Malik Allen
Malik Allen averages 8.1 rebounds per game for the 'Cats.

Jan. 11, 1998

Wildcats Set for Georgetown

VILLANOVA WILDCATS
(7-6 Overall, 4-1 Big East)
vs.
GEORGETOWN HOYAS
(8-5 Overall, 2-4 Big East)

Game Time
Jan. 12, 1998
Philadelphia, Pa.
The CoreStates Center (21,000)
7:30 p.m. (ET) ~ ESPN-TV

Last Time Out
Villanova: The Wildcats dropped their first conference game of the season, falling to Seton Hall 67-54 on Saturday at the Continental Airlines Arena. Donnell Williams led all scorers with 15 points, while Levell Sanders had 14 for the Pirates. Malik Allen was Villanova's only double-figure scorer with 10 points. Villanova shot 40.7 percent from the floor, while Seton Hall converted only 34.5 percent from the field in the game. Villanova committed 17 turnovers, including 10 in the second half, and stayed even with Seton Hall on the boards.

Georgetown: Georgetown was defeated by St. John's, 66-60, on Saturday at the MCI Center. Felipe Lopez led all scorers with 18 points, while Ron Artest had 13 and Tyrone Grant 12 for the Red Storm. Trez Kilpatrick registered 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Kenny Brunner scored 15 and Daymond Jackson 13 for the Hoyas. St. John's shot just under 40 percent from the floor, while Georgetown converted only 37.7 percent and was outrebounded 43-38.

Villanova-Georgetown Series Notes
Georgetown leads the overall series, 31-19, with the two teams first meeting on Jan. 19, 1922, with the Hoyas winning 39-34 on their home court. In regular-season Big East Conference games, Georgetown owns a 23-11 edge. Villanova got its first-ever Big East win over Georgetown on Jan. 31, 1983, after losing five-straight contests to the Hoyas since joining the league. Georgetown has won three of the last four meetings, , and Villanova won four of five from 1993 to 1996. Steve Lappas is 4-5 versus Georgetown.

Probable Villanova Starters
No. Pos.    Name                        PPG     RPG
#15 F   Malik Allen (So., 6-10, 240)    10.5    8.1
#22 F   HOWARD BROWN (Jr., 6-5, 200)    11.5    5.5
#31 C   Rafal Bigus (Jr., 7-1, 270)     9.4     5.3
#11 G   MARVIN O'CONNOR (Fr., 6-4, 190) 5.8     2.0
#13 G   John Celestand (Jr., 6-3, 175)  13.4    4.3

Probable Georgetown Starters
No. Pos.    Name                        PPG     RPG
#00 F   TREZ KILPATRICK (Jr., 6-6, 219) 12.5    6.6 
#22 F   BOUBACAR AW (Sr., 6-8, 228)     7.2     4.2
#40 C   JAMEEL WATKINS (Jr., 6-10, 244) 3.8     4.4
#3  G   KENNY BRUNNER (Fr., 5-11, 185)  10.8    3.6
#12 G   DEAN BERRY (Jr., 5-10, 168)     6.3     1.1

The Coaches
Villanova   
    Steve Lappas 
        110-62 (.639) / 6 yrs. (VU)
        166-124 (.572) / 10 yrs.
Georgetown  
    John Thompson
        581-223 (.723) / 26 yrs. (GU)
        581-223 (.723) / 26 yrs. 
John Celestand
John Celestand is averaging 13.4 ppg.

Next Up
Villanova: Villanova hosts West Virginia on Jan. 18, 1998, at 2 p.m. in The Pavilion. The game will air on CBS.

Georgetown: The Hoyas will face Connecticut on Jan. 17, 1998 at 2 p.m. in the Hartford Civic Center.

Making an Impact
Sophomore Brian Lynch has made great strides of late, making major contributions in the last two games. After suffering two injuries that kept him limited during six of the first seven games, he has rebounded to become a valuable bench performer. He's averaged 11.0 ppg over the last two games, putting in one of the finest efforts of his career versus Boston College last Tuesday. The Belmar, N.J., native scored a career-high 13 points to help the Wildcats to an overtime victory over the Eagles on a personal-best eight-of-eight from the foul line. Additionally, he had seven points in the extra period to fuel Villanova to the 68-65 win. He followed that with a nine-point effort versus Seton Hall on four-for-eight shooting. In fact, since he's been back to full strength over the past six games, he's played double-figure minutes four times. In those games, he's averaged 11.5 ppg.

As John Goes ...
Junior John Celestand currently rates as Villanova's leading scorer (13.4 ppg), and is first on the team in assists (4.4 apg) and steals (1.9 spg). The guard may be the most pivotal player on the squad, as Villanova is 6-1 when he scores 14 or more points in the game this season. The Piscataway, N.J., native, is averaging 15.7 ppg (110 pts.) in seven Wildcat victories and only 10.7 ppg (64 pts.) in six losses this season.

Wildcats in Philadelphia
Villanova has played 53 games in the city of Philadelphia since the 1975-76 season, posting a record of 28-25. In the CoreStates Center, newly opened last season, the Wildcats are 1-2, while they boast a mark of 27-23 in the CoreStates Spectrum. Under head coach Steve Lappas, Villanova owns a mark of 7-5 in Big East Conference match-ups played in the city of Philadelphia.

Villanova played the first collegiate contest ever at the state-of-the-art Center, falling to Duke 87-79 on Dec. 14, 1996 before a crowd of 19,214. The Wildcats had two more games at the Center last season, losing to Syracuse 62-60 on Jan. 20, 1997, and defeating Notre Dame 75-70 on Feb. 16, 1997.

Wildcats Own Attendance Records
Villanova owns the top five all-time attendance marks for collegiate basketball in the city of Philadelphia, including the record of 19,372 set at the Notre Dame game on Feb. 16, 1997.

All-Time Largest Collegiate Basketball Crowds in Philadelphia History
19,372  Villanova-Notre Dame            Center      2/16/97
19,214  Villanova-Duke                  Center      12/14/96
18,524  Villanova-Connecticut           Spectrum    2/25/96
18,524  Villanova-North Carolina        Spectrum    1/20/96
18,433  Villanova-Georgetown            Spectrum    2/3/96
18,276  Indiana-LSU (NCAA Final Four)   Spectrum    3/28/81
        North Carolina-Virginia
18,202  Villanova-Georgetown            Spectrum    1/13/85
18,060  Villanova-St. Joseph's          Spectrum    2/23/83
        Penn-Princeton
18,059  Villanova-Georgetown            Spectrum    2/1/88

Retiring #30
At the West Virginia game on Jan. 18, 1998, the Villanova Athletic Department will have a special pregame ceremony in honor of former Wildcat Kerry Kittles, retiring his #30 jersey. Kittles played from 1992-96 and earned first-team All-America honors as well as Big East Player of the Year. In addition, he rates as the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,243 career points and all-time steals leader with 277 thefts during his tenure. Kittles was a lottery selection in 1996 by the New Jersey Nets and is currently a starter for the NBA team.

Mighty Malik
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 10.5 points per contest and 8.1 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, and fifth in the league in blocked shots (1.9 bpg). 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 on Dec. 30, 1997, 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.

Experimenting with the Lineup
Villanova head coach Steve Lappas has utilized four different starting lineups this season. The constants have been Malik Allen, Rafal Bigus, and John Celestand, while five other players have started at least one game this season. 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
(F) Allen, (F) Brown, (C) Bigus, (G) Celestand (G) O'Connor 1-1

At Home and on the Road in the Big East
Over the last four years (1994-present), Villanova has recorded a mark of 25-4 (.862) at home in Big East Conference regular-season contests. In Big East games in The Pavilion during that time, the Wildcats are 19-2 (.905), while they are 6-2 (.750) in Philadelphia. During the Steve Lappas era at Villanova, the Wildcats are 31-16 (.659) at home in league play, including a stellar 24-11 (.686) in The Pavilion.

The Villanova Wildcats have recorded a mark of 26-22 (.542) on the road in Big East Conference match-ups under Lappas, including a stellar record of 24-15 (.615) over the last four years, and a 2-1 mark this season with wins at Georgetown and Boston College.

   
                Big East 
Season  Record  Road    Home
1997-98 4-1     2-1     2-0 (2-0 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  57-38   26-22   31-16 (24-11 Pavilion / 7-5 Phila.)

Wildcats on the Tube
During the Lappas tenure on the Main Line, Villanova has made 54 appearances on five national television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, CBS, ABC, and NBC). The Wildcats have recorded a mark of 32-22 (.593) in those games, including an 11-14 record on ESPN. Villanova is 9-1 on ESPN2, 9-7 on CBS, 1-0 on ABC, and 2-0 on NBC during the six Lappas years.

Not for a While
Villanova's contest versus Boston College marked the first time the Wildcats played an overtime game in nearly two years. The last time Villanova went into the extra period was on January 29, 1996, when the Wildcats defeated Syracuse 72-69 in the Carrier Dome. Under head coach Steve Lappas, Villanova is 6-5 in overtime games, including a 6-2 mark from the 1993-94 season on.

Strange Scheduling
The Wildcats play their first six Big East Conference games against the same three squads in 1997-98, facing Georgetown, Boston College, and Seton Hall. Villanova, currently 4-1 in league games, has defeated each team thus far, including two wins over the Eagles. Villanova's only conference loss came at Seton Hall on Saturday by a score of 67-54.

Home, Sweet, Home
The Wildcats have recorded 37-straight sellouts in their on-campus arena, The Pavilion, and boast a record of 96-35 (.733) in the building since it opened in 1986. From the 1994-95 season on, Villanova is 34-3 (.919) in The Pavilion, including an 19-2 (.905) mark in Big East Conference match-ups.

Comparing the Stats
So far this season, Villanova's offensive output has differed greatly depending on where the game has been played. In six home contests (5-1 record), the Wildcats have shot a combined 159-for-341 from the field (.466) and averaged 76.8 points per game. In contrast, in seven road games (2-5 record), Villanova is shooting178-for-414 (.430) from the floor and averaging only 63.4 points per game.

The Best Since ...
When Villanova and Boston College played at Conte Forum on Dec. 30, 1997, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

Stepping Up
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 11.5 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 .475 (56-for-118). Seven of his top 10 career shooting performances have come this season, and he boasts the most made three-pointers of any Wildcat with 21. 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

Villanova-Georgetown Comparison
(13 game VU totals; 13 game GU totals)

VU                          GU
905     Points Scored       977 
69.6    Avg. PPG            75.2        
337-755 FG-FGA              370-826
.446    FG Pct.             .448    
80-256  3FG-3FGA            40-157
.313    3-Pt. Pct.          .255
151-219 Free Throws         197-348
.689    FT Pct.             .566
909     Points Allowed      778
69.9    Avg. Allowed        59.8
483     Total Rebounds      612
37.2    Avg. RPG            47.1
-0.3    Rebound Margin      +11.7
206     Assists             186
15.8    Avg. APG            14,3
232     Turnovers           232
17.8    Avg. TO Per Game    17.8
88      Steals              164
6.8     Avg. SPG            12.6

Series Facts
Record in Overtime Games        3-2
Series First Meeting            1/19/22
Overall Series Record           GU 31-19
Big East Regular-Season Series  GU 23-11
Big East Tournament Series      0-2
Current Win Streak              VU, 1

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