- Villanova Wildcats men's basketball
Infobox CBB Team
name = Villanova Wildcats
logo_size = 150
university = Villanova University
conference = Big East Conference
conference_short = Big East
city = Villanova
stateabb = PA
state = Pennsylvania
coach = Jay Wright
tenure = 7th
capacity = 6,500
nickname = Wildcats
color1 = Blue
color2 = White
hex1 = 120A8F
hex2 = FFFFFF
NCAAchampion = 1985
NCAAfinalfour = 1939, 1971*, 1985
NCAAeliteeight = 1939, 1949, 1962, 1970, 1971*, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1988, 2006
NCAAsweetsixteen = 1939, 1949, 1951, 1955, 1962, 1964, 1970, 1971*, 1972, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1985, 2005, 2006, 2008
NCAAtourneys= 1939, 1949, 1951, 1955, 1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1971*, 1972, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
*vacated by NCAA
conference_tournament = 1978, 1980, 1995
conference_season = 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1997, 2006
Villanova Universityhas fielded a basketball team since the 1920-21 season. Nicknamed the " Wildcats", Villanova is a member of the Big East Conferenceand the Philadelphia Big Five. The Villanova Wildcats have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 29 times, the 8th highest total in NCAA history. They made the Final Fourin 1939, 1971, and 1985, and were National Champions in 1985. Villanova has appeared in the NIT 17 times, winning in 1994, and won the Big East Tournament in 1995. Villanova enters the 2007-2008 season with an all-time winning percentage of .637, placing the Wildcats 20th among all NCAA Division I basketball programs. [ [http://www.ncaa.org/stats/m_basketball/all_time_wins/2007_all_time_wins.pdf 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball All-Time Winningest Teams ] ]
Early years (1920-1936)
Villanova began its varsity basketball program in 1920.
Michael Saxecoached for six seasons, from 1920-1926, compiling a 64-30 record (.681). John Cashmancoached three seasons, from 1926-1929, compiling a 21-21 record (.447). George Jacobs coached seven seasons, from 1929-1936, and had a 62-56 record (.525).
The team played its first game in 1920 in Alumni Hall on Villanova's campus, beating Catholic University 43-40. In the early years, Villanova's home courts were Alumni Hall and West Catholic High School. The Wildcats moved into the Villanova Field House (now known as the Jake Nevin Field House) in 1932. Villanova also played many home games at the
Palestraon the campus of the University of Pennsylvaniabeginning in 1929. The Wildcats played home games in both the Villanova Field House and the Palestra until 1986.
Al Severance era (1936-1961)
Alexander Severancecoached Villanova for 25 seasons, from 1936 to 1961. It was under the leadership of Coach Severance that Villanova's basketball program rose to prominence. Severance compiled a 413-201 record (.673).
The 1939 team won the first ever NCAA Tournament game, which put them in the first Final Four. Severance led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament again in 1949, 1951, and 1955. Villanova earned NIT bids in 1959 and 1960.
The most storied player in Villanova history,
Paul Arizin, played during this era. Severance discovered Arizin, already a Villanova student, playing basketball in the Villanova Fieldhouse. Arizin holds the Villanova record for most points in a game (85), and is credited with inventing the jump shot.
Other notable players from the Severance era include
Larry Hennessy, and Bob Schafer.
1939 Final Four
The inaugural NCAA Tournament featured eight teams from throughout the country. Villanova, representing the
Middle Atlantic States, beat Brown, representative of the New EnglandStates, 43-40 before a crowd of 3,500 at the Palestra. The following night, the Wildcats lost to Ohio State53-36 in the Eastern Division Championship
Jack Kraft era (1961-1973)
Jack Kraftcoached Villanova for 12 years, from 1961 through 1973. He compiled a 238-95 record (.715). Kraft led Villanova to the NCAA Tournament six times, and five times to the NIT. Only once did Kraft's teams fail to earn a post-season bid, in his final season. The 1971 team, led by Howard Porter, reached the NCAA Championship game, and lost to UCLA at the height of the UCLA dynasty.
Notable players during the Jack Kraft era include:
Chris Ford, Tom Ingelsby, Wali Jones, Bill Melchionni, Howard Porter, Jim Washington, and Hubie White.
1971 NCAA Finalist
March 27, 1971, Villanova made its first appearance in an NCAA basketball tournament championship game. The unheralded Wildcats took on the legendary John Woodenand his mighty UCLABruins. The 28-1 UCLA squad featured Sidney Wicks, Curtis Rowe, Henry Bibby, and Steve Patterson. Going into the title game, the Bruins had won six of the previous seven NCAA championships, including the previous four.
Jack Kraft's Villanova squad, nicknamed the "Iron Men", was made up of just nine players. Led by Howard Porter,
Clarence Smith, Hank Siemiontkowski, Chris Ford, and Tom Ingelsby, Villanova amassed a 27-6 record, including a shocking 90-47 victory over a powerhouse Penn squad.
Villanova fought from behind for most of the game, twice cutting the lead to three in the final minutes. Villanova lost by six, 68-62. The six-point loss was the narrowest spread of UCLA's seven consecutive victories in NCAA title games.
Despite the loss, Villanova's Howard Porter was named the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Porter was later stripped of the award and the team's NCAA victories were vacated after it was discovered that Porter had violated NCAA rules because he had signed a professional contract with the Pittsburgh Condors of the American Basketball Association during the middle of his senior year.
Rollie Massimino era (1973-1992)
During Rollie Massimino's tenure, the Villanova Wildcats abandoned their traditional independent status by joining the newly-formed Eastern Eight Conference in 1975. In 1980, the 'Cats moved into the new
Big East Conference. Villanova was a power in the Big East during its early years, along with Georgetown, St. John's, and Syracuse. The 1980s were the golden age of the Big East, highlighted by the 1985 NCAA Tournament, when Villanova, Georgetown, and St. John's reached the Final Four.
Massimino's teams had tremendous success in the NCAA Tournament, usually in an underdog role. Coach Massimino led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament eleven times, winning in 1985. His teams reached the Final Eight five times in an eleven-year span: 1978, 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1988. Coach Massimino's teams were well-prepared for the Tournament, always playing a difficult schedule, and playing tenacious defense. Massimino lost the opening game in the Tournament only one time.
Massimino coached for 19 seasons at Villanova, compiling a record of 357-241 (.596). In the NCAA Tournament, Massimino had a 20-10 record (.667).
Notable players from the Massimino era include
Alex Bradley, Stewart Granger, Keith Herron, Dwayne McClain, Harold Jensen, Ed Pinckney, John Pinone, Harold Pressley, Rory Sparrow, and Doug West.
In 1976, the Wildcats played their first game in
the Spectrumin Philadelphia. Because of the greater seating capacity, the 'Cats generally played a few home games each year at the Spectrum until the opening of the Wachovia Center. Villanova christened its current home court, the Pavilion, with a 64-62 victory over Maryland on February 1, 1986.
1985 National Champions
In 1985, under the direction of coach Rollie Massimino, the men's basketball team completed one of the most surprising runs in NCAA tournament history by winning the national championship in the first year of the 64-team field. The eighth-seeded Wildcats beat Dayton (at Dayton), then upset top-seeded Michigan, Maryland and second-seeded North Carolina to win the Southeast Regional en route to the Final Four in
Lexington, Kentucky. After defeating 2-seed Memphis State in the national semifinals, Villanova met defending champion and ten-point-favorite Georgetown, led by Patrick Ewing, in the title game.
Top-seeded Georgetown had beaten conference rival Villanova twice during the regular season, and had reached the title game with tenacious defense, which gave up less than 40% of their opponents' shots from the field in both the regular season and the postseason. But in perhaps the greatest shooting performance in NCAA history, the Wildcats went 22-of-28 from the field to convert a blistering 78.6% of their shots, including a second half where they missed only one basket. The Hoyas hung tough, converting 55% of their 53 attempts, but were unable to overcome the astounding shooting performance as Villanova won 66-64 to claim the NCAA championship. The Wildcat squad remains the only eight-seed and the lowest overall seed in tournament history to win the championship, and their overall team shooting percentage remains an NCAA tournament record for a single game. The game is often cited among the greatest upsets in
college basketballhistory. Ed Pinckney, who shot 5-of-7 and had 16 points in the game, was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Steve Lappas era (1992-2001)
Steve Lappasera was marked by extraordinary strong teams, including teams that won Villanova's only NIT and Big East Tournament Championships. However, Lappas' teams are also remembered for their underachieving performances in NCAA Tournaments.
Lappas compiled a respectable record of 174-110 (.613) during his years at Villanova. The 1994 and 1995 teams, led by
Kerry Kittles, Jason Lawson, and Jonathan Haynes, won the NIT and Big East Tournaments, respectively. However, one week after their victory in the Big East Championship, the 1995 Wildcats lost a triple-overtime thriller to underdog Old Dominion, in a game that many Villanova fans consider the most painful game in Villanova history.
Under Coach Lappas, Villanova reached the NCAA Tournament in 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1999, compiling a 2-4 record.
Villanova began playing a few major home games at the
Wachovia Centerbeginning in 1998. Wachovia Center was known as the CoreStates Center and the First Union Center before it adopted the Wachovia Center name.
1994 NIT Champions
March 30, 1994, Villanova became the 15th school to win both NCAA and NIT Championships when the Wildcats defeated Vanderbilt 80-73 to win the NIT title. The Wildcats were led by Jonathan Haynes, who scored 19 points, and Kerry Kittles, who posted 18. Eric Eberzadded 16 points and seven rebounds. Haynes and Kittles earned spots on the All-Tournament team for their efforts.
Jay Wright era (2001-present)
Jay Wrightwas named Villanova's coach in 2001. As a former Rollie Massimino assistant, Wright was well-acquainted with Villanova. Prior to his appointment at Villanova, Wright was head coach at Hofstra. Villanova has earned a post-season tournament berth in each of Wright's seven seasons as Villanova head coach. The Wildcats played in the NIT in 2002, 2003, and 2004, and in the NCAA Tournament in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. During Wright's tenure, Villanova has compiled a 7-4 record in the NCAA Tournament. Three of Wright's four NCAA Tournament losses at Villanova were to the eventual National Champion.
Notable players during the Jay Wright era include
Curtis Sumpter, Randy Foye, Allan Ray, Kyle Lowry, and Scottie Reynolds.
Under coach Jay Wright, Villanova's men's basketball team reached the 2005 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, losing to #1 seed and eventual champion North Carolina by one point on a disputed call. The gritty Wildcats nearly beat North Carolina despite the loss of star forward
Curtis Sumpterto a season-ending knee injury.
Led by senior guards
Randy Foyeand Allan Ray, the Villanova men's basketball team began the 2005-2006 year ranked #4 in the major polls from USA Today and the Associated Press. Having lost only three regular season games, the Wildcats enjoyed a #1 seed in the 2006 tournament -- their first. The Wildcats' wins over Monmouth, Arizona, and Boston Collegebrought them to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1988. Villanova's 75-62 loss in Minneapolis to eventual champion Florida ended the team's run for a second NCAA championship in the Regional Final. The loss to Florida was the second consecutive year that Villanova was eliminated in the NCAA Tournament by the eventual national champion. The Wildcats' 28 wins during the 2006 campaign represent the most victories for any Villanova Men's Basketball team.
Wright's 2006-2007 team was composed mainly of freshmen and sophomores who, at times, struggled to mesh. The Wildcats improved throughout the season, due in large part to the emergence of freshman
Scottie Reynolds. Villanova finished the 2006-07 season with a record of 22-11. The Wildcats earned an at-large bid to the 2007 NCAA Tournament, where they lost in the first round to the Kentucky Wildcats. Villanova's 2006-07 free throwpercentage of .781 led the NCAA, and set a Villanova season record. [ [http://villanova.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/051007aaa.html http://villanova.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/051007aaa.html] ]
The 2007-08 campaign was an erratic one for the young Wildcats, a team with no seniors. After a promising 9-1 start, Villanova had a rough start to its Big East season. In mid-season, the Wildcats lost five consecutive games by double digits, as the freshmen struggled to adjust to the college game, and the experienced players encountered difficulties in adjusting to leadership positions. In February and March, as the players became more comfortable within Coach Wright's system, and with improved defense, the team began to win.
A win against Syracuse in the Big East Tournament was good enough for the Wildcats to secure one of the final at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament. Villanova proved it was worthy of the bid with an upset over Clemson and a victory over Siena put them in the final 16 teams in the tournament, where they lost to eventual National Champion Kansas.
Coming off of a 22-13 (9-9) record in the 2008 season, Villanova is returning all but one from their entire roster that made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The squad with no seniors, lost 6 of 7 games during a 3-week span in the middle of the season, but came back in form to make the NCAA tournament.
Following the 2008 Season, freshman guard Macolm Grant has transferred to the University of Miami. The team will find one new addition, in 6′11″ freshman center Maurice Sutton from Largo, MD.
*1947 Joe Lord (Third Team)
*1952 Larry Hennessy (Third Team)
*1953 Larry Hennessy (Third Team)
*1954 Bob Schafer (Third Team)
*1962 Hubie White
*1964 Wali Jones
*1966 Bill Melchionni
*1969 Howard Porter
*1970 Howard Porter
*1971 Howard Porter
*1972 Hank Siemiontkowski
*1983 John Pinone (Third Team)
Ed Pinckney(Second Team)
Kerry Kittles(Second Team)
Alvin Williams(AP Honorable Mention)
*1997 Tim Thomas (AP Honorable Mention)
*2001 Michael Bradley (Second Team)
Allan Ray(Third Team, Naismith Award Finalist)
National Freshman of the Year
*1997 Tim Thomas
National Coach of the Year
Jay Wright Big East Player of the Year
Big East Rookie of the Year
Big East Coach of the Year
NCAA Tournament History
Villanova has appeared in 29 NCAA Tournaments, beginning with the first in 1939. The Wildcats have amassed a Tournament record of 44-29 (.603), and were the National Champions in 1985. Villanova has won as the underdog (based on Tournament seeding) 13 times, more than any other program. [ [http://villanova.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/031107aaa.html http://villanova.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/031107aaa.html] ] Villanova is one of only two programs (the other being Ohio State) that has played in the NCAA Tournament in every decade since the 1930s.
NIT Tournament History
Villanova has appeared in 17 NIT's.
2004, final 8.
2003, lost first round.
2002, final 8.
2001, lost first round.
2000, lost second round.
1992, lost first round.
1989, final 8.
1987, lost first round.
1977, third place.
1968, final 8.
1967, lost first round.
1966, third place.
1963, fourth place.
1960, final 8.
1959, lost first round.
Basketball Hall of Fame
Paul Arizin'50, inducted 1978.
Retired Numbers and Jerseys
Villanova honors outstanding former players, coaches, and others by retiring their numbers or jerseys. For those honored, a replica jersey is hung in the rafters of the Pavilion. Uniform numbers of retired jerseys remain in circulation, while retired numbers are no longer used. Paul Arizin's #11 is the only retired number. Currently, 18 have been honored with a retired number or jersey, including 13 players, four coaches, and longtime trainer Jake Nevin. [ [http://www.nba.com/celtics/news/press-ford013006.html http://www.nba.com/celtics/news/press-ford013006.html] ]
The honorees include:
Al Severance, Coach. Jack Kraft, Coach. Rollie Massimino, Coach (1973-92). Jersey retired in 2005.
Jake Nevin, longtime trainer. Jersey retired in 1984.
Paul Arizin(1947-50). Number retired in 1994.
Hubie White(1959-62). Jersey retired in 2001.
Wali Jones(1961-64). Jersey retired in 1995.
Tom Ingelsby(1970-73). Jersey retired in 2006.
Bill Melchionni(1963-66). Jersey retired in 1995.
Kerry Kittles(1992-96). Jersey retired in 1998.
Chris Ford(1969-72). Jersey retired in 2006.
John Pinone(1979-83). Jersey retired in 1995.
#54 Howard Porter (1968-71). Jersey retired in 1997.
Villanova Career Records
Doug Westand Gary Massey- 138 games
Howard Porter- 1,325 rebounds
Assists: Kenny Wilson - 627 assists
Kerry Kittles- 277 steals
Jason Lawson- 375 blocks
Kerry Kittles- 2,243 points
Villanovans in the NBA/ABA
Villanova's All-Time NBA/ABA Roster
Malik Allen'00, Paul Arizin'50, Alex Bradley'81, Michael Bradley '01, Thomas Brennan'52, John Celestand'99, Chris Ford'72, Randy Foye'06, Stewart Granger '83, Larry Hennessy'53, Keith Herron'78, Thomas Hoover'61, Tom Ingelsby'72, Wali Jones'64, Kerry Kittles'96, Red Klotz'44, Jason Lawson'97, Kyle Lowry'06, Dwayne McClain'85, Bill Melchionni'66, James Mooney'53, Richie Moore'64, Fran O'Hanlon'70, John Olive'77, Ed Pinckney'85, John Pinone'83, Howard Porter '71, Harold Pressley'86, Sherwin Raiken'50, Allan Ray'06, Bob Schafer'55, Rory Sparrow'80, Arthur Spector'41, Tim Thomas '97, Jim Washington'65, Doug West'89, Hubie White'62, Alvin Williams'97.
Villanova Players Currently in the NBA
Malik Allen- 2001-02 to Present Randy Foye- 2006-07 to Present Kyle Lowry- 2006-07 to Present
Tim Thomas - 1997-98 to Present
Villanova Records in the NBA
Rory Sparrow- 836 games
Paul Arizin- 24,897 minutes
Jim Washington- 6,637 rebounds
Rory Sparrow- 4,192 assists
Chris Ford- 1,152 steals
Ed Pinckney- 435 blocks
Paul Arizin- 16,266 points
*1958- Round 8, Pick 5: Tom Brennan (
*1959- Round 7, Pick 3: Joe Ryan (Philadelphia Warriors)
*1960- Round 8, Pick 7:
George Raveling(Philadelphia Warriors)
*1962- Round 2, Pick 7:
Hubie White(Philadelphia Warriors)
*1963- Round 1, Pick 6: Tom Hoover (
*1964- Round 3, Pick 2:
Wali Jones( Detroit Pistons)
*1965- Round 1, Pick 5:
Jim Washington( St. Louis Hawks)
*1965- Round 5, Pick 5: Richie Moore (
*1966- Round 2, Pick 9:
Bill Melchionni(Philadelphia 76ers)
*1967- Round 12, Pick 6: Frank Gadjunas (
*1968- Round 16, Pick 8: Joe Crews (Philadelphia 76ers)
*1969- Round 6, Pick 13: John Jones (Philadelphia 76ers)
*1970- Round 8, Pick 12:
Fran O'Hanlon(Philadelphia 76ers)
*1971- Round 2, Pick 15: Howard Porter (
*1971- Round 9, Pick 7: Clarence Smith (
San Francisco Warriors)
*1972- Round 2, Pick 4:
Chris Ford(Detroit Pistons)
*1972- Round 4, Pick 3: Hank Siemiontkowski (
*1973- Round 2, Pick 9:
Tom Ingelsby( Atlanta Hawks)
*1973- Round 11, Pick 9: Ed Hastings (
*1977- Round 8, Pick 20:
John Olive(Philadelphia 76ers)
*1978- Round 2, Pick 2:
Keith Herron( Portland Trail Blazers)
*1980- Round 4, Pick 6:
Rory Sparrow( New Jersey Nets)
*1981- Round 4, Pick 17:
Alex Bradley( New York Knicks)
*1981- Round 7, Pick 7: Tom Sienkiewicz (
*1982- Round 5, Pick 6: Aaron Howard (New York Knicks)
*1983- Round 1, Pick 24: Stewart Granger (Cleveland Cavaliers)
*1983- Round 3, Pick 11:
John Pinone(Atlanta Hawks)
*1983- Round 8, Pick 19: Mike Mulquin (
*1984- Round 8, Pick 21: Frank Dobbs (Philadelphia 76ers)
*1985- Round 1, Pick 10:
Ed Pinckney(Phoenix Suns)
*1985- Round 2, Pick 3:
Dwayne McClain( Indiana Pacers)
*1985- Round 7, Pick 15: Gary McLain (New Jersey Nets)
*1986- Round 1, Pick 17:
Harold Pressley( Sacramento Kings)
*1986- Round 6, Pick 14: Chuck Everson (
*1987- Round 6, Pick 7: Harold Jensen (Cleveland Cavaliers)
*1989- Round 2, Pick 11:
Doug West( Minnesota Timberwolves)
*1996- Round 1, Pick 8:
Kerry Kittles(New Jersey Nets)
*1997- Round 1, Pick 7: Tim Thomas (New Jersey Nets)
*1997- Round 2, Pick 13:
Jason Lawson( Denver Nuggets)
*1997- Round 2, Pick 19:
Alvin Williams(Portland Trail Blazers)
*1999- Round 2, Pick 1:
John Celestand( Los Angeles Lakers)
*2001- Round 1, Pick 17: Michael Bradley (
*2006- Round 1, Pick 7:
Randy Foye(Boston Celtics)
*2006- Round 1, Pick 24:
Kyle Lowry( Memphis Grizzlies)
Most Villanovans count Georgetown as their most intense rivalry, having played a historic NCAA Championship game and many competitive Big East Tournament and regular season games against the Hoyas. Other rivals from the Big East include Connecticut, Pitt, Providence, St. John's, and Syracuse.
Big Five, many consider Villanova's biggest rival to be Saint Joseph's University, in what has become known as the Holy War. The Wildcats hold a 41-25 lead in the series between the two schools, and have won the past three of four meetings. Currently, Jay Wrightholds a 4-3 record against the Hawks and their coach, Phil Martelli. Villanova also has rivalries with Temple and Penn.
Hoops Mania has been an annual tradition to celebrate the start of basketball season. It was originally held in the Jake Nevin Fieldhouse for students and has since grown larger after the success of the 2005-06 season. For the past two years it has been open to the public and students.
The 2006-07 Hoops Mania was most noted for having special guest appearances by
G-Unitmembers 50 Centand Tony Yayo. The Pavilion was brought to their feet and the crowd erupted as the two rapartists entered.
* [http://villanova.cstv.com/ Villanova Athletics website]
* [http://www.vuhoops.com/ VUhoops.com] (Villanova Basketball News & Information)
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