The Villanova basketball team in the Big East has had a great year and throughout the regular season their standings in the top 25 poll have fluctuated in the top 5, getting as high as #2 in the polls. This team has a 4 guard lineup and it has had much success as this team has beaten very tough opponents like UCONN, Syracuse, George Town, Bucknell, Cincinatti, and Marquette. The only question that remains is, will this team get a #1 seed in the tournament? Star guard Allen Ray got poked in the eye in their Big East loss against Pittsburg and because of that injury Villanova might drop down to a #2 seed. However Ray has told people that he is fine and will be able to play in the tournament.
Allen Ray is without question one of the leaders on this team both on and off the floor. He averaged 18.8 points per game in the regular season to go with 4 rebounds per game. Ray is a great shooter who can create his own shots. He shoots mid range and long distance shots very well and can drive to the hoop to get to the free throw line. He is a solid defender but he has poor rebounding numbers and few steals. When the game is on the line, Ray is the shooter that this team relies on. Ray is a senior and will go high in the NBA draft next year depending on how well Villanova does in the NCAA tournament.
Next is another senior guard Randy Foyle who is also a pure shooter, averaging 20 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game and 3.2 assists per game. At only 6’3 he is a strong rebounder who displays toughness and tremendous athletic and leaping ability. Foyle also has a knack for taking the big shot and he does collect a nice amount of steals. However he can get into foul trouble at times and sometimes takes bad shots. Besides that he is an amazing player.
A 3rd guard is Kyle Lowry who averages almost 12 points per game to go with 4 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. Lowry is their main ball handler and he has the most assists on this team. He is a strong defender and gets a fair share of steals. However he is a small player at only 6 feet and he has a low shooting percentage. He is in his sophomore season so he does have room for improvement as the season wears on and his team enters the NCAA tournament.
The 4th guard is Mike Nardi. Of the 4 guards he is probably the worst but he is still a very good player as he is averaging 11.4 points per game. However he has poor rebounding and assists numbers. He shares point guard responsibilities with Lowry but he still commits too many turnovers and lacks consistency in shooting.
Finally at the center position is the emerging talent of Jason Fraser. Fraser is only averaging 3.6 points per game and 3.6 rebounds per game but he is a great shot blocker and has had some very good games. He does get into foul trouble and has a poor shooting touch.
The Wildcats sorely miss the presence of center Curtis Sumpter who went down with a injury and no one knows if he will be able to return to the lineup.
How far can Villanova go? That question all depends on the health of Allen Ray. If his eye injury is not severe and he can play as well as he has all season long, his team will go far and I think they will advance to the Final 4. Their tough Big East schedule has given them the toughness they need to advacne deep into the tournament.