Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Nova’s Wright Rooting for Phillies; Big East Notes
With Game 5 of the World Series finally set to resume tonight in Philly, you can guess who Villanova coach Jay Wright is rooting for.
“We have the middle three games in Philadelphia so selfishly I’d like it to go at least five so we can get to those games,” Wright said at Big East Media Day. “There’s nothing better than being in Citizens Bank Park for a Phillies game. I’m going to get down there when I can and I definitely have the Phillies in five.”
OK, Jay. We’ll see if you’re right.
Here’s more from Coach Wright, as well as Georgetown coach John Thompson III and Louisville coach Rick Pitino….
ON BEING PICKED 5th in the 16-TEAM LEAGUE
“I actually think it was a little bit of a gift. I thought we might’ve been around seven or eight, and I would’ve been fine with that. I thought it would’ve been fair. The depth of experienced palyers in this league is what really makes it great this year. There’s a lot of teams that finished above us that are returning experienced players.”
ON HOW MANY TEAMS COULD MAKE A RUN IN THE NCAAS
“There could be four or five teams here that if they made a run to the Final Four or if they won a national championship, I don’t think anybody would be shocked. I think that speaks to the quality of the top of this league.
“The teams that have been at the bottom have gotten better, too. It’s just that everybody at the top’s gotten better. They can sneak into the tournament and do damage.”
ON SCOTTIE REYNOLDS“Scottie is healthy and I think it’s one of the responsiblities of our coaching staff to keep him fresh and healthy this year. He kills himself in practice and Dante Cunningham does the same thing. It’s my job to do the same thing.”
ON COREY FISHER AND COREY STOKES“We’ll always recruit New Jersey because that’s where the bulk of our alumni are from. The history of Villanova basketball, there’s so many great players from New York and New Jersey.
“Corey Stokes and Corey Fisher are the guys that really have a chance to make us a better team. They’re the guys that have made drastic improvements from last year and they’re both talented kids and very, very well coached coming from their high school programs. We’ve got experienced guys up front, those two could make the difference for us this year.”
HERE ARE SOME QUOTES FROM GEORGETOWN COACH JOHN THOMPSON IIION PRESEASON ROOKIE OF THE YEAR GREG MONROE“So far Greg Monroe is an extremely bright young man. He’s someone that picks up and understands what we’re asking of him. The biggest similarity between Greg and Roy [Hibbert] is his willingness, his willingness to be coached, to be taught, his willingness to learn. Coupled with the fact that he’s bright and he picks up and learns quickly. Is he the next line? We hope so, but time will tell.”
ON DAJUAN SUMMERS, A FIRST-TEAM ALL-BIG EAST SELECTION
“I think a lot of people went through last year expecting DaJuan to be placed into Jeff Green’s peg, into his hole, and they’re very different. I think DaJuan has settled into a comfort level with himself, with what I expect of him. I think he’s poised and he’s worked extremely hard and he’s put himself in a position to have a good year. And we’re going to need him to.”
LOUISVILLE COACH RICK PITINO ON HOW DEEP THE LEAGUE IS
“There are four teams like West Virginia, Cincinnati, Syracuse and Providence, with a team of great depth, great talent and they’re not even ranked.”
ON WHEN TERRENCE WILLIAMS WILL RETURN FROM A KNEE INJURY
“Probably in about three weeks. Terrence I think faked the surgery because he’s like an NBA veteran that just doesn’t want to play the exhibition schedule.”
ON FRESHMEN SAMARDO SAMUELS AND TERRENCE JENNINGS
“They’re both physically ready to play, but mentally they’re not there yet defensively or offensively, but that’s to be expected. Anytime you go from high school to college, there’s an adjustment to make.”
ON SAMARDO’S UPSIDEPlaying for Danny [Hurley], he’s fundamentally sound. So he has strong fundamentals coming in. He also has a very strong physical presence. He has 8.5 percent body fat but he’s 255. Long wingspan, so he’s got all the physical attributes to be avery good player, but he just has to get a little quicker, has to run the floor a little better.
“The thing I want to see him most from him, how well does he rebound? That’s the thing I want to see?”
ARE WE GOING TO SEE THE WHITE LINEN SUIT AGAIN?“Without question, that’s the only time I could wear it.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.