Villanova’s Wright stating case for Coach of the Year

Big East Basketball Tournament - Second Round - St John's v Villanova
Wright lost out on Big East Coach of the Year honors earlier this week, but he’s firmly in the mix for National Coach of the Year.

A year ago, Villanova was careening to a 13-19 record. The NCAA tournament, which had been a consistent staple under coach Jay Wright, seemed as far away as Pluto.

The Wildcats began this season at 4-4, including an 18-point loss to Columbia at The Pavilion.

Somehow, Wright’s boys managed to win 11 Big East games.

Somehow, they managed to defeat Syracuse, Marquette, Georgetown and Louisville.

Somehow, they are sitting pretty at 20-12 (11-8 in Big East). Villanova’s 66-53 win over St. John’s Wednesday night in the Big East tournament unofficially punched their ticket to the NCAAs.

Just being in the conversation is amazing. And it has made Wright a national Coach of the Year candidate — Georgetown’s John Thompson III took the honor in the Big East.

“I don’t think we can keep them from hearing it and listening to it,” Wright said of the NCAA talk. “I think it’s one of the challenges in coaching now, is you know these kids are getting so much outside information, that you have to address it daily.

“Every time they come in for practice, you’ve just got to refocus them. You’ve got to make sure they’re not thinking about that stuff and thinking about what they can control, which is having a great practice.”

Do the Wildcats deserve a spot in the 68-team field?

“I think, right now, yes,” Wright said. “It’s nice playing meaningful games this time of year.”

Villanova seemed to be in after 28 games with an 18-10 mark. Then came a frustrating one-point loss at Seton Hall followed by an overtime defeat at Pittsburgh. Both were winnable games.

The Wildcats responded with a 10-point win over Georgetown at the Wells Fargo Center. That win likely sealed a return trip to the NCAAs.

“This team is playing the best they can play right now, definitely,” Wright said. “They can play better, but given where we came from and what our experience level is, we’re definitely playing our best and I’m proud of that, and I’m proud of them. But we have to continue to get better.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal prosecutors charge 3 men in multi-million dollar…

Federal prosecutors in New York charged three men in connection with a $33 million fine art scam that spanned more than two decades.

Local

Metro-North unveils solar-powered kiosks at Bronx station

The Woodlawn station will take part a pilot program to test solar-powered kiosk with real-time arrival and departure times for connecting services.

Local

Central Park's Tavern on the Green to reopen…

The famous Central Park restaurant Tavern on the Green will once again welcome diners on Thursday, April 24 after its closure in January 2010.

National

University of New Mexico running back arrested for…

By Joseph J. KolbALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) - A University of New Mexico football player has been arrested on suspicion of raping and kidnapping a…

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

The Word

What we learned from the premiere of 'True…

Does watching someone's marriage implode make for great TV? The show runners at "True Tori" think Tori Spelling's heartbreak is hot stuff indeed.

NBA

Nets settle for 1-1 series tie with Game…

DeMar DeRozan, who was an All-Star this season, hit two huge jumpers back-to-back to give the Raptors an 89-85 lead over the Nets with 2:10 to play.

NHL

Rangers reclaim home ice with Game 3 road…

The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period for the second straight game. This time, they held on.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Jason Kidd reacts to Mike Woodson being fired…

Jason Kidd played for Mike Woodson last year and Joe Johnson spent four seasons being the main focus on offense for Woodson in Atlanta.

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.