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Villanova Basketball: Ranking Jay Wright's Biggest Worries This Season

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2013

Villanova Basketball: Ranking Jay Wright's Biggest Worries This Season

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    The Villanova Wildcats have started Big East play with a 2-1 record and are looking to continue their strong play throughout the duration of conference play.

    But with every team comes a set of concerns that a coach has about the team's play.

    That is no different with Wildcats coach Jay Wright, who will have plenty of worries about his young Wildcats team. 

    Here are four of Wright's biggest worries about the Wildcats for the rest of the season. 

Recovery from Rough January Schedule

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    The roughest part of Villanova's schedule comes at the end of January when it plays three ranked teams in the span of eight days. 

    Even though two of those games, against Louisville and Syracuse, are at home, the Wildcats are expected to lose all three. The other is a visit to Notre Dame. 

    If they do lose all three of those games, Jay Wright has to make sure that his team does not fall into a downward spiral for the rest of the season. 

    The schedule becomes much easier in February with Providence, DePaul and South Florida, who are three perfect teams to bounce back against with a win. 

    With a fairly easy February schedule, the Wildcats could easily finish in the top 10 of the Big East if they do not get down on themselves after their brutal January stretch. 

Development of a Third Consistent Scorer

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    Currently, the Wildcats have two players on their roster who average over 10 points per game: Ryan Arcidiacono and JayVaughn Pinkston. 

    If both players are shut down during any game, the Wildcats need a third player to step up and carry the load. 

    Who that third player could be is a question that not even Wright himself may be able to answer. 

    The logical answer to that problem is senior center Mouphtaou Yarou, who has scored in double digits against St. John's and Syracuse. 

    Not only does Yarou provide the Wildcats with veteran leadership, but he is a strong big man who could cause problems in the paint for any opponent left on the Big East schedule. 

Eagerness of Guards to Shoot Too Often

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    When Villanova lost its lead to Syracuse on Saturday, the immediate reaction by the guards on the team was to throw up three-pointers and hope for a quick comeback. 

    The Wildcats ended Saturday's game 5-of-23 from beyond the arc. 

    The biggest culprit of this offense was Ryan Arcidiacono, who shot 1-of-7 on Saturday from three-point range and has made 34 percent of his shots from beyond the arc all season.

    Arcidiacono is not the only player who has abused the opportunity to shoot from three-point range. 

    Darrun Hilliard, James Bell and Achraf Yacoubou shot a combined 4-of-15 from beyond the arc against Syracuse. 

    Wright must tell his guards that regardless of how many points they are behind, the ball must be passed around the court and into the hands of the frontcourt players before a three-point shot is attempted. 

Inexperience on Road

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    Everyone in the Big East is aware of the youth that flows throughout the Villanova roster, which is something that could be a disadvantage during conference play.

    The second half at Syracuse on Saturday showed that the Wildcats are still getting used to playing in hostile road environments. 

    With road trips left against the likes of Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and UConn, the Wildcats could face the same scenario later in the season. 

    There are few players that have a good amount of Big East experience, and the players that do will have to step up as leaders in those road games to help along the young players on the team.

     

    For more insight on Villanova and all of college basketball, follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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