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

Monday is the deadline to register for Pennsylvania…

If residents want to vote in the May primary, which includes a vote for a new City Council member, today is the deadline to register.

National

Miss America thinks school should reconsider discipline of…

A Pa. student was suspended for asking Miss America to prom.

Local

Aria Health Torresdale workers caught selling prescription drugs

Two Aria Health at Torresdale employees were fired amid accusations they sold prescription drugs out of the Northeast Philadelphia campus.

National

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter died Sunday from prostate cancer…

Former U.S. professional boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who spent 19 years in prison for murder and then was released after it was determined he did not get a fair trial,…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

NHL

Ray Emery steps up in Flyers’ Game 2…

Sure, he allowed two goals in the Rangers’ first four shots Sunday afternoon, but it’s about how you start, not how you finish.

NHL

Flyers come from behind, even series with Rangers

The Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit to get a much-needed win at Madison Square Garden Sunday.

MLB

Phillies get set for four against the Dodgers

The Phillies will face tough starting pitching out west against the Dodgers this week.

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.