Jan 4, 1998

Villanova Faces Boston College

VILLANOVA WILDCATS 
(6-5 Overall, 3-0 Big East)
vs.
BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES
(8-6 Overall, 1-3 Big East)

January 6, 1998 ~ 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Villanova, Pa. ~ The Pavilion (6,500)
ESPN2

Last Time Out
Villanova: The Wildcats fell to La Salle, 65-72, on Jan. 2 at The CoreStates Spectrum. The Explorers shot 50.0 percent from the field and posted five double-figure scorers en route to the win. Donnie Carr led all scorers with 16 points, while Rafal Bigus paced Villanova with 14 points. La Salle outrebounded the Wildcats by a 33-30 margin and both teams committed 17 turnovers in the game. Villanova led by as many 10 points in the first half, but La Salle came charging back ad took a two-point lead at intermission. The game was a see-saw battle throughout most of the second half, but La Salle pulled away at the two-minute mark on two foul shots by Victor Thomas followed by a layup by K'zell Wesson.

Boston College: The Eagles fell to West Virginia, 79-57, last Saturday in Morgantown. Damian Owens led all scorers with 21 points on seven-for-12 shooting, pacing the Mountaineers toa 50-percent shooting evening. Duane Woodward led BC with 16 points, while Jonathan Beerbohm had a game-high 11 rebounds. The Eagles shot 40.4 percent for the game and lost the rebounding battle by a 38-32 margin. Additionally, turnovers were a factor, as Boston College committed 25 in the game.

Villanova-Boston College Series Notes
Villanova leads the overall series with Boston College, 46-16, and has won eight of the past nine meetings. The Eagles broke Villanova's seven-game hold last March in the Big East Tournament Championship game with a 70-58 victory over the Wildcats to earn their first-ever conference tournament title. Villanova responded with a win last week in the two teams' first meeting this season. In regular-season Big East contests, Villanova owns a 25-9 record versus Boston College, and the Wildcats own a 10-1 mark in The Pavilion. The Eagles' lone victory at Villanova came on Jan. 23, 1993 by a score of 65-58. Head coach Steve Lappas owns a 7-4 career record versus Boston College.

The Coaches

   Villanova   Steve Lappas 
      109-61  (.641) / 6 yrs. (VU)
      165-123 (.573) / 10 yrs.

   BC   Al Skinner
         8-6   (.571) / 1 yr. (BC)
       146-132 (.525) / 10 yrs. 

Next Up
Villanova: Villanova faces Seton Hall on Jan. 10, 1998 at noon at the Meadowlands.

Boston College: The Eagles host Connecticut on Jan. 10, 1998, at noon.

Back-to-Back
For the first time in history, the Wildcats have back-to-back Big East Conference regular-season games against the same opponent. Villanova and Boston College faced off on Tuesday, Dec. 30, 1997, and the Wildcats had a non-league game on Friday before taking on the Eagles again tonight. Villanova has played the same Big East foe in consecutive games twice before, however, the difference was that the regular-season game was followed by a contest in the Big East Tournament. That happened versus Syracuse on March 8, 1992 (W 76-56) and March 13, 1992 (L 52-55) in the Big East Tournament; and again versus Pittsburgh on March 2, 1985 (L 62-85) and on March 7, 1985 (W 69-61) in the league tournament.

Additionally, the six-day layoff between Villanova-BC regular-season games is the shortest span of time ever for the Wildcats to play the same team, matching the Villanova and Miami regular-season series in 1992. Villanova and Miami played at The Pavilion on Feb. 18, 1992, winning 74-50, and again on Feb. 25, 1992, at Miami Arena, where the Wildcats won 61-50. Villanova played Seton Hall in between its two contests with the Hurricanes. The only other time Villanova had six days in between games with the same opponent was in 1995 when the Wildcats lost to Providence 71-70 at the Providence Civic Center on March 4, 1995, and then defeated the Friars on March 11, 1995 in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament 90-75.

Career-High for Caouette
Sophomore forward T.J. Caouette came off the bench versus La Salle to post a career-high 13 points on five-of-six shooting from the field. Caouette's shooting performance rates as the best of career and his most single-game field goals. The Winthrop, Maine, native, played 15 minutes in the contest and also hit both three-point attempts versus the Explorers. His previous scoring best came last year in the NCAA Tournament, 11 points versus Long Island.

Last Time Out
The last time Villanova and Boston College played, the Wildcats shot 61.8 percent from the field, at the time its third-straight game of shooting 50 percent or better from the field. The Wildcats converted 34-of-55 from the field, their best shooting effort since the Wildcats set a school record at the famous 1985 NCAA title game versus Georgetown. On April 1, 1985, Villanova shot 22-of-28 (.786) to defeat the Hoyas and sit atop college basketball's throne.

Sure Shots
Despite falling below the 50-percent shooting plateau versus La Salle, the Wildcats are still shooting exceptionally well from the field over the past four games. Villanova has converted 125-of-224 (.558) during that time, well above its season shooting percentage of .452.

Big Play from the Big Men
Wildcat post players Rafal Bigus and Malik Allen have been shooting exceptionally well from the field over the past four games. The duo has combined for 120 points and 50 rebounds in the quartet of games on 48-of-65 (.738) shooting. Bigus registered a career-high 19 points versus FIU, followed by 17 against Hofstra, and 14 versus Boston College and La Salle on 26-of-33 shooting (.788). Allen, meanwhile, scored 14, 16, a career-high 21 points and five points consecutively on 22-of-32 (.688) shooting against the four opponents. Additionally, the duo's combined 19 field goal attempts against BC is the most for the pair in a single game all season, while their 15 made field goals versus the Eagles is also a superlative this year for the combined effort of the big men.

More on Malik


allen photo
Malik Allen.
At this stage of the season, Malik Allen is opening eyes as one of the most improved players in the Big East Conference. The sophomore forward is averaging 10.8 points per contest and 8.3 rebounds per game, up considerably from 2.0 ppg and 2.9 rpg as a freshman a year ago. He's ranked sixth in the Big East in rebounding. The Shawnee High School product has registered six double-figure scoring outings, two double-figure rebounding outings and reset his career high twice already this season. Allen broke his previous high of 17 points versus Duke against Boston College last Tuesday, hitting for 21 points on nine-of-11 shooting (career bests in scoring, shooting, and field goals made and attempted). Allen scored nine points in the final six minutes of the contest and 17 in the second half to lead his team from behind.

Sharpshooting Big Man
Rafal Bigus currently rates as the Wildcats' best shooter from the field, converting a team-high 67.7 percent from the floor (44-for-65). In addition, the Stargard, Poland, native, is also Villanova's second-best free throw shooter, as he has hit 20-of-26 from the line for a percentage of 76.9 on the year.

Home, Sweet, Home
The Wildcats have recorded 36-straight sellouts in their on-campus arena, The Pavilion, and boast a record of 95-35 (.730) in the building since it opened in 1986. From the 1994-95 season on, Villanova is 33-3 (.917) in The Pavilion, including an 18-2 (.900) mark in Big East Conference match-ups.

At Home and on the Road in the Big East
Over the last four years (1994-present), Villanova has recorded a mark of 24-4 (.857) at home in Big East Conference regular-season contests. In Big East games in The Pavilion during that time, the Wildcats are 18-2 (.900). During the Steve Lappas era at Villanova, the Wildcats are 30-16 (.652) at home in league play, including a stellar 23-11 (.676) in The Pavilion.

The Villanova Wildcats have recorded a mark of 26-21 (.553) on the road in Big East Conference match-ups under Lappas, including a stellar record of 24-14 (.632) over the last four years, and a 2-0 mark this season wins at Georgetown and BC.

         Big East 
Season   Record   Road   Home
1997-98    3-0    2-0    1-0 (1-0 Pavilion / 0-0 Phila.)
1996-97   12-6    5-4    7-2 (4-1 Pavilion / 3-1 Phila.)
1995-96   14-4    6-3    8-1 (7-0 Pavilion / 1-1 Phila.)
1994-95   14-4    6-3    8-1 (6-1 Pavilion / 2-0 Phila.)
1993-94   10-8    5-4    5-4 (4-3 Pavilion / 1-1 Phila.)
1992-93   3-15    2-7    1-8 (1-6 Pavilion / 0-2 Phila.)
Totals   56-37  26-21  30-16 (23-11 Pavilion / 7-5 Phila.)

Wildcats on the Tube
During the Lappas tenure on the Main Line, Villanova has made 53 appearances on five national television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, CBS, ABC, and NBC). The Wildcats have recorded a mark of 31-22 (.584) in those games, including an 11-14 record on ESPN. Villanova is 8-1 on ESPN2, 9-7 on CBS, 1-0 on ABC, and 2-0 on NBC during the six years Lappas has served as Villanova head coach.

75 is the Magic Number
Over the past six seasons under head coach Steve Lappas, the Wildcats are 74-12 (.860) 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. Villanova is 3-0 in 1997-98 when they score 75 or better.

Comparing the Stats
So far this season, Villanova's offensive output has differed greatly depending on where the game has been played. In five home contests (4-1 record), the Wildcats have shot a combined 136-of-287 from the field (.474) and averaged 78.6 points per game. In contrast, in six road games (2-4 record), Villanova is shooting 154-for-355 from the floor (.434) and averaging only 65.0 points per game. The Wildcats did break the trend at Boston College last Tuesday night, hitting a season-high 61.8 percent and winning 83-76 over the Eagles.

Experimenting with the Lineup
Villanova head coach Steve Lappas has utilized three different starting lineups this season. The constants have been Malik Allen, Rafal Bigus, and John Celestand, while Jermaine Medley has been inserted at the point guard position and Howard Brown replaced Zeffy Penn versus Georgetown. Following are each of Villanova's lineups this season, and the result:

Lineup                                                       Record
(F) Allen, (F) Penn, (C) Bigus, (G) Lynch, (G) Celestand     0-1
(F) Allen, (F) Penn, (C) Bigus, (G) Celestand, (G) Medley    0-1
(F) Allen, (F) Brown, (C) Bigus, (G) Celestand, (G) Medley   6-3

Starting from Scratch
The Wildcats were virtually starting from scratch prior to the start of the season, with only one starter returning to the 1997-98 lineup, as Chuck Kornegay, Jason Lawson, Tim Thomas, and Alvin Williams have all departed. Combined, the quartet amassed 4,244 career points and 2,142 career rebounds during their varied tenures at Villanova. In addition, the Wildcat seniors from a year ago (Kornegay, Lawson, Williams) compiled 95 victories during their four-year stint, the most wins by a class in school history. The class of 97 surpassed the class of 85, which posted a record of 92-38 and won the NCAA title.

Lappas Versus Ranked Opponents
Under head coach Steve Lappas, the Wildcats have recorded a mark of 17-16 (.515) against nationally-ranked teams, including a record of 13-9 (.590) over the past four years. This season, the Wildcats have split against nationally-ranked squads, defeating No. 16 Temple (68-57) on Dec. 16, 1997, and falling to No. 1Duke on Dec. 10 (L 94-66).

Holley to Redshirt
Freshman Johnny Holley, a 6-foot-6 forward from McKinney, Texas, will redshirt the 1997-98 season due to an inflammatory condition in his right knee. Holley played in only one game this season, seeing limited action against Bradley.

Lappas and Non-Conference Opponents
Currently in his sixth season at the helm of the Wildcat program, head coach Steve Lappas has posted a mark of 47-19 (.712) versus non-conference opponents during his tenure. In his first year on the Main Line, the Wildcats were 5-3; in 1993-94 Villanova recorded a mark of 10-3 in non-Big East games. In 1994-95, the Wildcats registered a mark of 8-3, and in 1995-96 they were 11-2 out of conference. Last season, Lappas posted a mark of 10-3 in non-league contests, while Villanova is 3-5 in 1997-98.

Probable Villanova Starters
No.   Pos. Name                           PPG    RPG
#15   F    Malik Allen (So., 6-10, 240)   10.8   8.3
#22   F    HOWARD BROWN (Jr., 6-5, 200)   12.1   5.5
#31   C    Rafal Bigus (Jr., 7-1, 270)     9.8   5.5
#13   G    John Celestand (Jr., 6-3, 175) 13.5   4.1
#10   G    JERMAINE MEDLEY (Fr., 6-0, 185) 6.3   1.5

Probable Boston College Starters
No.   Pos. Name   PPG   RPG
#4    F    J. BEERBOHM (Fr., 6-7, 210)     5.1   3.4
#21   F    ANTONIO GRANGER (Sr., 6-6, 207)15.4   6.1
#23   C    KOSTAS MAGLOS (Jr., 6-10, 229) 11.9   7.0
#13   G    KENNY HARLEY (Fr., 6-4, 190)    6.3   5.1
#20   G    DUANE WOODWARD (Sr., 6-3, 170) 14.1   2.8

Former Steve Lappas assistant coaches John Leonard and Paul Hewitt are currently roaming the sidelines as head coaches. Leonard is in his second season at Manhattan College, while Hewitt is in his debut season at Siena College.

Stepping Up

brown photo
Howard Brown.
Junior Howard Brown has established himself as the most consistent player for the Wildcats this season, stepping up his play in his third year on the Main Line. Brown has posted double figures in seven games this season and is averaging 12.1 ppg, the second-highest number on the team. He's shot better than 50 percent from the field six times, and 40 percent or better from behind the arc six times. He's led the team in scoring three times, assists four times and blocks three times, and rates as the best shooting wing on the Wildcat squad with a percentage of .500 (49-for-98). He's ranked fourth in the Big East in three-point shooting, and seven of his top 10 career shooting performances have come this season. Additionally, the Pottstown, Pa., native, boasts the best three-point shooting percentage (.432) on the squad, as well as the most made three-pointers with 19. Brown's excellent shooting this season is markedly improved from his previous two seasons (35.8 in 1996, 39.2 in 1997).
Brown's Best Career Shooting Performances*
1.  77.8   7-for-9    20 points   Fla. Int'l (12/27/97)
2.  66.7   4-for-6     8 points   Miami (1/27/96)
3.  63.6   7-for-11   16 points   Seton Hall (12/6/97)
4.  62.5   5-for-8    14 points   Bradley (11/29/97)
    62.5   5-for-8    10 points   UNC-Wilm. (12/30/96)
6.  60.0   6-for-10   15 points   BC (12/30/97)
    60.0   6-for-10   18 points   St. Joseph's (12/23/96)
8.  55.6   5-for-9    11 points   Georgetown (12/3/97)
    55.6   5-for-9    13 points   Connecticut (2/23/97)
10. 54.5   6-for-11   19 points   Temple (12/16/97)
*minimum four made field goals; italics indicate 1997-98 season 


Wildcats' Record When ...

RECORDS
Overall                    6-5
Home                       4-1
Away                       2-3
Neutral                    0-1
Big East                   3-0
Non-Conference             3-5
Big Five                   1-1
in Overtime                0-0
at The Pavilion            4-1
at the CoreStates Center   0-0
at the CoreStates Spectrum 0-1


MONTH BY MONTH
November   0-2
December   6-2
January    0-1
February   0-0
March      0-0


AGAINST THE CONFERENCES
Big Ten           0-1
Missouri Valley   0-1
Atlantic Coast    0-1
Atlantic 10       1-1
Sun Belt          0-1
Trans America     1-0
America East      1-0


Current Streak                             L1
Longest Win Streak                          4
Largest Margin of Victory          30 vs. FIU
Highest FG Percentage in a Game   61.8 vs. BC
Lowest FG Percentage in a Game    33.3 vs. DU
Largest Lead                       32 vs. FIU
Largest Deficit                     36 vs. DU
When Leading at Halftime                  5-1
When Trailing at Halftime                 1-4
When Tied at Halftime                     0-0
In Overtime                               0-0
Individual Highlights

Games Leading VU in Scoring: Celestand (3); Brown (3); Allen (3); Bigus (1); Penn (1).

Games Leading VU in Rebounding: Allen (8); Bigus (2); Penn (1); Brown (1).

Games Leading VU in Assists: Celestand (6); Brown (4); Medley (2); Allen (1); Caouette (1).

Games Leading VU in Steals: Celestand (5); Penn (4); Allen (4); O'Connor (1); Medley (1); Caouette (1); Brown (1).

Games Leading VU in Blocks: Allen (6); Brown (3); Bigus (3); Lynch (2); Celestand (1); Penn (1).

20-Point Games: Celestand (2); Brown (1); Allen (1).

Double-figure Scoring: Brown (8); Celestand (8); Allen (5); Bigus (6); Medley (3); O'Connor (3); Penn (3); Lynch (2); Caouette (1).

Double-figure Rebounding: Allen (3); Penn (1); Bigus (1).

Double-Doubles: Penn (1); Allen (2).

Records when scoring ...
VU scores 59 or less           0-2
VU scores 60-69 points         1-3
VU scores 70-79 points         2-0
VU scores 80-89 points         2-0
VU scores 90+ points           1-0

Opponent scores less than 50   0-0
Opponent scores 50-59 points   2-0
Opponent scores 60-69 points   1-2
Opponent scores 70-79 points   3-2
Opponent scores 80-99 points   0-1

Games decided by five or less  1-0
Games decided by 6-10 points   1-1
Games decided by 11 or more    3-3
Games decided by 20 or more    1-1

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