5 Things We Learned from Villanova's Loss to Alabama
Villanova suffered their first loss of the season on Friday night in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic.
The Wildcats struggled for most of the game and ended up losing to Alabama, 77-55.
Jay Wright's team started strong but quickly crashed and burned at Madison Square Garden a day after coming from behind to defeat Purdue in overtime.
Here are five things we learned from Nova's big loss to the Crimson Tide.
Ryan Arcidiacono Has to Be a Team Player
For the first two games of the season, freshman guard Ryan Arcidiacono was Villanova's top player, but he was shut down against better competition against Alabama and Purdue.
One of the biggest flaws in the freshman's game right now is his selfishness.
Instead of trying to find an open teammate after the Wildcats started to fall behind on Friday, Arcidiacono started throwing up three pointers from NBA distance.
Arcidiacono finished 3-of-10 from the field and 1-of-8 from the three-point line.
The freshman needs to learn not to take so many quick shots and to rely on his teammates more during the rest of the season for the Wildcats to succeed.
Early Foul Trouble Killed Wildcats' Momentum
The one player who had a shot to step up as a young leader on this Villanova team against Alabama was Darrun Hilliard.
Hilliard had a strong game against Purdue on Thursday but was plagued by fouls in the first half and could not get going in the second half.
With 13 minutes left in the first half, Hilliard was called for his second foul, and by that time in the game, his backup, Tony Chennault, already had two fouls.
Jay Wright was forced to walk a delicate line with both guards for the rest of the first half.
The two guards could only combine for 13 points in the game as neither could get into a rhythm in the second half.
JayVaughn Pinkston Will Be a Key Player This Season
With all the attention focused on Arcidiacono this week, sophomore JayVaughn Pinkston stole the show at the start of Friday's game.
Pinkston scored seven of Nova's first 14 points and ended up being the team's leading scorer with 17 points.
The sophomore is also very versatile as he played both forward positions on Friday, and he can play at center if he is needed to.
The Wildcats are in need of a versatile big man, and they may have found the answer to that problem in the Brooklyn native.
The Wildcats Can Shoot Free Throws
One problem that Villanova will not have this season is their free-throw shooting.
The Wildcats extended their consecutive-made free-throws streak to 25 before Maurice Sutton missed one with 4:18 left in the first half.
They ended Friday's game shooting 20-of-26 from the line, with Sutton, Pinkston and Mouphtaou Yarou being the only players to miss a foul shot.
Rest of Nonconference Schedule Will Be a Learning Experience
The rest of Villanova's nonconference schedule is far from easy, and they could easily lose a few more games before going into Big East play.
The next big test for the Wildcats comes on December 1 when they visit Vanderbilt.
After the road trip to Nashville, the Cats come back home for games against all of their Big 5 rivals, with Temple, St. Joseph's and Penn all on the schedule right after the Vanderbilt game.
The Wildcats should come into Big East play with at least 10 wins, but their results against their tougher competition will decide how much damage is done to their record.