Jay Wright, Corey Fisher Trying to Stop Villanova from Sinking



Is it time to question Jay Wright’s coaching abilities? Can you motivate his team to start defending better on the perimeter? In all of college basketball, Nova is a team that has seriously suffered a recent rough patch. Big East play has not been very kind to them.

After starting the year 16-1, they’ve gone 5-8, and now find themselves 21-9, 9-8 in the Big East. They’re right in the middle of the crowded pack of BE teams that should make the NCAA Tournament, but have still squandered their opportunity for a favorable seed.

In their utter destruction of Villanova, Notre Dame made a school-record 20 three-pointers (20-32). The previous high was 19 against South Dakota on Dec. 2, 2008. The 20 treys also matched a BIG EAST record. West Virginia made 20 against Marquette on Jan. 14, 2006. Notre Dame’s 11 made three-pointers in the first half tied the most-ever for an Irish team in one half of a BIG EAST game.

By Paul M. Banks

“That was impressive. That’s all that I can say about that. I have to give them a lot of credit. [Ben] Hansbrough; I’d have to say that he’s the best I’ve seen so far. We have to go home and relax and think about that. That kid just dominated the game. He did a great job against Corey Fisher. He defended; controlled the tempo. He made shots. He got everyone else shots. They’re good. I was just very, very impressed with them,” Nova coach Jay Wright said after the game.

It wasn’t just the threes, it was the fact that ND was just so wide open on so many of them. I may never see another college basketball game with such a display of perimeter shooting again in my life.

The Wildcats had this problem with Syracuse and St. John’s as well.

“I think that we’ve played really good teams, and we’re not coming out on the attack. We tried, and they hit three’s. We were going to the goal early and getting to the rim. We’re not coming out and starting the game confidently after what we’ve been through, obviously,” said Wright.

Hopefully for Wright’s team, this slump doesn’t demoralize them, they still have to play conference leading Pitt.

That’s the most fragile part of these players; their psyche. That’s our challenge right now; you knew that when you see this schedule. You know that we’re not playing well in this season. Even if we are playing well, this could have been a tough stretch.” Wright told the media.

Wildcats leadign scorer Corey Fisher talked about his team’s gawd-awful perimeter defense.

“They were really just skipping it so fast, and kept getting open shots, and knocking them down.”

and the team’s recent losing streak: “It’s been tough. The seniors, being me, Tony [Pena] and [Corey] Stokes, aren’t feeling good. With the younger guys, we just have to keep their confidence up. Some of the guys have never been through this, so we just have to concentrate on our next game against Pittsburgh. We just have to keep trying get better.”

So do the Cats even have a chance against Pitt?

“We have to stick to our game plan, and just keep working hard in practice. We have to gel better together on offense and defense. And we definitely need to pick our speed up.”

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

He also does a regular guest spot each week for Cleveland.com and  Chicagoland Sports Radio.com

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