After having lost 10 of their previous 14 games, Villanova had its best week since late November. For the first time all season, they beat a really good team in Seton Hall. Also for the first time, they won a game on the road, at St. John's.
Better still, for the first time in two months, the Wildcats won back-to-back games.
In recent weeks, Villanova hung tough in losses at West Virginia, at Marquette and at Cincinnati. They were starting to look like a team that could compete, and last week they finally got over the hump.
They did it with defense and rebounding. Tenacity and effort. Two staples of Wildcat basketball under Jay Wright.
They held their opponents to a combined 42 percent shooting from the field and 30.8 percent from three-point range. They also forced 32 combined turnovers. They played tough on-ball defense, and have drastically improved at closing out on shooters. They did a great job contesting shots and disrupting passing lanes.
On offense, they continued to be a little shaky shooting the ball, but they made up for it with aggression. They got to the free-throw line 41 times against Seton Hall and 26 times against St. John's. They knocked down a solid 73 percent from the line.
They also pounded the offensive glass, with 39 offensive rebounds over the two games. They converted those rebounds into a total of 36 second-chance points.
Most important is how Villanova is developing as a team, but here is how each player performed last week.