It's time for part two and now we'll turn the tables on IBBW and ask them everything we wanted to know about the Villanova Wildcats. A big thanks goes out to Chris Lane over at I Bleed Blue and White, make sure to get over to his blog and give it a look.
GB: Given the trouble the #1s have had this season are you glad Kansas was able to prevail on Saturday night? Are you afraid of a letdown if the Wildcats wind up #1 or does Jay Wright have his team focused to the point that rankings are meaningless?
IBBW: We've never been #1. Ever. So for the fans, it would be awesome. We have a relatively young team though, or at least it still seems that way. So when I look at it objectively, I don't really care, and it is probably a good thing to keep them striving for that all year.
Jay Wright preaches the message that it's about who is #1 in March (or April?), not now. And our team seems to echo that sentiment whenever they talk to the media, so at least they seem to feel the same way. I wouldn't really say I'm afraid of a letdown. Most 'Nova fans know we're going to lose again this year. Our schedule is brutal coming up. So if it happens when (if) we get to the top, it's nothing more than a coincidence in my eyes.
GB: Unlike Seton Hall, Villanova's schedule is backloaded against the great conference competition. As of now, five of Nova's last nine games are against top 25 teams in the nation. Are you worried that the end of the schedule will present a problem for a Villanova team fighting for a #1 seed? Or is the challenge a great opportunity to prepare the team for the tournament?
IBBW: It's a great thing. I love playing in the BIG EAST, and am a firm believer that is one of the most important things for a team looking to win it all. Nowhere else in the country do you get tested like this night in and night out. The wins and the losses are both big-time characters builders. I'm a firm believer this is why the conference does so well in the tournament every year, and it is for certain a reason why we've made so many Sweet 16's in a row.
I am a little concerned about a possible snowball effect when we drop a game. We have the upperclassmen who have been there before though, which gives me hope that they'll help this team grow from the setbacks we're definitely going to face.
Follow the jump for the rest of Plank Walkin'
GB: Nova's won 35 straight at the pavilion, very impressive. Is this partly due to the Wildcats playing tougher competition at the Wachovia Center or is the Pavilion a truly daunting venue for an opponent to play?
IBBW A little of both I'd say. Yes, typically we play lesser competition there, especially during the OOC part of the year. But we get a couple of really big games there every year. Or at least one I'd say. And during those outings, that place can get going. My freshman year we played Oklahoma there. Top 5 matchup. It was by far the loudest building I'd been to in my life at the time (UConn later that year trumped it). And when it gets like that, it can be a seriously daunting place to play.
I wouldn't expect it to get too crazy tomorrow night unless the game is particularly close down the stretch, but you'll probably be a little surprised at how loud it can get.
GB: The Wildcats have a deep roster, with 10 players logging over 10MPG and 6 players over 20MPG. We know Scottie can fill it up, but who are the best scorers and rebounders in the rotation?
IPPW: Besides Scottie, Corey Fisher and Maalik Wayns are getting to the rim and finishing at an alarming rate. They are virtually unstoppable because of how quick they are and the ball skills/strength they have when they get into the lane. They are truly a scary trio for any team.
Taylor King and Corey Stokes can light it up from outside, although neither has been particularly great as of late. King and Antonio Pena are pretty good on the glass for being "undersized" compared to some of the other big boys in the conference. It's really just a scrappy mentality that allows us to rebound. Everyone is going for the ball at all times.
GB: Our boy Scottie withdrew from the 2009 draft a week before the deadline. I know the decision left you ecstatic, while every other team in the Big East was devastated by the news. Where would this team be without Reynolds' services this season? What type of player do you project him as at the next level?
IBBW: Not gonna lie I think I pitched a tent when I heard the good news. It's really incredible to think about his career, and the way this season is heading for him. He is just truly amazing to watch. Big shot after big shot. I honestly don't know where we'd be without him. Certainly not in the Top 10. He's that important to the team.
GB: The third sentence in Jay Wright's wikipedia page mentions that he's married to a former Villanova Cheerleader, did he meet his wife on the sidelines during her undergraduate studies?
IBBW: No actually, I'm pretty sure he met her while he was working for the Philadelphia Stars (of the extinct USFL). She had been a former cheerleader or something and kind of introduced him to the school and he fell in love with it. Something like that. Judging by the way some girls I know talk about him, Patty better keep her head on a swivel. I kid, sort of.
GB: Now for the serious Jay Wright question. In his first three seasons, the Wildcats reached the NIT every year and the following five seasons an NCAA tournament berth every season. That's eight consecutive seasons of postseason berths, something that would make Pirate fans salivate. Considering the 1990s saw many underachieving Villanova teams, none of which who reached as far as the sweet sixteen, what has the Jay Wright era meant for Villanova? Are you confident that he will deliver the first title since 1985?
IBBW: I'm very confident that Jay Wright will bring Villanova a championship in the near future. We're really just approaching the level of the elite programs who reload year after year. In fact, I'd say we aren't even at that point yet (but we're close hopefully). It's been a joy to be a part of the last few years.
I really can't say enough about Jay Wright and what he has done for not only the program, but the school. It's really remarkable when you think about where we were just under a decade ago and where we are today. Hopefully, the good times keep coming...
Thanks guys, best of luck tomorrow night. Actually, the #2 team in the nation shouldn't really need any luck. So why don't we both agree that Seton Hall shall be the recipient of any and all luck being doled out for the game? Agree? Good.