Basketball players like to keep playing from one game to the next. After a win, they want to play again quickly to maintain the momentum. After a loss, they want to get back on the court as soon as possible to erase the sour taste from their mouths.
Villanova has spent the week reluctantly observing Category B. They wanted to get right back out there following their 69-64 defeat Monday night at the hands of Syracuse at the Wells Fargo Center. Unfortunately, the Big East schedule maker thought otherwise, and the Wildcats have to wait until Saturday to play St. John's at the Center.
Until then, Wildcats coach Jay Wright is trying to keep things positive while going over the little things that have played a role in 'Nova's recent struggles.
"I don't think our guys are up tight or anything," Wright said on Thursday's Big East coaches' conference call. "I tihnk we're just struggling through a portion of the season that teams go through.
"It's something different every night. It's missing shots one night. It's turning the ball over another night. It's defense another night. It's so we just haven't gotten into a rhythm. We're trying to do that in practice, be consistent every possession."
Wright said the Wildcats are "kind of fighting our way through the season," but that he likes the mental toughness that he feels his team continues to exhibit.
"We're in every game," he saied. "We've had some tough breaks but I like how we keep coming every day to practice."
The 15th-ranked Wildcats are preparing to play probably the hottest team in the Big East, perhaps the nation. The No. 23 Red Storm have won five in a row, the latest a homecourt rout of DePaul Wednesday night. The stretch includes a 60-59 upset of No. 4 Pittsburgh last Saturday at Madison Square Garden.