clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kansas State Basketball: Villanova Preview

Drew drops in with what to expect from the east coast Wildcats tonight.

NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis Championship-Memphis at Villanova Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

#18 Villanova Wildcats (6-3)

Basic Information

Location: Villanova, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia basically)

Type of School: Private Research University

Mascot: Will D. Cat (That’s right, we've got a Willie vs Will D. battle on our hands)

Head Coach - Kyle Neptune

Seasons at Villanova: 2

Career Record: 39-3.6

Regular Season Conference Championships: 0

Conference Tournament Championships: 0

NCAA Appearances: 0

Final 4 Appearances: 0

Kenpom Style of Play

() = National Ranking per Kenpom

Offense

Adj. Efficiency: 115.3 (26)

Avg. Poss. Length: 18.5 (291)

Defense

Adj. Efficiency: 98.5 (50)

Avg. Poss. Length: 18 (299)

Tempo

Adj. Tempo:

Kenpom 4 Factors

() = National Ranking per Kenpom

Offense

Effective FG%: 49.8 (188)

Turnover %: 15.3(64)

Off. Reb. %: 32.6 (123)

FTA/FGA: 36.2 (123)

Defense

Effective FG%: 49.1 (158)

Turnover %: 17.9 (175)

Off. Reb. %: 24.3 (31)

FTA/FGA: 32 (160)

Personnel

Villanova Starters

Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
Point Guard 2 Mark Armstrong So. 6'2" 180 N/A 21 6.6 1.2 1.3 0.8 0
Shooting Guard 5 Justin Moore Sr. 6'5" 210 N/A 31 14.4 3.8 2.4 0.8 0.3
Small Forward 0 TJ Bamba Sr. 6'5" 215 N/A 24.8 8.4 3.7 2 0.6 0.1
Power Forward 23 Tyler Burton Sr. 6'7" 215 N/A 24 8.7 7 0.9 0.7 0.2
Center 43 Eric Dixon Sr. 6'8" 255 N/A 27.6 14.8 6.6 1.3 0.7 0.2

Villanova Bench

Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
Combo Guard 15 Jordan Longino Jr. 6'5" 215 N/A 23 8.9 3.3 1.8 0.4 0.3
Combo Forward 13 Hakim Hart Sr. 6'8" 205 N/A 19.3 5.8 3.8 0.9 0.4 0
Shooting Guard 1 Brendan Hausen So. 6'4" 205 N/A 16.7 5.6 1.4 0.3 0.6 0
Center 14 Lance Ware Sr. 6'8" 255 N/A 11.3 0.9 2.7 0.7 0.6 0.3

Playing Style

Offense

Buckle up; threes are going to be flying in this game. 50.4% of Villanova’s shots come from behind the arc. They have attempted 261 threes and 256 twos this season – that’s something. The good news is that they’re not particularly good at hitting threes. They’re 7th in the nation in attempts, but their 31.8% average is only good for 234th.

When they’re not bombing away from deep, hoping to get hot, they remember that Eric Dixon is their best player and an absolute bully on the inside. To be fair, sometimes Dixon forgets he’s an absolute bully on the inside and stands outside waiting in line to launch a three. He’s shooting 38% from deep and averages 3.2 attempts a game.

Justin Moore is the other player of concern for Villanova. At 6’4”, 210, he’s a tough guy to keep from the basket when he wants to get there. Once he gets a shoulder by, he’s strong enough to keep you pinned to his backside. The good news is he hasn’t found his shot yet. He was a 34% shooter from deep last season, and has regressed to 29% this season. His numbers may be a bit misleading though. He had a bad night against St. Joseph’s from behind the arc, going 3/12 in a loss. He hit 3/5 against Memphis, showing he’s capable of shooting a decent percentage when he’s a little more selective with his opportunities.

Villanova is on a two-game losing skid, falling to St. Joseph’s and Drexel in huge upsets. Both games had something in common. They were 5/27 from deep against Drexel and 10/37 from deep against St. Joseph’s. If the threes don’t fall, they can lose to any team in the country. If the threes do fall, they can beat any team in the country. That’s a scary proposition. They’ve been awful in the last two games; hopefully, things don’t even out tonight.

In an effort to keep the water from finding its level for another game, Kansas State should avoid overhelping on drives. Villanova drives to pass the ball. Don’t give up open threes; make them finish at the rim over a defender.

Defense

They were not a good defensive team in the game I watched against St. Joseph’s. Eric Reynolds II took a flamethrower to them, hitting 3/5 from 2 and 5/8 from 3 on his way to 24 points. Flames were shooting out of his eyes, but he kept finding himself wide open. His backcourt partner Lynn Green got in on the action, going 7/10 from 2 and 3/5 from 3.

They struggled to contain the dribble against the Hawks and subsequently gave up open shots from the perimeter on kickouts. They also struggled getting over the top of screens. Reynolds came off a curl shooting a wide-open three on a few occasions. I think the K-State guards could have similar success tonight if they’re looking to pull the trigger coming off screens.

Drexel shot 8/16 from deep against them to pull the upset in a low-scoring game. Their defense is going to give Kansas State open looks. It’s going to be a miss or make type of game where Kansas State wins if they make the open looks or loses if they miss the open looks. Tell me how Tylor Perry and Camryn Carter shot from three, and I’ll tell you who won the game.

In Conclusion

We’ve got a matchup between two teams that like to shoot threes, despite neither being particularly good at shooting threes yet this season. I don’t see that changing tonight. If both teams get hot, it’ll be a tight, high-scoring game. If both teams go cold, it’ll be a tight, low-scoring game. It could end up as a blowout if one team gets hot while the other remains cold.

Prediction

KenPom

Kansas State - 72

Villanova - 71

Confidence: 53%

Drew

Kansas State - 77

Villanova - 65

I’m going out on a limb here, but Villanova is in a funk, and I don’t think playing in Manhattan, Kansas, is going to help their shooting. If they stay cold, the Wildcats can corral long rebounds and find open shots in transition. If they finally shoot a decent percentage from deep, the purple Wildcats could prevail.