Villanova Basketball: 5 Biggest Concerns for the Postseason

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2014

Villanova Basketball: 5 Biggest Concerns for the Postseason

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    The Villanova Wildcats have won 10 of their last 11 games, but as the postseason creeps up on them, there are still a few concerns about the team. 

    The sixth-ranked team in the nation has played terrific throughout its Big East campaign, but it will need to overcome its minor deficiencies in order to advance far in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. 

    Here is a look at the five biggest concerns the Wildcats should have heading into the part of the season that matters most. 

Guarding a Team with Length and Versatility

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    Villanova's biggest matchup nightmare came true on two occasions this season against one team. 

    In its two deflating losses to Creighton, Villanova failed to deal with the length and versatility of both Doug McDermott and Ethan Wragge. 

    While there are few teams in the nation like Creighton, the Wildcats must be worried if they come up against a team that has big men who can fire from all angles of the court again. 

    The reason why this poses such a massive problem to the Wildcats is the fact that they are a guard-based team and have few players who are imposing in the height department. 

Lack of Depth Behind Daniel Ochefu

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    You may not have noticed this statistical nugget, but Villanova center Daniel Ochefu has fouled out of a Big East game once this year. 

    The last of the sophomore's four disqualifications before the one against DePaul on February 12 came on December 7 against Big Five rival St. Joseph's.

    Ochefu's ability to stay out of foul trouble, for the most part, has enabled the Wildcats to work opponents in the frontcourt as well as the backcourt. 

    As the postseason approaches, it is crucial that Ochefu stays out of foul trouble due to the lack of depth behind him. 

    Villanova does have JayVaughn Pinkston and Kris Jenkins ready to fill in for Ochefu, but neither are as tall and imposing in the paint as the 6'11" center. 

No Victorious Postseason Experience in Squad

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    The Wildcats have not won a game in the NCAA tournament since 2010, which was the season before James Bell and Pinkston entered the program as freshmen. 

    With that stat in mind, it is worth noting no player on the Villanova roster has won a game in the Big Dance. 

    Last season, the Wildcats came up short against North Carolina, and two years before that, they lost to George Mason in their first game. 

    The good news for this Villanova team is that Jay Wright carries plenty of winning postseason experience with him.

    The Wildcats will also likely be handed a high seed in the NCAA tournament, which would give the entire team a chance to find its feet in March before a tougher opponent comes around in the round of 32. 

Weak Conference Schedule May Not Have Prepared Wildcats Correctly

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    We all knew when the new edition of the Big East formed that it would not be the best conference out there, and that has proven to be true over the past few months.

    Villanova and Creighton have been the only two consistent teams, with a bevy of ballclubs looking to recover enough at the end of the season to be worthy of being on the bubble.

    When the final NCAA tournament bracket is released, there will be teams out there that are more battle-tested than the Wildcats, especially if they come out of the Big Ten and Big 12. 

    If the Wildcats do get paired with a team from one of those two difficult conferences, they could be tasked with avoiding an upset bid. 

    While the Big East is a weak league this year, just be happy the Wildcats weren't untested at all, something that would have happened if they played in the SEC. 

Turnovers

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    This may sound like the simplest concern to have, but turnovers can make or break a team's fate in March. 

    The Wildcats currently average 12 turnovers per game, which is not bad, but it is far from good.

    The biggest culprit in the turnover category is guard Darrun Hilliard, who leads the team with 2.2 turnovers per game. 

    Bell (1.8 TPG) is the only other guard to average above 1.5 turnovers per game, but the two inside forces, Pinkston (1.9) and Ochefu (1.9), have a tendency to give the ball away. 

    If the Wildcats can keep their number of turnovers to less than 10, the statistic shouldn't be an issue when the postseason begins, but it still remains something that must be worked on.

     

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