Villanova/Fordham Post-Game Quotes
Nov. 17, 2008
Villanova head coach Jay Wright...
Opening statement: I thought that similar to Friday night we started off well and kind of got lackadaisical the last 10 minutes of the first half. I liked the intensity we played with defensively. We maintained that better in the second half and that's what we have to do to be a good team. We need to play 40 minutes of defense. We aren't there yet but we are getting better. I have been in the same position as Fordham with having young guards like that. When those guys get a little more experience they are going to be good.
On Dante Cunningham's offense: We need Dante to be a scorer. He has had some good scoring games but he hasn't done it consistently because he doesn't ask for it. As a coaching staff we have to demand it too. He can really score in a lot of ways. Other than the defense in the second half Dante's offensive performance is probably what I felt really good about tonight. Sometimes when we get a lead he will defer to everyone else but he continued to want it tonight and that was good to see.
On defending the Fordham guards: Their guards are quick and a lot of times with the bigger guards we have like Corey Stokes and Corey Fisher they are thick but not super fast. The guards for Fordham are touch to keep in front of you and it was a great challenge for us to do that. We struggled a little bit but for us to only give up eight three-pointers on 26 attempts is good. They have had games where 50 percent of their shots are three-pointers. We tried to limit that and we did a decent job. It was a good challenge. When you play teams that play like that they are tough to guard.
On Shane Clark's return: We had a film session yesterday and Shane came in from a doctor visit and said he was good to go. Our trainer wasn't in there at that point so I said `We'll see.' I thought maybe Shane was just saying that but I was shocked we got him back as early as tonight. He had a choice to play through this all year and could have done that but since it was such a minor procedure he made that choice. Shane was a little out of shape but it was great to get him minutes tonight. He makes such a difference for us. He is so smart and experienced and does all the little things. It was great to have him out there.
On Casiem Drummond's injury: I don't think it's serious. He complained of pain after Friday's game in the top of his foot and we couldn't get an MRI until today. The doctor saw him right before the game but Casiem hadn't done anything for two days. I would have used him tonight if we needed him but since we didn't I wanted him to get the rest. I think he will be okay for Wednesday.
On the bigger lineup used in the first half: That was because of foul trouble in the first half that we went with a bigger lineup. We want to do that sometimes. With Frank Tchuisi, Antonio Pena, Dante Cunningham and Corey Stokes in the game that can be a good lineup sometimes in the BIG EAST. When we get into foul trouble that is where the lineup is important to us. This was the second game that Scottie had two fouls in the first half. We need a way to play if that happens and to do that we have to go bigger. As long as we know what we are doing when we go bigger then it's okay. We had only one good day of practice from the Albany game and playing bigger is one of the things we have to get better at.
On using different lineups because of foul trouble or injuries: I look at it as a positive. We caught a big break getting Shane back. I never thought he would be back this early and that helps us a lot. We are getting Frank Tchuisi some time and that is helping us right now. As long as we stay healthy this is good for us. We think Casiem Drummond is going to be okay too, so we are just missing Dwayne Anderson now and need to get him in shape. This is good for us.
On the games in the Philly Hoop Group Classic: I look at it like going to tournaments but with a little more rest. We don't have to play three games in four days or something like that. We can get some rest and don't have to travel.
On playing Niagara this Wednesday: I am telling you this is a very good Niagara team. It's going to be a good game. It is nice to build up to this. I am glad we have a couple games under our belt before we play these guys. Joe Mihalich has a really tough team. They have some guards like Fordham but they are older and more experienced guys.
Senior forward Dante Cunningham...
On his offense: Honestly I wasn't even paying attention to how many points I had. Every time down the court we looked for each other, run down the court hard and someone would throw the ball up. My teammates were finding me in the right spot at the right time.
On scoring more: I have been working a lot during the offseason on my range and understanding where shots come from and where I can be comfortable on the court. I was comfortable tonight and Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher and the guards got me the ball in the right places. Like Coach said, I have to ask for the ball a lot more and I am getting more and more comfortable doing that.
Senior forward Shane Clark...
On returning from the injury: It felt great out there. I was a little out of shape but it felt great on the floor to play with my teammates again.
On his injury: Like Coach said it was minor and I just got it cleaned out. I have been working on rehabbing since the surgery so I could get back fast.