After the game, Jay Wright cited issues with "game preparation" as the reason that Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher did not start.
"I wanted to make the point," Wright said. "The values of our program are more important than a game or being a starter ... I know this is going to be a big deal because it’s the NCAA Tournament, but we have done this before."
Wright said the players will return to the starting lineup for Saturday's second-round game. "It's over, done," he said.
Reynolds made his first appearance 4 minutes into the game and Fisher was inserted about 30 seconds later. Both struggled in the game. Reynolds was 2-for-15 from the floor but made 7 of 8 free throws in the final 3:06 to send the game into overtime, finishing with 20 points.
However, Wright said their performances were not related to not starting.
"I don’t think so. I really don’t," he said. "They have both done that before. We have done it before in first-round games. Last year we down 14 in the second half to American, basically at home in Philly. We were down 18 to Clemson. As bad as this seems we were in the game more than we normally are. I’m sure [Reynolds and Fisher] would have bene more comfortable [starting], but it’s all part of the game.
"I was really proud of how Scottie handled it and I thought Fish handled it well."
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Villanova's Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher are being held out of the starting lineup for today's NCAA first-round game against Robert Morris. Both have started every game this season.
According to Villanova spokesman Mike Sheridan, coach Jay Wright said they will both play, but that this is a "minor teaching point" similar to what Wright did with Taylor King, who sat out the season finale against West Virginia.
Corey Stokes and freshman Maalik Wayns will start. Stokes had been in the lineup but has comes off the bench since Villanova went to a larger lineup about 2 weeks ago.
Stokes had 24 points in the loss to Marquette in the Big East Tournament quarterfinal, and Wayns played well in that game.