#12 Villanova Wildcats (5-0) vs. Delaware Fighting Blue Hens (0-4)
When: Sunday, November 30, 2014, at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Coverage: Fox Sports 1
Delaware’s Previous Season Record: 25-10, Lost to Michigan State in Opening Round of NCAA Tournament
Key Players for Delaware: #22 Cazmon Hayes (6-4, 195) So., G; #0 Chivarsky Corbett (6-7, 195) Fr., G/F; #1 Kory Holden (6-2, 180) Fr., G
Scouting Report: What a difference a year makes. Delaware graduated four seniors, three of which, were instrumental to their conference title run last season. Aside from that, Jarvis Threatt was given the boot back in June for violating university rules. It was a huge blow to Delaware, as he would have been the top returning scorer. One returning starter from last year, Kyle Anderson, is expected to be out for the first month of the season as he recovers from a hand surgery. This is good news for opposing teams, Anderson is a prolific perimeter shooter and is on pace to easily break the school’s three point shooting records. With Anderson out, Delaware has struggled thus far. Through four games, they averaged a subpar 53.5 points per game and have lost by an average margin of nearly 20 points per game. This is a very young team, so far the underclassmen have been carrying the load. Cazmon Hayes has been the go-to guy. He has the ability to score from anywhere, beyond the arc or by driving to the basket. However, he prefers to take the three point shot when he can. Hayes is averaging a team-high 16.5 points per game. He’s athletic and possesses a good vertical leap. The key problem is his inefficiency. The sophomore guard will put up a lot of shots, but most of them will not fall through. He is only shooting 31.1% overall and 30.3% from long range. In the previous game against Stanford, he shot a horrendous 4-for-21 on the floor. The other key facet in Delaware’s starting lineup is Kory Holden. Holden can do everything – score, grab rebounds, and dish out assists. He’s averaging 10.8 points per game and a team-high 5.3 boards per game. He prefers to slash his way to the basket and drive inside. Like Hayes, his problem is his efficiency. While he boasts a slightly better shooting percentage (36.4%), it’s not exactly that great either. Also, keep an eye out for Devonne Pinkard and Chivarsky Corbett. Pinkard is another guard who likes to put up the three-point shot. Much like everyone else on this team, he’s not going to make a lot of them. He’s 6-for-20 from beyond the arc and an atrocious 1-for-17 everywhere else. As for Corbett, he is an integral piece of this Delaware bench. He can come into the game and contribute a quiet 9-10 points and grab some boards. Overall, this team’s biggest issue is putting the ball through the hoop. For some reason, their three point shooting percentage is somehow better than their overall shooting percentage. It’s not by much, but 29.5% versus 29.3%.
Outlook: Delaware is facing a lot of bad luck to start this season and it’s about to get worse. Last season, they gave a bit of a scare when these two teams met at the Pavilion. It was a lot closer than anticipated and it came down to a Villanova 84-80 win. This year will be different. With the losses of some important players, Villanova should easily cruise to victory without any problems. In the game against Michigan, the Wildcats proved that they can take it inside if they need to. JayVaughn Pinkston really stepped it up on both offense and defense. He and Daniel Ochefu combined for 18 of Villanova’s 60 points in the win against Michigan. If they choose to go that route again, they should have an easy time bullying Delaware in the paint. The Wildcats will have the size advantage and experience inside, and that will be the difference maker between the two teams. Should Villanova not elect to take their offense through the paint, they should be fine running their game plan with ease. The experienced and battle-tested Wildcats are better than the young Blue Hens in every facet of the game. This should be an easy win for Villanova. Numbers don’t lie, their stats speak for themselves. Delaware is going to have to look elsewhere for their first win of the season.
Also, why is this game at the Wells Fargo Center?