of any game," Jenkins said.

The thought of Villanova continuing to get better is a scary proposition for the rest of the college basketball world for an accomplished group that has won everything possible, yet still remains hungry heading into their final stretch.

So as Hart and Jenkins look to add another championship to an already impressive resume at Madison Square Garden next week, there was probably no better place for that push to begin than back home at the Verizon Center.

Sports Uncovered Podcast: How to listen to episode on Oregon football's uniform revolution

NBC Sports

Sports Uncovered Podcast: How to listen to episode on Oregon football's uniform revolution

Forget about Chip Kelly for a second: When you think of the University of Oregon, you probably think of their uniforms.

Each season, the Ducks push jersey and helmet designs to new heights, and their trailblazing influence has trickled down throughout college athletics. It all started in the 1990s, when Oregon decided to get crazy - and it worked.

In the second episode of NBC Sports' "Sports Uncovered" podcast series, NBC Sports Northwest takes a deep dive into how Oregon sparked a fashion transformation across college football with a mascot change, and with unique Nike uniforms that helped push the program into the national college football coversation.

The episode features in-depth interviews with former Oregon football head coach Mike Bellotti, former Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington, and more.

The episode releases Thursday, June 11. You can listen to this episode and the entire "Sports Uncovered" series by subscribing for free wherever you listen to podcasts.

To catch every episode, be sure to subscribe to "Sports Uncovered" and have every episode automatically downloaded to your phone. Sports Uncovered is available on the MyTeams app and on every major podcasting platform: Apple, Google Podcast, iHeart, Stitcher, Spotify, and TuneIn

Listen and subscribe to the "Sports Uncovered" podcast:

Jay Wright talks Saddiq Bey, missing March Madness, Phillies

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Jay Wright talks Saddiq Bey, missing March Madness, Phillies

It's been 12 days since Villanova's season ended abruptly due to the coronavirus crisis. Jay Wright held a video conference on Wednesday to discuss a number of topics. 

Here are the major takeaways from Wright's session with the media.  

This March is different

Villanova missed out on opportunities to win a fourth straight Big East Tournament and participate in the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in the last 16 years. The Wildcats won eight of their final nine games to clinch a share of the Big East regular season title. Not having a chance to shine in the postseason stings. 

"Missing the NCAA Tournament is obviously tough for our guys," Wright said. "We felt like we were playing great basketball, coming on strong. I always say we want to play our best basketball at the end of the year, and I think we were doing that. It is what it is, our guys get it. 

"It's a great example of our mantra 'attitude'. We try to teach our guys that you don't have control over what happens in life. What you do have control of is your response to what happens to you. 

"I don't know if there's even been a March where I wasn't either in (the NCAA Tournament), watching it or recruiting during it. I'm testing myself on what else is there in me? Being a better father, being a better husband. Spending more time with the kids, watching more movies, reading more, trying to be more worldly. I'm not very good at it but I'm trying."

Will Saddiq Bey leave for the NBA? 

Arguably the biggest question concerning Wright's team heading into the offseason is will Saddiq Bey leave for the NBA or will he return for his junior season at Villanova? Wright mentioned that Bey was especially disappointed when this season was cut short. He realizes that he has a big decision to make on his future. Wright discussed Bey's future plans as well as freshman Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, who is also considered an NBA prospect. 

"The NBA is still on hold," Wright said. "They don't have a plan yet for what they're going to do with the pre-draft process or the draft yet. Saddiq and Jeremiah probably both will go through that process when we find out what it is. They're waiting on us for information, should they start working out? We're trying to get them as much information as possible. 

"If we were in a normal timeline, they would both go through the process. As we learn what the NBA is going to do there are so many possibilities. Just to take it to an extreme, there's a possibility they might not have a pre-draft process and just have the draft with no workouts, using the evaluations they had during the season. 

"We're communicating with both of them daily. Saddiq is having a tough time trying to find a place to work out in [his hometown] Washington D.C. He just got a gym to get into so he can shoot, he can't find a gym to get into to lift. Jeremiah is trying to find a place around here to get into to shoot."

2020 Summer Olympics postponed

Wright was supposed to spend a portion of his summer as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team in Tokyo. But with this week's announcement that the Olympics are postponed, his plans have changed. 

"It's the right decision," Wright said. "I feel bad for all of those athletes that it's once in a lifetime experience. I really feel bad for them. For basketball guys it's not as difficult. I talked with [U.S. head coach Greg Popovich] yesterday. It's postponed, obviously not cancelled, postponed until some time next spring or summer. There's a lot of questions there. They could do it late spring, when you might not have NBA players. If they did it in the summer maybe you do have NBA players. We have to wait for the IOC to make those decisions. 

"For us personally (at Villanova), it's kind of crazy because we thought we came up with this great plan. I was going to have to leave our offseason program for the Olympics. We had a plan to work around that, and now it doesn't matter. We'll be here in June and July. Now we don't even know if the players will be here. We worked so hard to put this plan in place for me being away and now it doesn't even matter."

Phillies season on hold

A Bucks County native, Wright is a huge Philadelphia sports fan. He had Phillies season tickets as a kid and is a regular at Citizens Bank Park during the summer months. Like all Phillies fans, he's disappointed the baseball season isn't starting this week.

"The end of the basketball season was always sobering," Wright said. "But what always saved us was the start of the Phillies. Opening Day and the start of baseball season in our family is a big deal. 

"We watch the spring training games, we'll even joke, 'Who do the Phillies play tonight?' It's really surreal. Spring time without baseball, especially the Phillies, is bizarre. It's really the way myself and my family get ourselves out of basketball mode. We go to Opening Day, we go to the Phillies games, we love 'Bark in the Park', we always bring the dogs. We're really going to miss it."

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