Welcome back to another edition of Bulls Recon. Today, we have Chris from The Nova Blog stepping in and giving us the lowdown on Wildcats basketball. In this edition, we talk Nova's slow start, where to get a bite around campus, and of course, Big East expansion.
1. I figured you would have a bit of a slow start, but I didn't expect 7-7 and 0-2 in the league. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON OUT THERE!?!
For the first time in my 'Nova fandom, I wasn't THAT upset that the West Virginia game wasn't on TV. It was almost like "oh, I don't have to watch us get killed. This isn't so bad." In short, I have no effing clue what is going on. I wish I did, because the lack of solid play is really, really concerning. It's not just the losing, it's how we're losing. Some games, you can tell we have no shot in the first 10 minutes.
2. One bright spot is the continued development of Mouphtaou Yarou. How nice has it been to see him develop in a quality scorer for you guys?
He hasn't really hit my expectations of him this year yet. He has some real head-scratchers on his sheet this year. Devante Gardner took him to the shed in the Marquette game and that was really a game that Mouph should have had a bigger impact on. The improvement off of last season has been nice, and if it continues again next year he should finally be at the level we expect of him. But I think your estimation of him this season is above that of most 'Nova fans.
3. How is JayVaughn Pinkston doing this year after being suspended all of last year? What should we expect from the freshman?
He started off exactly like you would imagine a guy with a year away from the game would. A little out of control, taking bad shots, dumb decisions, etc. But in the last month he's really come into his own. The game has clearly slowed down for him, he's in better shape and he's not making the same mistakes he did in the early portion of the schedule.
He's one of the few players right now that I have a lot of confidence in, and that should tell you a lot about how the upper-classmen are doing.
4. So...Big East expansion. Are you still holding out that Nova will be one of the two schools to make it up to 12? How do you feel about the schools coming in?
I think for the time being this worked out pretty well for 'Nova. It's clear that our administration was not ready to move up (even if the carpet was pulled out from under us at the 11th hour). I think letting the Big East re-stabalize itself with the new additions works as an advantage for Villanova because it can then make a decision on whether it's truly beneficial for them to move up or if it makes more sense to sit it out.
I love the addition of Boise State as a football member and I guess the best way to put the basketball additions is that I don't "hate" them. I would have hated Temple (without a Villanova addition for football). I think Houston has potential. UCF makes sense for USF in creating a natural rival in-conference for them. SMU fits the profile of what we're looking for, though I don't know that they'll ever do much in basketball.
I'm really still in wait and see mode with this whole thing, but assuming it looks good and doesn't look like this thing will fall apart in 5 years, I think I still want Villanova to move up.
5. For those USF fans making the trip up, where do you get a bite to eat at around campus?
Head down to Kelly's before the game for drinks and bar food. Literally 1 mile down the road away from the arena. If you want to drink you meal, go a few blocks down and stop in at Maloney's and tell the Maloney brothers that Chris Lane sent you. They've got an interesting few stories about me from my college days. Which will probably be embellished quite a bit, but what the hell. That's what makes rumors, I mean stories, awesome.
6. How do you see this one playing out?
Let's put it this way - if Villanova doesn't win (and that's a real possibility that I've coming to grips with), I will write the angriest Haiku that SB Nation has ever seen (ED NOTE: I really hope we win now.). Villanova squeaks by, but only because they're at home. 72-68.
Thanks again to Chris for helping out today. Make sure to head over to The Nova Blog later in the day for my answers to his questions.