There hasn’t been much talk about head coach Kevin Willard since his arrival in South Orange last year, but considering what happened during the Bobby Gonzalez era, that’s probably a good thing.
Willard goes quietly about his business in getting the team prepared for each matchup and it looks like those years under Rick Pitino have paid off.
Last year, although they finished with just 13 wins, the Pirates were able to blow out both No. 10 Syracuse and No. 15 St. John’s, and while a lot of that credit goes to the players, you know that Willard had his team ready for those crucial Big East games.
This year, Willard has shown a lot of confidence in his team, while being generally realistic about the goals he expects them to achieve. Additionally, he’s been spot-on with his in-game decisions, such as switching to zone defense against Yale, which sparked a 15-0 run for the Pirates.
Although he’s still dealing with Gonzalez’s players, the team has shown they believe in Willard and I think that the majority of the fans do as well.
If this team is going to make it to the Big Dance this year, it’s going to take some great coaching, which the Pirates definitely do not lack.