Jan. 9, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. - After a six-day layoff, Villanova (10-4 overall, 1-0 BIG EAST) resumes action on Wednesday night here against USF (9-4 overall, 0-1 BIG EAST). The game will tip-off at 8:04 p.m. at the Sun Dome, the on-campus home of the Bulls that underwent a refurbishment last year.
The game will air locally in Philadelphia on PHL 17 and the radio broadcast can be heard in the region on 1210 WPHT beginning with the pre-game show coming on the air at 7:30 p.m.
The Wildcats last played one week ago, when they defeated St. John's 98-86 on the strength of a 15-3 surge in overtime. Freshman guard Ryan Arcidiacono notched a season-high 32 points in the win and was tabbed BIG EAST Rookie of the Week and Philadelphia Big Five Player of the Week for that effort.
USF dropped a 55-44 decision to Syracuse in its conference opener here on Sunday afternoon.
The Bulls return a core of veterans from the squad that won a pair of games in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Sophomore point guard Anthony Collins averages 9.8 points and 7.8 assists per game and is the catalyst of a balanced attack that also features Victor Rudd (11.5 ppg), Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (11.4 ppg) and Jawanza Poland (11.2 ppg). The Bulls have limited opponents to 59.8 ppg and .388 shooting from the field.
"Anthony Collins does an outstanding job of controlling the game for USF," stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "They are very patient and at the end of the shot clock he gets the ball where it needs to be."
Last season, USF won all three meetings between these two teams, including a 56-47 triumph at the BIG EAST Tournament that ended the Wildcats' season. USF owns a four game-winning streak in the series - VU captured the first five meetings between these two programs, including all three games played here on campus (last season's game here was played downtown while renovations were underway at the Sun Dome).
This contest kicks off a week where Villanova will spend much of its time away from campus. Up next is Saturday afternoon date at Syracuse (Noon/6ABC and 610 WIP Radio).
"We've had a good week of practice," stated Wright. "Since we were on winter break, this last week has almost had a pre-season camp feel to it. We've worked on some things and we'll have to be ready for a tough, physical BIG EAST road battle in this game."