Villanova basketball went wire-to-wire to dismantle the Tennessee Volunteers 71-53.
Villanova basketball came out of the opening tip-off playing hard on both ends of the floor as they took an early 9-0 lead over Tennessee and never looked back. Tennessee couldn’t figure things out offensively early missing their first six shots from the floor. Combine that with some early foul trouble for Kennedy Chandler and Tennessee found themselves down by double digits for a majority of the game. Villanova basketball clearly wanted to make a statement after their OT loss to No. 2 UCLA last week and they did so in convincing fashion.
Takeaway #1 – Villanova has a lot of options on offense
Villanova basketball struggled shooting early, but after Collin Gillespie got the lid off the basket it was a full team effort to get their 71 points. With four players in double digits (Gillespie 14, Moore 13, Slater 14, Samuels 14), Villanova really showed how deep their lineup is. It’s not always easy when a team has four confident players, but the Wildcats’ ball movement made the offense look very natural today. Even in a game where Collin Gillespie goes 3-10 FG, Nova can still roll through teams thanks to their depth.
Takeaway #2 – Tennessee needs some more time
In his post-game press conference, coach Barnes talked about how today was more of a learning experience for his players than anything, particularly for star freshman Kennedy Chandler. Tennessee let their early misses from the floor get to them as they struggled to find any sort of consistent rhythm on offense and finished the first half shooting 22% with 14 turnovers. Certainly expect this team to build chemistry as the season continues and their younger players get more experience. T
he Volunteers did have one bright spot today in Santiago Vescovi’s 23 points and 6 rebounds, but the rest of the team will look to shake off today’s performance as they get ready to play the loser of Purdue/North Carolina in tomorrow’s consolation matchup.
Takeaway #3 – Colling Gillespie/Jermaine Samuels may be the best duo in the country
Collin Gillespie may get a lot of the spotlight as the face of this Villanova basketball team, but Jermaine Samuels is just as good and proved that today scoring 14 points on 6-10 shooting and grabbing 11 rebounds. Gillespie was the player that got the offense started today and it was Samuels that kept it going as they fed off each other to score and distribute the ball. Both fifth-year players will look to keep it going as they take on the winner of Purdue/North Carolina in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off championship game.