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June 15, 1997

1996-97 Men's Basketball Season Recap

Villanova Starters
No. Pos. Name                             PPG    RPG
#3   F   Tim Thomas (Fr., 6-9, 230)      16.9    6.0
#40  F   Chuck Kornegay (Sr., 6-9, 235)   7.1    6.1
#42  C   Jason Lawson (Sr., 6-11, 240)   12.4    7.6
#13  G   John Celestand (So., 6-3, 175)   8.3    2.6
#20  G   Alvin Williams (Sr., 6-5, 185)  17.1    5.0

Top Reserves
No. Pos. Name                             PPG    RPG
#22  G   Howard Brown (So., 6-5, 200)     5.8    2.9
#21  G   Brian Lynch (Fr., 6-6, 185)      3.8    1.6
#15  F   Malik Allen (Fr., 6-10, 240)     2.0    2.9
#31  C   Rafal Bigus (So., 7-1, 270)      2.3    2.5
#50  F   T.J. Caouette (Fr., 6-7, 215)    2.3    1.0


Season Highlights

Thomas Earns National Freshman of the Year
Villanova forward Tim Thomas was cited as the National Freshman of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association after averaging 16.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game during the 1996-97 season. Thomas was also named Big East Rookie of the Year, a first for a Villanova player, and was a unanimous Big East All-Rookie selection. In addition, the Paterson, N.J., native, was a third-team All-Big East pick, and was named to the Eastern Basketball's All-Freshman team and honorable mention All-East team.

Lawson, Williams Also Honored
Villanova seniors Jason Lawson and Alvin Williams were also honored after the 1997 season for fine performances. Lawson became the third player in history to earn Big East Conference Defensive-Player-of-the-Year honors, was a second-team All-Big East selection and honorable mention All-East honoree by Eastern Basketball. Williams, meanwhile, capped his fine Villanova career off brilliantly, earning first-team All-Big East honors and All-District honors. He was a second-team All-East selection by EB.

Wildcats Win Big East, Advance to NCAAs
The Wildcats captured their third Big East regular-season title in 1997 with a league mark of 12-6, sharing the championship with Boston College. The last time Villanova had won the Big East was in 1983, when it shared with BC and St. John's. The Wildcats won the title outright in 1982. In addition, Villanova earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the third-straight year under head coach Steve Lappas, advancing to the East Region's second round in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Wildcats boast an overall record of 37-24 (.607) in the prestigious competition, and have earned 25 appearances throughout history.

Villanova's NCAA Tournament History

Overall Record: *Won 37, Lost 24
25 Appearances

1997 -- Defeated Long Island, 101-91, in East first round; lost to California, 75-68, in East second round.

1996 -- Defeated Portland, 92-58, in Midwest first round; lost to Louisville, 68-64, in Midwest second round.

1995 -- Lost to Princeton, 50-48, in the East first round.

1991 -- Lost to LSU 70-63, in the Southeast first round.

1990 -- Defeated Arkansas, 82-74, in Southeast first round;defeated Illionosi, 66-63, in the second round; Defeated Kentucky, 80-74, in the Southeast regional semifinals; lost to Oklahoma, 59-78, in Southeast final.

1986 -- Defeated Virginia Tech, 71-62, in the first round; lost to Georgia Tech, 61-66, in the second round.

1985 -- Defeated Dayton, 51-49, in the first round; defeated Michigan, 59-55, in the second round; defeated Maryland, 46-43, in the Southeast regional semifinal; defeated North Carolina, 56-44, in the Southeast regional final; defeate Memphis State, 52-45, in the semifinals; defeated Georgetown, 66-64, in the National Championship game.

1984 -- Defeated Marshall, 84-72, in the first round; lost to Illinios, 56-64, in the second round.

1983 -- Bye first round; defeated Lamar, 60-58, in the second round; defeated Iowa, 55-54, in the Midwest regional semifinals; lost to Houston, 71-89, in the Midwest regional finals.

1982 -- Bye first round; defeated Northeastern, 76-72, in triple overtime in the second round; defeated Memphis State, 70-66, in overtime in the Eastern regional semifinals; lost to North Carolina, 60-70, in the Earstern regional final.

1981 -- Defeated Houston, 90-72, in the first round; lost to Virginia, 50-54, in the second round.

1980 -- Defeated Marquette, 77-59, in the first round; lost to Syracuse, 83-97, in the second round.

1978 -- Defeated LaSalle, 103-97, in the first round; defeated Indiana, 61-60, in the second round; lost to Duke, 72-90, in te Eastern regional final.

1972 -- Defeated East Carolina, 85-70, in the first round; lost to Penn, 67-78, in the second round; lost to South Carolina, 78-90 in consolation.

1971 -- *Defeated St. Joseph's, 93-75, in the first round; defeated Fordham, 85-75, in the second round; defeated Pennsylvania, 90-47, in the Eastern reginal final; lost to UCLA, 62-68, in the National Championships game.

1970 -- Defeated Temple, 77-69, in the first round; defeated Niagara, 98-73, in the second round; lost to St. Bonaventure, 74-94, in the Eastern Regional final.

1969 -- Lost to Davidson, 61-75, in the first round.

1964 -- Defeated Providence, 77-66, in the first round; lost to Duke, 73-87, in the second round; defeated Princeton, 74-62, in the consolation.

1962 -- Defeated West Virginia, 90-75, in the first round; defeated NYU, 79-70, in the second round; lost to Wake Forest, 69-79, in the third round.

1955 -- Defeated Duke, 74-73, in the first round; lost to Canisius, 71-73, in the second round; defeated Princeton, 64-57, in the consolation.

1951 -- Lost to North Carolina State, 62-67, in the first round.

1949 -- Lost to Kentucky, 72-85, in the first round; defeated Yale, 78-67, in the consolation.

1939 -- Defeated Brown, 42-30, in the first round; lost to Ohio State, 36-53 in the Final Four.

* 1971 NCAA Tournament games were later declared null and void by the NCAA.

Villanova's NCAA Tournament History

Arkansas        1-0
Brown           1-0
California      0-1
Canisius        0-1
Davidson        0-1
Dayton          1-0
Duke            1-2
East Carolina   1-0
Fordham         1-0
Georgetown      1-0
Georgia Tech    0-1
Houston         1-1
Illinois        1-1
Indiania        1-0
Iowa            1-0
Kentucky        1-1
Lamar           1-0
LaSalle         1-0
Long Island     1-0
Louisville      0-1
LSU             0-1
Marguette       1-0
Marshall        1-0
Maryland        1-0
Memphis State   2-0
Michigan        1-0
New York U.     1-0
Niagara         1-0
North Carolina  1-2
N. Carolina St. 0-1
Northeastern    1-0
Ohio State      0-1
Oklahoma        0-1
Old Dominion    0-1
Pennsylvania    1-1
Portland        1-0
Providence      1-0
Princeton       3-0
St. Bonaventure 0-1
St. Joseph's    1-0
South Carolina  0-1
Syracuse        0-1
Temple          1-0
UCLA            0-1
Virginia        0-1
Virginia Tech   1-0
Wake Forest     0-1
West Virginia   1-0
W. Kentucky     1-0
Yale            1-0

Villanova's Seeding History
Year    Seed    Site                            Round 
1997    No. 4   East, Winston-Salem, N.C.       First/Second Rounds
1996    No. 3   Midwest, Milwaukee, Wis.        First/Second Rounds
1995    No. 3   East, Albany, N.Y.              First Round
1991    No. 9   East, Syracuse, N.Y.            Frist/Second Rounds
1990    No. 12  Southeast, Knoxville, Tenn.     First Round
1988    No. 6   Southeast, Cinncinnati, Ohio    Frist/Second Rounds
1986    No. 10  Southeast, Baton Rouge, La.     First/Second Rounds
1985    No. 8   Southeast, Dayton, Ohio         First/Second Rounds
1984    No. 7   Mideast, Milwaukee, Wis.        First/Second Rounds
1983    No. 3   Midwest, Houston, Texas         Second Round
1982    No. 3   East, Uniondale, N.Y.           Second Rounds
1981    No. 9   East, Charlotte, N.C.           First/Second Rounds
1980    No. 8   East, Providence, R.I.          First/Second Rounds

    
    
1997--NCAA
1996--NCAA
1995--NCAA
1994--NIT
1992--NIT
1991--NCAA
1990--NCAA
1989--NIT
1988--NCAA
1987--NIT
1986--NCAA
1985--NCAA
1984--NCAA
1983--NCAA
1982--NCAA
1981--NCAA
1980--NCAA
1978--NCAA
1977--NIT
1972--NCAA
1971--NCAA
1970--NCAA
1969--NCAA
1968--NIT
1967--NIT
1966--NIT
1965--NIT
1964--NCAA
1963--NIT
1962--NCAA
1960--NIT
1959--NIT
1955--NCAA
1951--NCAA
1949--NCAA
1939--NCAA


Villanova's Postseason History
The Villanova Wildcats have earned a bid to postseason play for four-straight seasons under head coach Steve Lappas. Under his direction, Villanova won the National Invitational Tournament in 1994, garnered a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament in both 1995 and 1996, and a No. 4 seed in 1997. In the past 18 years, Villanova has been involved in 12 NCAA Tournaments and four NIT competitions, missing postseason play only twice in 1993 and 1979. Included in those years was a string of seven-straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 1980-86 under head coach Rollie Massimino, the longest consecutive NCAA-string in Villanova history. During that time, Villanova won its first-ever NCAA title, in 1985.

The 1985 NCAA Championship is still rated as one of the biggests upsets in history, as Villanova won 66-64. The Wildcats played a near-perfect game, hitting 22-of-28 from the field in defeat of No. 1-ranked Georgetown. Ed Pinckney earned Final Four MVP honors, scoring 16 points to go with six rebounds, while Dwayne McClain posted 17, Harold Jensen 14 and Harold Pressley 11. Georgetown was led by David Wingate, who had 16 points and Patrick Ewing, who had 14 in the game.

The last time Villanova advanced past the second round was in 1988 when the Wildcats earned a spot in the Final Eight, defeating Arkansas, Illinois and Kentucky before falling to Oklahoma.

    
Records According to Seeding 
(since 1979)
    No. 3   5-4 (.556)
    No. 4   1-1 (.500)
    No. 6   3-1 (.750)
    No. 7   1-1 (.500)
    No. 8   7-1 (.875)
    No. 9   2-2 (.500)
    No. 10  1-1 (.500)
    No. 12  0-1 (.000)

Records in NCAA Overtime Games
2-1 Overall
1-0 double overtime
1-1 in triple overtime
Records Versus Seeds of NCAA
Opponents (Since 1979)

    vs. No. 1   2-6 (.250)
    vs. No. 2   4-2 (.667)
    vs. No. 3   1-0 (1.000)
    v.s No. 5   1-2 (.333)
    vs. No. 6   0-1 (.000)
    vs. No. 7   2-0 (1.000)
    vs. No. 8   2-0 (1.000)
    vs. No. 9   2-0 (1.000)
    vs. No. 10  1-0 (1.000)
    vs. No. 11  3-0 (1.000)
    vs. No. 14  2-1 (.667)
    
Villanova's Record in the NCAA Regions
In the East Region      23-18 (.561)
In the Southeast Region  10-3 (.769)
In the Midwest            3-2 (.667)
In the Mideast            1-1 (.500)


Villanova's Record by Round
The Wildcats have had great success in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, winning 17 of 21 games in the opener by an average margin of victory of 8.1 points. Three first round contests have been decided by two points or less (1985, 1991, 1955), while nine games have finished with the winner ahead by double digits. The team received two first-round byes in 1982 and 1983, when it was seeded No. 3, jumping directly to the second round of competition. In the second round, the Wildcats have posted a mark of 8-10.

    
Round                Record   Pct.
First Round:           17-5 (.773)
Second Round:          8-10 (.444)
Regional Semifinals:    4-1 (.800)  
Regional Finals:        2-5 (.286)
National Semifinals:    2-1 (.667)
National Finals         1-1 (.500)
Consolation Round:      3-1 (.750)
Totals                36-23 (.610)  


Villanova Versus the 1997 Tournament Field
The Wildcats are 5-5 (.500) against the teams selected to the 1997 NCAA Tournament field. Villanova posted a record of 1-0 versus Big Five rival St. Joseph's this season, defeating the Hawks 81-65 on Dec. 23. Villanova also defeated Midwestern Collegiate Conference champion Butler 62-54 in the second round of the Puerto Rico Shootout in November. The Wildcats posted a 2-1 record against Providence and split with Boston College (1-1). Villanova was 0-1 this season versus Georgetown, Kentucky and Duke.

Villanova Captures Big East Regular-Season Championship
Villanova finished the 1997 Big East regular season with a mark of 12-6, tied with Boston College for the best record in the conference. The Wildcats' co-championship marked their first top finish in league play since the 1982-83 season when they shared the title with Boston College and St. John's. All three teams posted regular-season marks of 12-4 that year. Villanova also won the 1982 Big East regular-season, posting a mark of 11-3 to win the title outright.

Villanova's Year-by-Year Big East Finishes
Season  Record  Finish      Season  Record  Finish
1997    12-6    First       1989     7-9    Fifth
1996    14-4    Second      1988     9-7    T-Third
1995    14-4    Second      1987    6-10    Sixth
1994    10-8    T-Fourth    1986    10-6    Fourth
1993    3-15    Tenth       1985     9-7    T-Third
1992    11-7    Fourth      1984    12-4    T-Second
1991     7-9    T-Seventh   1983    12-4    T-First 
1990     8-8    T-Fifth     1982    11-3    First
                            1981     8-6    T-Third


Lawson, Thomas, Williams Honored by the Big East
Villanova's Jason Lawson, Tim Thomas, and Alvin Williams all earned postseason Big East Conference awards in 1997 after guiding Villanova to the regular-season conference title. Lawson was cited as the league's Defensive Player of the Year. He rates as Villanova's all-time blocked shot leader with 375 career blocks, far ahead of second-place Tom Greis (273). Lawson was also a member of the Big East All-Conference second team for the third-straight season. He is the third Wildcat in history to earn Defensive Player of the Year, as Harold Pressley earned the award in 1986, and Gary Massey in 1988.

Thomas, Villanova's second-leading scorer, earned Big East Rookie-of-the-Year honors, was a first-team, unanimous All-Rookie selection, and earned a spot on the All-Conference third team. The Paterson, N.J., native, won five Rookie-of-the-Week awards during the season, the most earned by any player. Thomas is Villanova's first-ever Big East Rookie of the Year.

Williams, meanwhile, garnered first-team All-Big East Conference acclaim in his final season as a Wildcat. Villanova's leading scorer and top playmaker is only the fifth player in Wildcat history to earn a spot on the prestigious first team. He joins Kerry Kittles (1994, '95, '96), Harold Pressley (1986), Ed Pinckney (1983, '85), and John Pinone (1981, '82, '83) as Villanova's first-team All-Conference performers.

Wildcat Seniors in the Record Books
Villanova's victory over Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament marked the 93rd win in the career of the Wildcat senior class. Chuck Kornegay, Jason Lawson and Alvin Williams have passed the class of 1985 (Ed Pinckney, Dwayne McClain, Gary McLain) for the most victories in a four-year period. The class of 1985, the greatest class ever assembled, posted a record of 92-38, advanced to three NCAA Tournament Regional Final appearances, and won the National Championship in 1985. Villanova's current group posted a mark of 95-37.

In addition to victories, the trio has scored 3,702 points, grabbed 1,949 rebounds, and dished out 904 assists during its Main Line tenure. Lawson will leave Villanova as the school's all-time greatest shot blocker and in the top 10 in rebounding and top 20 in scoring. Williams is one of the finest lead guards the school has ever had, and will finish among the top three in assists and among the top 25 scorers.

Williams, Thomas Earn All-Tournament Honors
Alvin Williams and Tim Thomas both earned a spot on the Big East Conference All-Tournament team after leading the Wildcats to the championship game. Williams averaged 15.3 points and 4.0 rebounds, while Thomas averaged 19.3 points and 7.0 rebounds over the three-game span. The duo rates as Villanova's top two scorers this season.

Wildcats Achieve Fourth 20-Win Season
For the fourth-straight year, Villanova has achieved 20 victories in a single season. The Wildcats reached the magic number in a 65-58 victory over Connecticut on Feb. 23 in the CoreStates Spectrum, marking the 27th time in 77 years of basketball that they have achieved that goal. It is only the third time in history that a coach has been able to string together four-consecutive 20-win seasons.

A History of Villanova's 20-win Seasons
    Season  Record  Postseason
    1996-97 24-10   NCAA Second Round   
    1995-96 26-7    NCAA Second Round
    1994-95 25-8    NCAA First Round
    1993-94 20-12   NIT Champions
    1987-88 24-13   NCAA Regional Final
    1985-86 23-14   NCAA Second Round
    1984-85 25-10   NCAA Champions
    1982-83 24-8    NCAA Regional Final
    1981-82 24-8    NCAA Regional Final
    1980-81 20-11   NCAA Second Round
    1979-80 23-8    NCAA Second Round
    1977-78 23-9    NCAA Regional Final
    1976-77 23-10   NIT Champions
    1971-72 20-8    NCAA Second Round
    1970-71 23-6    NCAA Finalists  
    1969-70 22-7    NCAA Regional Final
    1968-69 21-9    NCAA First Round
    1964-65 23-5    NIT Third Round
    1963-64 24-4    NCAA Second Round
    1961-62 21-7    NCAA Third Round
    1959-60 20-6    NIT Second Round
    1953-54 20-11
    1950-51 25-7    NCAA First Round
    1949-50 25-4    
    1948-49 23-4    NCAA First Round
    1938-39 20-5    NCAA Final Four
    1937-38 25-5 
          


Clutch Alvin
Senior Alvin Williams has stepped up in his final campaign for head coach Steve Lappas, averaging a team-best 17.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game this season. The point guard led the Wildcats in scoring in 17 of those contests and hit some big shots along the way. Williams posted team-best scoring numbers versus American with 20 points, Butler with 17, St. John's and St. Joseph's with 21, UNCW with 14, Rutgers with 17, Boston College with 23, Georgetown with 17, West Virginia with 23, Pittsburgh with 27, Notre Dame with 25, St. John's with 18, Connecticut with 16, West Virginia with 31, Rutgers with a career-high 32, Syracuse in the Big East Tournament with 22, and California in the NCAAs with 31. Williams had three 30-point games, nine 20-point games in 1996-97 and 12 in his career, and ranked fifth in the Big East in scoring, fifth in field goal percentage and ninth in free throw percentage. In conference games only, he finished third in scoring (19.0), fourth in field goal percentage (49.4), fifth in free throw percentage (78.9), 12th in assists (3.7), and eighth in three-point field goal percentage (39.0).

Williams Finishes Strong
Alvin Williams was Villanova's constant over the last 16 games of the season, shooting a combined 111-for-220 (.505) from the floor during that time. He scored 327 points during that span of games, for an average of 20.4 ppg. In addition, he posted 20+ points eight times, including three 30-point contests, and reset his career his in scoring three times. The senior co-captain also shot 41-for-100 (.410) from behind the three-point arc during that span, and averaged 5.6 rebounds as well. Following are Williams's all-time best career scoring performances:

    TP  FG-FGA   3-3A  FT-FTA  Opponent
    32   9-14    5-7    9-12   Rutgers, 3/1/97
    31  11-21    3-8    6-9    California, 3/15/97
    31  10-16    5-9    6-7    W. Virginia, 2/26/97
    27  10-20    4-9    3-3    Pittsburgh, 2/12/97
    25   9-15    2-5    5-7    N. Dame, 2/17/97
    24   6-8     3-3    9-12   BC, 2/27/96
    23   8-14    3-9    4-4    W. Virginia, 2/4/97
    23   7-10    5-6    4-4    BC, 1/25/97
    22   7-14    5-7    3-4    SC, 3/7/97
    22   8-11    4-6    2-2    Notre Dame, 1/2/96
    22   7-10    4-5    4-4    St. John's, 12/2/95
    21   7-14    1-4    6-7    St. Joe's, 2/23/97
    21   8-13    2-5    3-4    St. John's, 12/7/97
    20   6-11    0-3    8-8    Providence, 12/4/97
    20   7-12    2-3    4-5    Seton Hall, 12/5/94


More On Alvin
Alvin Williams' 31 points versus West Virginia followed immediately by 32 points versus Rutgers marked the first time in decades that a player has registered back-to-back 30-point performances. In looking back through the years, it appears that the last time a player accomplished this feat was during the 1970-71 season. That season, All-American Howard Porter registered 31 points versus St. Joseph's in an 85-75 win. He followed that game with a 34-point performance against Stanford, leading the Wildcats to a 96-76 victory.

Caouette Contributes
Freshman T.J. Caouette had an increased role in the Wildcat attack late in the season. The Winthrop, Maine, native, played in five of the last six games, and registered a career-high 11 points versus Long Island in the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 4.0 ppg and 3.0 rpg in his last five games, and registered back-to-back 20-minute stints versus Long Island and California.

An Impressive 100
Villanova head coach Steve Lappas has posted a mark of 76-24 (.760) over the last 100 games of his career on the Main Line, leading the Wildcats to the 1994 National Invitational Tournament Championship, the 1995 Big East Tournament Championship, and a school-record 26 victories in 1996 during that time. Prior to his arrival on campus, Villanova had not posted a 20-win season since 1988, when it went 24-13 and advanced to the Final Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Since Lappas has taken over the helm, Villanova has posted four-straight 20-win seasons.

High Scoring Successes
Over the past five seasons under head coach Steve Lappas, the Wildcats are 72-12 (.857) in games where they have scored 75 points or better. In 1996-97, the Wildcats were 15-3 when hitting a score of 75. Last year, Villanova was 16-1 when producing 75+ points. During the 1994-95 season, they tallied a 19-1 record in such games, while they were 13-4 in 1993-94 and 8-3 in 1992-93.

Dominating the Glass
Villanova dominated the boards this season, logging 40.6 rebounds per game and limiting opponents to only 33.8 boards per contest. The Wildcats currently rank second in the Big East in rebound margin (+6.8). Their performance on the glass in 1997 far outdistances Villanova rebounding in recent history. In fact, statistical records indicate that the largest rebound margin in history is +10.4 in the 1959-60 season (52.2 Villanova rebounds, 41.8 opponent rebounds).

Villanova's Rebound Margin - The Last 10 Years
Margin    VU     Reb   Opp. Reb
1996-97 +6.8    40.6    33.8
1995-96 +2.2    38.0    35.8
1994-95 -0.2    35.4    35.6
1993-94 -3.1    35.7    38.8
1992-93 -1.6    33.0    34.6
1991-92 -0.6    35.1    35.7
1990-91 -0.3    34.6    34.9
1989-90 -0.2    38.1    38.3
1988-89 +1.1    35.0    33.9
1987-88 -0.4    32.9    33.3


Starting From the Jump
Freshman forward Tim Thomas made his first collegiate start against American University of Puerto Rico, becoming one of only a handful of players to start the first game of their careers. Only one other player in the Lappas era earned that distinction: Jason Lawson, who has started every game of his prolific career. There have been several other players that started from the opening tip of the season: Aaron Bain (1989-93, two-year starter); Tom Greis (1986-90, four-year starter), Harold Pressley (1982-86, four-year starter), Keith Herron (1974-78, four-year starter), and Chubby Cox (1973-75, one-year starter). Of the seven who started the first game of their careers, Herron posted the most impressive numbers for a rookie starter, tallying 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting, six rebounds and one assist. Thomas posted double figures in his debut, scoring 15 points against American.

When Tim Scores ...
During the 1996-97 season, when freshman Tim Thomas scored 15 or more points, Villanova was 16-5. When the Paterson, N.J., native scored 20 or more points, the Wildcats were 7-2. In comparison, Villanova was 1-2 when Thomas failed to reach double digits in the scoring column.

Wildcats on National Television
Throughout the Lappas tenure, when the Wildcats have appeared on national television (CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, and NBC) (including postseason play) Villanova is 33-21 (.611).

In addition, Villanova has recorded a mark of 6-4 in games televised on CBS Sports during the regular season under Lappas. The Wildcats were 3-0 on the network during the 1994-95 season, defeating Florida, Georgetown and Connecticut, and 1-2 a season ago. In 1995-96, Villanova beat North Carolina on CBS, but lost to Connecticut and Georgetown at the end of the regular season. Overall, including postseason play, Villanova is 9-7 on CBS (2-3 in the NCAA Tournament; 2-0 in the Big East Tournament), and 3-3 on the network this season.

Villanova Versus the AP Top 25
The Wildcats haverecorded a mark of 12-8 against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll over the past three seasons. Villanova has defeated Boston College, and fallen to Duke and Kentucky so far this year. During the 1995-96 season, Villanova was 5-3 against AP-ranked foes at the time of the meeting, defeating North Carolina twice, Boston College, Syracuse, and Georgetown. In addition, the Wildcats defeated Purdue when the Boilermakers were unranked, but Gene Keady's squad finished the season as a No. 1 NCAA seed. Villanova was 5-3 against ranked teams during the 1994-95 season, including a victory over No. 1-ranked UConn on the Huskies home floor. Overall, throughout the Lappas tenure on the Main Line, Villanova is 16-15 against AP-ranked teams.

Wildcat Lineups
Head coach Steve Lappas utilized four different starting lineups during the 1996-97 season. The lineup of Chuck Kornegay, Tim Thomas, Jason Lawson, John Celestand, and Alvin Williams was in place for 21-straight games to finish the season. Following is a listing of lineups this season:

    
    Lineup                                       Record
    Kornegay, Thomas, Lawson, Brown, Williams       7-2
    Thomas, Lawson, Bigus, Brown, Williams          1-0
    Kornegay, Brown, Lawson, Celestand, Williams    3-0
    Kornegay, Thomas, Lawson, Celestand, Williams  13-8


Awesome Lawson
Senior Jason Lawson put together one of the most complete lines of the season against West Virginia on Feb. 4, 1997. The center posted 15 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, eight blocked shots, and two steals in 36 minutes of play. In addition, his eight blocked shots tied a career-high set versus Georgetown (2/22/94), and rates as the third-best performance of all-time in Wildcat history. It is also the most blocked shots by any league player this season. Lawson matched his career-high eight blocks again versus Rutgers.

Cutting It Close
Over the past four seasons, Villanova has played in 34 games decided by five points or less, winning 24. Villanova was 7-2 in games decided by five points or less in 1996, 7-3 in tight games in 1995, and 9-3 in the category in 1994. Villanova lost two nailbiters this season, to Miami, 61-59, on Jan. 11, and 62-60 to Syracuse, on Jan. 20, and defeated Notre Dame in a five-point game.

Villanova's Postseason History
The Villanova Wildcats have earned a bid to postseason play for four-straight seasons under head coach Steve Lappas. Under his direction, Villanova won the National Invitational Tournament in 1994, garnered a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament in both 1995 and 1996, and a No. 4 seed in 1997. In the past 18 years, Villanova has been involved in 12 NCAA Tournaments and four NIT competitions, missing postseason play only twice in 1993 and 1979. Included in those years was a string of seven-straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 1980-86 under head coach Rollie Massimino, the longest consecutive NCAA-string in Villanova history. During that time, Villanova won its first-ever NCAA title, in 1985.

The 1985 NCAA Championship is still rated as one of the biggests upsets in history, as Villanova won 66-64. The Wildcats played a near-perfect game, hitting 22-of-28 from the field in defeat of No. 1-ranked Georgetown. Ed Pinckney earned Final Four MVP honors, scoring 16 points to go with six rebounds, while Dwayne McClain posted 17, Harold Jensen 14 and Harold Pressley 11. Georgetown was led by David Wingate, who had 16 points and Patrick Ewing, who had 14 in the game.

The last time Villanova advanced past the second round was in 1988 when the Wildcats earned a spot in the Final Eight, defeating Arkansas, Illinois and Kentucky before falling to Oklahoma.

Lappas Hits the Century Mark
Steve Lappas achieved his 150th career victory in an 84-66 win over Boston College on Jan. 25. He currently boasts an overall record of 159-118. In addition, Lappas earned his 100th victory at Villanova on the same afternoon that the Wildcats won the Big East regular-season championship in an 84-74 win over Rutgers. He became only the fourth coach in Wildcat history to reach 100 wins, and is keeping company with a trio of Villanova legends.

Villanova Coaching Legends

Record after                         VU Record        100 VU wins
Alexander Severance, 1936-61         413-201 (.673)   100-31, 1936-42
Jack Kraft, 1961-73                  238-95  (.725)   100-36, 1961-66
Rollie Massimino, 1973-92            357-241 (.597)   100-81, 1973-80
Steve Lappas, 1992-                  103-56  (.648)   100-54, 1992-97 


Single-Game Blocked Shot Leaders
1.  Harold Pressley         
        10 vs. Providence, 1/10/86
2.  Tom Greis
        9 vs. Georgetown, 2/1/88
3.  Harold Pressley
        8 vs. Georgetown, 2/15/86  
    Jason Lawson
        8 vs. Rutgers, 3/1/97
        8 vs. W. Virginia, 2/4/97
        8 vs. Georgetown, 2/22/94
6.  Tom Greis
        7 vs. Vermont, 3/1/88
    Barry Bekkedam
        7 vs. St. Joseph's, 12/12/87
    Jason Lawson
        7 vs. B. College, 2/5/94
        7 vs. Delaware, 1/30/96
        7 vs. Seton Hall, 2/14/96


Lawson, Williams Finish Among Top 25 Scorers
With 8:07 remaining in the first half versus UNC Wilmington, Alvin Williams swished a three-pointer and became Villanova's 39th 1,000-point scorer. He finished his senior season with 580 points, and scored 245 points as a freshman, 234 points as a sophomore and 364 points last season as a junior to push his career total to 1,423. Lawson, meanwhile, scored his 1,000th career point as a junior and finished in the No. 16 spot on the all-time list. Following is a history of 1,000-point scorers at Villanova:

All-Time Scoring Leaders
PLAYER                           G   FG  FT  PTS     AVG
1.  Kerry Kittles (1992-96)    122  821 323 2243    18.4
2.  Keith Herron (1974-78)     117  918 334 2170    18.5
3.  Bob Schafer (1951-55)      111  726 642 2094    18.9
4.  Doug West (1985-89)        138  779 336 2037    14.8
5.  Howard Porter (1968-71)     89  828 370 2026    22.8
6.  John Pinone (1979-83)      126  697 630 2024    16.1
7.  Ed Pinckney (1981-85)      129  637 591 1865    14.4
8.  Larry Hennessy (1950-53)    75  720 297 1737    23.2
9.  Paul Arizin (1947-50)       82  589 470 1648    20.1
10. Alex Bradley (1977-81)     111  617 400 1634    14.7
11. Tom Ingelsby (1970-73)      87  632 352 1616    18.6
12. Bill Melchionni (1963-66)   84  646 320 1612    19.2
13. Hubie White (1959-62)       78  624 360 1608    20.6
14. Harold Pressley (1982-86)  135  612 348 1572    11.6
15. Johnny Jones (1966-69)      80  618 332 1568    19.6
16. Jason Lawson (1993-97)     131  534 497 1565    12.1
17. Larry Herron (1973-77)     104  692 169 1553    14.9
18. Dwayne McClain (1981-85)   125  643 248 1544    12.4
19. Tom Greis (1986-90)        134  603 298 1504    11.2
20. Lance Miller (1989-93)     121  527 414 1468    12.1
21. Chris Ford (1969-72)        91   74 285 1433    15.7
22. Wali Jones (1961-64)        85  581 266 1428    16.8
23. Alvin Williams (1993-97)   131  485 320 1423    11.0
24. Eric Eberz (1992-96)       120  495 182 1397    11.6
25. Kenny Wilson (1985-89)     137  452 410 1390    10.1
26. Greg Woodard (1988-92)     128  378 369 1312    10.2
27. Reggie Robinson (1974-78)  119  537 235 1309    11.0
28. Stewart Granger (1979-83)  125  498 311 1307    10.5
29. Tom Sienkiewicz (1969-72)  115  525 221 1271    11.1
30. Jack Devine (1951-55)      113  485 293 1263    11.2
31. Hank Siemionkowski(1969-72) 90  474 276 1224    13.6
32. Mark Plansky (1984-88)     134  456 240 1217     9.1
33. Rory Sparrow (1976-80)     124  489 205 1183     9.5
34. Jim Huggard (1958-61)       75  471 242 1184    15.8
35. Harold Jensen (1983-87)    130  450 203 1155     8.9
36. Jim Washington (1962-65)    85  469 208 1146    13.5
37. Joe Lord (1941-43, 1945-47) 71  462 201 1125    15.8
38. John Olive (1973-77)       113  390 342 1122     9.9
39. Jimmy Smith (1953-57)       80  360 294 1014    12.7



Lawson Captures Blocked Shots Record
Senior Jason Lawson set a new Villanova record for career blocked shots in the second game of the season, passing Tom Greis (1986-90), who held the previous record of 273. Lawson currently boasts 375 rejections to land in the top spot on the charts. The Philadelphia product is also the class record holder for blocks for freshmen (89), juniors (95), and seniors (105). In addition, Lawson reset his own single-season school record in his final campaign with 105, surpassing his previous best of 95 set during the 1995-96 season.

Career Blocked Shot Leaders
PLAYER                         FR.  SO. JR. SR. TOT
1.  Jason Lawson (1993-        89   86  95 105  375
2.  Tom Greis (1986-90)        26   88  58  65  273
3.  Ed Pinckney (1981-85)      64   65  60  64  253
4.  Harold Pressley (1982-86)   8   38  23  83  152
5.  Anthony Pelle (1990-93)    29   26  39  --   94



Sure-Handed Lead Guard
Alvin Williams finished his career in third place on Villanova's all-time assist chart with 553 career assists, behind Kenny Wilson and Stewart Granger. He tallied 177 assists last year, the third-best single-season total in history, and had a career best of 12, set during the 1994-95 season. Kenny Wilson (1985-89) holds the school record for career assists with 627, while current Milwaukee Bucks head coach Chris Ford set the standard for single-season assists with 238 in 1971.

Career Assist Leaders
PLAYER                           FR.  SO. JR. SR.TOT
1.  Kenny Wilson (1985-89)      145  159 170 153 627
2.  Stewart Granger (1979-83)    70  165 183 177 595
3.  Alvin Williams (1993-)       88  159 177 129 553
4.  Chris Ford (1969-72)        ---  117 238 145 500
5.  Rory Sparrow (1976-80)      112  153 103 127 495
6.  Joe Rogers (1973-77)         67  136 118 153 474
7.  Gary McLain (1981-85)        58   88 160 150 456
8.  Jonathan Haynes (1992-95)   ---  137 177 132 446
9.  Kerry Kittles (1992-96)      79  109 115 105 408
10. Chris Walker (1988-92)       41  128 139  96 404


Lawson Moves Into Top 10 Rebounding Leaders
Jason Lawson moved into the top 10 Villanova listing for rebounding as a senior, and finished his career with 910 boards, the seventh-best all-time number. Lawson's 7.6 rebounds per game in his final campaign marked the best rebounding performance of his career. Following are the best on the glass, throughout Villanova history:

Career Rebounding Leaders
PLAYER                          FR. SO. JR. SR.   TOT
1.  Howard Porter (1968-71)     --- 376 438 503 1,317
2.  Jim Washington (1962-65)    --- 354 398 442 1,194
3.  Jack Devine (1951-55)       166 293 387 335 1,181
4.  Ed Pinckney (1981-85)       249 301 246 311 1,107
5.  Harold Pressley (1982-86)   143 221 278 374 1,016
6.  Jim Mooney (1950-53)        --- 455 322 223 1,010
7.  Jason Lawson (1993-         212 222 218 258   910
8.  John Pinone (1979-83)       221 229 211 176   837
9.  George Raveling (1957-60)   --- 89  405 341   835
10. Alex Bradley (1977-81)      231 209 219 138   797


Lawson, Williams Finish Among Top 25 Scorers
With 8:07 remaining in the first half versus UNC Wilmington, Alvin Williams swished a three-pointer and became Villanova's 39th 1,000-point scorer. He finished his senior season with 580 points, and scored 245 points as a freshman, 234 points as a sophomore and 364 points last season as a junior to push his career total to 1,423. Lawson, meanwhile, scored his 1,000th career point as a junior and finished in the No. 16 spot on the all-time list. Following is a history of 1,000-point scorers at Villanova:

CNN/USA Today (4/1)
1.  Arizona (30)    25-9    750
2.  Kentucky        35-5    719
3.  Minnesota       31-4    675
4.  North Carolina  28-7    653
5.  Kansas          34-2    642
6.  Utah            29-4    594
7.  UCLA            24-8    551
8.  Clemson        23-10    437
9.  Wake Forest     24-7    432
10. Louisville      26-9    394
11. Duke            24-9    387
12. Stanford        22-8    365
13. Iowa State      22-9    356
14. South Carolina  24-8    320
15. Providence     24-12    300
16. Cincinnati      26-8    295
17. St. Joseph's    26-7    283
18. California      25-9    242
19. New Mexico      25-8    179
20. Texas          18-12    174
21. Charleston      29-3    167
22. Xavier          23-6    142
23. Boston College  22-9     98
24. Michigan       23-11     92
25. Colorado       22-10     81

Tracking Villanova In The Polls 1996-97


                  AP USA       Today/CNN       RPI
Preseason         #7  #8          ---
Week of Nov. 18   #6  ---         ---
Week of Nov. 25   #5  #6          ---
Week of Dec. 2    #5  #8          ---
Week of Dec. 9    #4  #4          ---
Week of Dec. 16   #10 #12         ---
Week of Dec. 23   #10 #12         ---
Week of Dec. 30   #10 #12         ---
Week of Jan. 6    #8  #7          #6
Week of Jan. 13   #16 #15        #12
Week of Jan. 20   #12 #13         #9
Week of Jan. 27   #14 #13         #8
Week of Feb. 3    #16 #14         #7
Week of Feb. 10   #18 #18         #7
Week of Feb. 17   #19 #18         #9
Week of Feb. 24   #18 #18         #8
Week of March 3   #21 #17         #8  
Week of March 10  #20 #16         #8
Week of March 31   NR             #8  

Villanova In The Associated Press Top 25 - Since 1980

1980-81 No rankings

1981-82 
    Week #3    No. 20
    Week #4    No. 19
    Week #5    No. 20

1982-83 
    Preseason   No.  5
    Week #1     No.  4
    Week #2     No. 10
    Week #3     No. 19
    Week #4     No. 18
    Week #5     No. 16
    Week #6     No. 14
    Week #7     No. 17
    Week #8     No. 13
    Week #9     No. 11
    Week #10    No. 11
    Week #11    No. 12
    Week #12    No.  8
    Week #13    No.  7
    Week #14    No.  4
    Week #15    No. 13
    Week #16    No. 13  

1983-84 No rankings

1984-85 
    Week #7     No. 16
    Week #8     No. 18
    Week #9     No. 14
    Week #10    No. 18
    Week #11    No. 19
    Week #12    No. 16

1985-86 No rankings

1986-87 No rankings

1987-88 
    Week #9     No. 19
    Week #10    No. 20

1988-89 
    Preseason   No. 12
    Week #1     No. 11
    Week #2     No. 18
    Week #3     No. 17

1989-90 No rankings 

1990-91 
    Week #1     No. 24

1991-92 No rankings

1992-93 No rankings

1993-94 No rankings

1994-95 
    Preseason   No. 22
    Week #1     No. 21
    Week #2     No. 24
    Week #3     No. 24
    Week #4     No. 22
    Week #11    No. 22
    Week #12    No. 19
    Week #13    No. 16
    Week #14    No. 15
    Week #15    No.  9
    Week #16    No. 11
    Week #17    No. 13
    Final       No.  9

1995-96 
    Preseason   No.  3
    Week #1     No.  3
    Week #2     No.  2
    Week #3     No.  2
    Week #4     No.  7
    Week #5     No.  8
    Week #6     No.  8
    Week #7     No.  7
    Week #8     No.  7
    Week #9     No.  7 
    Week #10    No.  6
    Week #11    No.  6
    Week #12    No.  4
    Week #13    No.  4
    Week #14    No.  6
    Week #15    No.  9
    Week #16    No. 10
    Final       No. 10

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