NCAA

Villanova with big challenge; Penn still aiming for 1st Ivy win

usa-penn-athletics-taurus-phillips-justin-watson.jpg
USA Today Images/Penn Athletics

Villanova with big challenge; Penn still aiming for 1st Ivy win

Villanova (4-3, 2-2 CAA) vs. Elon (6-1, 4-0 CAA)
Villanova Stadium, Villanova, Pennsylvania
Saturday, 3:30 p.m.


Last time out
Villanova lost to James Madison, 30-8, on Oct. 14.

Elon beat Rhode Island, 35-34, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Villanova has allowed just 49 rushing yards per game this season. The Wildcats boast a strong scoring defense, as well, with the second-best unit in the CAA, allowing only 15.6 points per game.

Elon’s key to winning the game is to keep its high-powered rushing attack going. The Phoenix average 193 yards on the ground, second in the CAA, and are led by junior running back Malcolm Summers, who has rushed for 755 yards this season on 134 attempts, good for 5.6 yards per carry. This game will be won between the tackles and in the trenches.

Series history
This is the second meeting between the teams. Villanova won, 42-7, last season. 

What’s next?
Villanova hosts Richmond.

Elon hosts Towson.

Penn (2-4, 0-3 Ivy) at Brown (2-4, 0-3 Ivy)
Brown Stadium, Providence, Rhode Island
Saturday, 12:30 p.m.


Last time out
Penn lost to Yale, 24-19, last Saturday.

Brown lost on the road to Cornell, 34-7, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Both Penn and Brown are winless in the Ivy League this season and are struggling to keep its seasons together. Both defenses are struggling, as well. Penn has the second-worst scoring defense in the league and Brown has the worst. Penn allows 31.2 points per game and Brown allows 32.2 points per game. Both are in the bottom two in total defense, as well, each allowing more than 440 yards per game. 

This one will be a high-scoring affair and look for Penn to establish the run game early in an attempt to get its first win in the Ivy League this season.

Series history
This is the 86th meeting between the teams. The Quakers hold a 60-23-2 advantage and Penn has won the last two editions.

What’s next?
Penn hosts Princeton.

Brown is at Yale.

NCAA adopts college basketball reforms for NBA draft, agents, more

ap-ncaa-logo-basketball-court.jpg
AP Images

NCAA adopts college basketball reforms for NBA draft, agents, more

INDIANAPOLIS — College basketball players who participate in the NBA combine and go undrafted will be allowed to return to school and play as part of sweeping NCAA reforms in the wake of a corruption scandal.

The NCAA announced Wednesday that its Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors have adopted numerous proposals, including changes to the enforcement process for rules violations and allowing NCAA-certified agents to work with college basketball players who test the waters in declaring for the NBA draft. 

Agents will have at least a limited place within the NCAA structure when it comes to college basketball.

The NCAA's rule changes include allowing players to work with an agent while declaring for the NBA draft. College players would have to request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee on their draft prospects. The rules would also allow elite high school players to work with an agent if the NBA removes its one-and-done rule.

The agent would have to be certified by the NCAA no later than August 2020. Until then, agents certified by the NBA players' union would qualify.

Agents would be allowed to cover minimal expenses such as meals and transportation tied to meetings or workouts with pro teams. The agent's work would stop if the player enrolls in or returns to college.

The changes reflect the recommendations made in April by the Rice Commission.

The Rice Commission, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, was formed in response to an FBI investigation into payments from shoe companies to coaches for steering players to certain schools.

The NCAA is also adopting changes it hopes will improve its enforcement process when handling cases of rules violations.

The policies adopted by the NCAA's Board of Governors and Division I Council include the appointment of independent groups to handle and resolve complex cases. That was one of the recommendations from the Rice Commission appointed in the wake of an FBI investigation into corruption within college basketball.

The changes also allow the NCAA to accept during investigations outside information that has been "established by another administrative body or a commission authorized by a school." The NCAA says that will save time since investigators would no longer have to independently confirm information outlined by other agencies or outside investigations.

In addition, school presidents and athletics staff will be required to commit "contractually" to cooperate fully with investigations.

The process to adopt recommendations for NCAA reforms from the Rice Commission was a swift one by the governing body's standards.

In a teleconference with reporters Wednesday, Georgia Tech president and Board of Governors chairman Bud Peterson said those changes would "normally take us about two years through the governance process."

Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

usa-jay-wright-smile.jpg
USA Today Images

Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

Fresh off a second national championship in three years, this was bound to happen. Jay Wright is a hot name. 

And according to the New York Daily News, the Knicks plan on reaching out to Wright about their vacant head coaching job. 

Just don’t expect Wright to be interested. 

The 56-year-old coach has been determined to build Villanova into a powerhouse since he took the head coaching gig way back in 2001 and he’s finally done that. On the surface, maybe some think that would be enough to make him want to take his coaching to the top league in the world. Not so fast. 

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Wright said pretty flatly that he’s staying at Villanova because he loves it there. 

“The NBA does intrigue me,” Wright said. “That challenge is appealing but it’s not worth giving up working with these guys. The whole thing is, to take a new challenge you have to give up what you have. I don’t want to give up what I have. Would I like to coach in the NBA? Yes. But I have to give this up in order to do that, and I don’t see that happening.”

In that interview, Wright talked about his time at Hofstra and quoted Jim Valvano, who once said, ‘Don’t mess with happy.’ That was true at Hofstra until the Villanova job came around, so maybe there’s a chance the Knicks could blow him away. It just doesn’t seem likely. 

The Knicks just fired head coach Jeff Hornacek after a 29-53 record in 2017. The Knicks haven’t had a winning record since 2012-13. 

The New York Daily News cites a source, who said the Knicks believe Wright would be a “perfect candidate for a rebuilding club.” The Knicks might be right, but don’t bet on them getting Wright.