Villanova Basketball: Biggest Lessons Learned in Big East Play So Far

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2014

VILLANOVA, PA - JANUARY 18: Guard Kris Jenkins #2 pulls guard #3 Josh Hart of Villanova Wildcats away from a crowd after a technical foul was called against the DePaul Blue Demons on January 18, 2014 at the Pavilion in Villanova, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

We have learned a good amount about the Villanova Wildcats through their first eight conference games.

Some of what we've learned has been good, and some has been bad. The Wildcats have a 7-1 Big East record with one glaring loss to Creighton on January 20. 

Here is a look at some of the biggest lessons we have learned about Jay Wright's team so far during conference.


The Loss to Creighton Was a Fluke

No one expected the Wildcats to fall to Creighton in the fashion they did on January 20, especially because the game was at home, a place where the Wildcats have had a ton of success in big games. 

On that night, the Bluejays, specifically Ethan Wragge, could not miss from beyond the arc, and the Wildcats missed most of their shots when they began to attempt their comeback in the second half. 

Villanova will have to wait a few more weeks to enact its revenge on Creighton on February 16 in Omaha. The Wildcats should not lose by 28 points again.


Resolve Has Been Shown in Overtime Games

The three games in which the Wildcats have gone to overtime this season have come after massive games.

The two overtime contests that the Wildcats have been involved in during Big East play came after their only two losses of the season to Syracuse and Creighton.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 31: Josh Hart #3 and JayVaughn Pinkston #22 of the Villanova Wildcats watch as Kellen Dunham #24 of the Butler Bulldogs dives for a loose ball at Hinkle Fieldhouse on December 31, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Villanova defeat
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Any team could have easily dropped into a slump and lost the next game, but that is not what Wright's team did against Butler and Marquette.

In both of those games, the Wildcats showed plenty of resolve on the road and defeated their Big East rivals to give themselves a big momentum boost.


Daniel Ochefu Is Finally Coming into His Own

We have been waiting for a breakout performance from sophomore center Daniel Ochefu, and that is exactly what we got on Monday against Georgetown.

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Ochefu may have only recorded three rebounds, but he did contribute 12 points in 33 minutes, which was the most time he spent on the court all season.

The sophomore's confidence has grown in recent weeks, and that is only a good thing for a Wildcats team in need of a consistent paint presence.


The Wildcats Have Four Strong Scorers

Heading into the conference slate, we knew that Villanova would have at least two consistent scorers in James Bell and JayVaughn Pinkston.

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

As we approach the halfway mark of the conference season, Darrun Hilliard and Ryan Arcidiacono have both developed into reliable scorers as well.

The four players all average over 10 points per game, led by Bell's 15.1 and Pinkston's 15, and because of their production, the Wildcats are 27th in the nation in scoring with 80.5 points per game.


Joe Tansey writes a weekly article on Villanova for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter, @JTansey90.