Wright All Smiles For 'Nova

By Josh Herwitt - October 24, 2007

NEW YORK -- When Jay Wright talks about the upcoming 2007-08 and the potential that he sees at Villanova this season, a smile quickly lights up on his face.

Despite losing three critical contributors from last year in Curtis Sumpter, Mike Nardi and Will Sheridan, the former Hofstra coach likes what he has this season, and he made that known at Big East Media Day with a crowd of reporters standing in his presence.

That, in large part, might be due to the fact that he does have sophomore combo guard Scottie Reynolds returning to campus this fall after a sensational freshman year.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey certainly agrees.

"He played older than a freshman [last year]," Brey said of Reynolds. "He played with a poise that was older than a true freshman. I think that's the biggest thing. For him to get up on his shoulders for a Villanova team that had lost some guys [after 2005-06] kind of tells you how much responsibility he had. I thought he did a fabulous job of that.

"He'll only be better. He's a very confident young man. He's a winner."

As good as he was a year ago, Reynolds has even more weight to carry on his shoulders this year.

After leading the team last season with 15 points per game, Reynolds will once again be counted on to run the offense for the Wildcats, particularly early on in order to allow the Coreys (well-known freshmen Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes) to settle in and feel comfortable in Wright's up-tempo system.

"You just have to play basketball," Reynolds said about the potential pressure that faces him now. "[Last year] doesn't matter. Those are good achievements, but once it's all said and done, you have to go out there and play basketball."

And while a target will remain on his back for much of this season, Reynolds knows he'll need those two freshmen to come along in a hurry and give the Wildcats some additional support on the offensive end.

"They're gonna have great careers at Villanova," Reynolds said of the Coreys. "They've been great. When you have play-makers [like them], it opens it up for everybody. You can play off their play."

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 06:33 PM on October 24, 2007

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