Villanova Wildcats men's basketball
|Head coach||Jay Wright (13th year)|
Blue and White
|NCAA Tournament champions|
|NCAA Tournament Final Four|
|1939, 1971*, 1985, 2009|
|NCAA Tournament Elite Eight|
|1939, 1949, 1962, 1970, 1971*, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1988, 2006, 2009|
|NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|1951, 1955, 1962, 1964, 1970, 1971*, 1972, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1988, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009|
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|1939, 1949, 1951, 1955, 1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1971*, 1972, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014
*vacated by NCAA
|Conference tournament champions|
|1978 (A10), 1980 (A10), 1995|
|Conference regular season champions|
|1978 (A10), 1979 (A10), 1980 (A10), 1982, 1983, 1997, 2006, 2014|
Villanova University's men's basketball team has competed since the 1920–21 season. Nicknamed the "Wildcats", Villanova is a member of the Big East Conference and the Philadelphia Big Five. The Villanova Wildcats have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 33 times, the 8th highest total in NCAA history. They made the Final Four in 1939, 1971, 1985 and 2009, and were National Champions in 1985. Villanova has appeared in the NIT 17 times, winning in 1994, and won the Big East Tournament in 1995. Villanova entered the 2007-2008 season with an all-time winning percentage of .637, placing the Wildcats 20th among all NCAA Division I basketball programs.
- 1 Early years (1920–1936)
- 2 Al Severance era (1936–1961)
- 3 Jack Kraft era (1961–1973)
- 4 Rollie Massimino era (1973–1992)
- 5 Steve Lappas era (1992–2001)
- 6 Jay Wright era (2001–present)
- 7 Player Honors
- 8 NCAA Tournament history
- 9 NIT Tournament history
- 10 Year-to-year history
- 11 Basketball Hall of Fame
- 12 Retired numbers and jerseys
- 13 Villanova career records
- 14 Villanovans in the NBA/ABA
- 15 Rivals
- 16 Traditions
- 17 References
- 18 External links
Early years (1920–1936)
Villanova began its varsity basketball program in 1920. Michael Saxe coached for six seasons, from 1920–1926, compiling a 64–30 record (.681). John Cashman coached three seasons, from 1926–1929, compiling a 21–21 record (.447). George "Doc" Jacobs coached seven seasons, from 1929–1936, and had a 62–56 record (.525).
The team played its first game in 1920 in Alumni Hall on Villanova's campus, beating Catholic University 43–40. In the early years, Villanova's home courts were Alumni Hall and West Catholic High School. The Wildcats moved into the Villanova Field House (now known as the Jake Nevin Field House) in 1932. Villanova also played many home games at the Palestra on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania beginning in 1929. The Wildcats played home games in both the Villanova Field House and the Palestra until 1986.
Al Severance era (1936–1961)
Alexander Severance coached Villanova for 25 seasons, from 1936 to 1961. It was under the leadership of Coach Severance that Villanova's basketball program rose to prominence. Severance compiled a 413–201 record (.673).
The 1938-39 team won the first ever NCAA Tournament game, which put them in the inaugural Final Four. Severance led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament again in 1949, 1951, and 1955. Villanova earned NIT bids in 1959 and 1960.
The most storied player in Villanova history, Paul Arizin, played during this era. Severance discovered Arizin, already a Villanova student, playing basketball in the Villanova Fieldhouse. Arizin holds the Villanova record for most points in a game (85), and is credited with inventing the jump shot and was the 1949 College Player of the Year. Other notable players from the Severance era include Joe Lord, Larry Hennessy, Bob Schafer and George Raveling.
Coincidentally, Al Severance died in 1985 on the same day that Villanova upset Georgetown University and Patrick Ewing to take the NCAA basketball championship.
1939 Final Four
The inaugural NCAA Tournament featured eight teams from throughout the country. Villanova, representing the Middle Atlantic States, beat Brown, representative of the New England States, 43–40 before a crowd of 3,500 at the Palestra. The following night, the Wildcats lost to Ohio State 53–36 in the Eastern Division Championship.
Jack Kraft era (1961–1973)
Jack Kraft coached Villanova for 12 years, from 1961 through 1973. He compiled a 238–95 record (.715). Kraft led Villanova to the NCAA Tournament six times, and five times to the NIT. Only once did Kraft's teams fail to earn a post-season bid, in his final season. The 1971 team, led by Howard Porter, reached the NCAA Championship game, and lost to UCLA at the height of the UCLA dynasty.
1971 NCAA Finalist
On March 27, 1971, Villanova made its first appearance in an NCAA basketball tournament championship game. The unheralded Wildcats took on the legendary John Wooden and his mighty UCLA Bruins. The 28–1 UCLA squad featured Sidney Wicks, Curtis Rowe, Henry Bibby, and Steve Patterson. Going into the title game, the Bruins had won six of the previous seven NCAA championships, including the previous four.
Jack Kraft's Villanova squad, nicknamed the "Iron Men", was made up of just nine players. Led by Howard Porter, Clarence Smith, Hank Siemiontkowski, Chris Ford, Tom Ingelsby, Bob Gohl, Mike Daley, John Fox and Joe McDowell. Villanova amassed a 27–6 record, including a shocking 90–47 victory over a powerhouse Penn squad.
Villanova fought from behind for most of the game, twice cutting the lead to three in the final minutes. Villanova lost by six, 68–62. The six-point loss was the narrowest spread of UCLA's seven consecutive victories in NCAA title games.
Despite the loss, Villanova's Howard Porter was named the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Porter was later stripped of the award and the team's NCAA victories were vacated after it was discovered that Porter had violated NCAA rules because he had signed a professional contract with the Pittsburgh Condors of the American Basketball Association during the middle of his senior year.
Rollie Massimino era (1973–1992)
During Rollie Massimino's tenure, the Villanova Wildcats abandoned their traditional independent status by joining the newly formed Eastern Eight Conference in 1975. In 1980, the 'Cats moved into the new Big East Conference, along with Georgetown, St. John's, and Syracuse. The 1980s were the golden age of the Big East, highlighted by the 1985 NCAA Tournament, when Villanova, Georgetown, and St. John's reached the Final Four.
Massimino's teams had tremendous success in the NCAA Tournament, usually in an underdog role. Coach Massimino led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament eleven times, winning in 1985. His teams reached the Elite Eight five times in an eleven-year span: 1978, 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1988. Coach Massimino's teams were well-prepared for the Tournament, always playing a difficult schedule, and playing tenacious defense. Massimino lost their opening game in the NCAA Tournament only once, to Shaquille O'Neill and Chris Jackson-led LSU in 1990.
Massimino coached for 19 seasons at Villanova, compiling a record of 357–241 (.596). In the NCAA Tournament, Massimino had a 20–10 record (.667).
In 1976, the Wildcats played their first game in the Spectrum in Philadelphia. Because of the greater seating capacity, the 'Cats generally played a few home games each year at the Spectrum until the opening of the Wells Fargo Center. Villanova christened its current home court, the Pavilion, with a 64–62 victory over Maryland on February 1, 1986.
1985 National Champions
In 1985, under the direction of coach Rollie Massimino, the men's basketball team completed one of the most surprising runs in NCAA tournament history by winning the national championship in the first year of the 64-team field. The eighth-seeded Wildcats (unranked in the final AP poll) beat Dayton (at Dayton), top-seeded Michigan, Maryland and second-seeded North Carolina to win the Southeast Regional en route to the Final Four in Lexington, Kentucky. After defeating 2-seed Memphis State in the national semifinals, Villanova met defending champion and ten-point-favorite Georgetown, led by Patrick Ewing, in the title game on April Fool's Day.
Top-seeded Georgetown had beaten conference rival Villanova twice during the regular season, and had reached the title game with tenacious defense, which gave up less than 40% of their opponents' shots from the field in both the regular season and the postseason. Before the championship game, Massimino told his team they would have to play a perfect game in order to beat Georgetown. In perhaps the greatest shooting performance in NCAA history, the Wildcats went 22-of-28 from the field to convert a blistering 78.6% of their shots, including a second half where they missed only one basket. The Hoyas hung tough, converting 55% of their 53 attempts, but were unable to overcome the astounding shooting performance as Villanova won 66–64 to claim the NCAA championship. The Wildcat squad remains the only eight-seed and the lowest overall seed in tournament history to win the championship, and their overall team shooting percentage remains an NCAA tournament record for a single game. The game is often cited among the greatest upsets in college basketball history. Ed Pinckney, who shot 5-of-7 and had 16 points in the game, was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
In an ironic coincidence, Al Severance, Villanova's coach for 25 years from 1936-1961, died on April Fools' Day, April 1, 1985, which was the same day that Villanova won the NCAA Championship.
Steve Lappas era (1992–2001)
The Steve Lappas era was marked by extraordinailry strong regular seasons, including teams that won Villanova's only NIT and Big East Tournament Championships. However, Lappas' teams are also remembered for their underachieving performances in NCAA Tournaments.
Lappas compiled a respectable record of 174–110 (.613) during his years at Villanova. The 1994 and 1995 teams, led by Kerry Kittles, Jason Lawson, and Alvin Williams, won the NIT and Big East Tournaments, respectively. However, five nights after their victory in the Big East Championship, the 1995 Wildcats lost a triple-overtime thriller to underdog Old Dominion on St. Patrick's Night in Albany, NY in a game many Villanova fans consider the most painful loss in Villanova history.
Under Coach Lappas, Villanova reached the NCAA Tournament in 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1999, compiling a 2–4 record.
Villanova began playing a few major home games at the Wells Fargo Center beginning in 1996. Villanova's first game in the new arena was a December 1996 loss to the Duke Blue Devils.Wells Fargo Center was known as the CoreStates Center, the First Union Center, and the Wachovia Center before it adopted the Wells Fargo Center name.
1994 NIT Champions
On March 30, 1994, Villanova became the 15th school to win both NCAA and NIT Championships when the Wildcats defeated Vanderbilt 80–73 to win the NIT title. The Wildcats were led by Jonathan Haynes, who scored 19 points, and Kerry Kittles, who posted 18. Eric Eberz added 16 points and seven rebounds. Haynes and Kittles earned spots on the All-Tournament team for their efforts.
Jay Wright era (2001–present)
Jay Wright was named Villanova's coach in 2001. As a former Rollie Massimino assistant, Wright was well-acquainted with Villanova. Prior to his appointment at Villanova, Wright was head coach at Hofstra.
Villanova earned a post-season tournament berth in each of Wright's initial ten seasons as Villanova head coach. The Wildcats played in the NIT in 2002, 2003, and 2004, and in the NCAA Tournament in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. During Wright's tenure, Villanova has compiled a 12–7 record in the NCAA Tournament. Four of Wright's seven NCAA Tournament losses at Villanova were to the eventual National Champion. The highlight of his tenure was an amazing run to the 2009 Final Four when Villanova beat Pittsburgh in the Elite 8 on a coast to coast buzzer beater shot by team captain Scottie Reynolds. Villanova subsequently lost in national semifinals to eventual NCAA Champion North Carolina.
The struggling finishes to both the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons were highlighted by losing streaks down the stretch followed by some poorly played NCAA games where Villanova barely beat Robert Morris in overtime and took losses at the hands of St Mary's (2010) and George Mason (2011) in the NCAA Tournament. Villanova had a rebuilding season with a disappointing 13-19 record in 2011-12 season and they missed an NCAA bid after 7 consecutive appearances in the Tournament. It was also the first season that Jay Wright did not lead the program into any postseason tournament.
Notable players during the Jay Wright era include Curtis Sumpter, Randy Foye, Allan Ray, Kyle Lowry, Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher, Jason Fraser, Will Sheridan, Corey Stokes, James Taj Bell, and Dante Cunningham.
Under coach Jay Wright, Villanova's men's basketball team reached the 2005 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, defeating New Mexico and Florida before losing to #1 seed and eventual champion North Carolina by one point. Junior Forward Curtis Sumpter was injured in the Florida game and did not return to the court until the 2006-07 season. There is controversy surrounding a disputed traveling call against Allan Ray made in the closing seconds of the UNC game. With under a minute left and Villanova down by three, Ray drove and made a shot. There was contact with a UNC defender and a whistle. Most assumed the whistle signified a foul on Carolina, giving Ray a chance to tie the game with the resultant free-throw. Incredibly, the officials ruled that Ray committed a traveling violation prior to taking the shot, negating the basket, and rendering Kyle Lowry's buzzer beating 3 pointer a mere footnote to a painful loss.
Led by senior guards Randy Foye and Allan Ray, the Villanova men's basketball team began the 2005-2006 year ranked #4 in the major polls from USA Today and the Associated Press. Having lost only three regular season games, the Wildcats enjoyed a #1 seed in the 2006 tournament—their first. The Wildcats' wins over Monmouth, Arizona, and Boston College brought them to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1988. Villanova's 75–62 loss in Minneapolis to eventual champion Florida ended the team's run for a second NCAA championship in the Regional Final. The loss to Florida was the second consecutive year that Villanova was eliminated in the NCAA Tournament by the eventual national champion. The Wildcats' 28 wins during the 2006 campaign represent the second most victories for any Villanova Men's Basketball team.
Wright's 2006–2007 team was composed mainly of freshmen and sophomores who, at times, struggled to mesh. The Wildcats improved throughout the season, due in large part to the emergence of freshman Scottie Reynolds. Villanova finished the 2006–07 season with a record of 22–11. The Wildcats earned an at-large bid to the 2007 NCAA Tournament, where they lost in the second round to the Kentucky Wildcats. Villanova's 2006–07 free throw percentage of .781 led the NCAA, and set a Villanova season record.
The 2007–08 campaign was an erratic one for the young Wildcats, a team with no seniors. After a promising 9–1 start, Villanova had a rough start to its Big East season. In mid-season, the Wildcats lost five consecutive games by double digits and lost 6 of 7 games during a 3-week span in the middle of the season, as the freshmen struggled to adjust to the college game, and the experienced players encountered difficulties in adjusting to leadership positions. In February and March, as the players became more comfortable within Coach Wright's system, and with improved defense, the team began to win.
A win against Syracuse in the Big East Tournament was good enough for the Wildcats to secure one of the final at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament. Villanova proved it was worthy of the bid when an upset over Clemson and a victory over Siena put them in the final 16 teams in the tournament, where they lost to eventual National Champion Kansas.
Most notable in the 2008-09 season was the rise to prominence of senior forward Dante Cunningham. Cunningham averaged 16.1 points per game, an increase of nearly 6 points over the previous season. He also managed to average 7.5 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game. Cunningham was honored as the Big East Most Improved Player. His teammate, tenacious sophomore guard Corey Fisher, was also honored as the Big East Sixth Man of the Year for his contributions off the bench.
The Wildcats finished the regular season with a mark of 26–7, earning a school record for most regular season victories. They lost their final regular season game to the Louisville Cardinals, 69–55, in the fourth round, or semi-finals of the Big East Tournament. The Wildcats began the NCAA Tournament at the Wachovia Center, a secondary venue for home games. They survived an early scare by American to handily beat two of college basketball's most prestigious programs, UCLA and Duke, in the rounds of 32 and 16 by a combined margin of 43 points.
Villanova won a very close match up against number 1 seed Pittsburgh in the Elite 8 round of the tournament, with guard Scottie Reynolds racing down the court to make a layup with only 0.5 seconds left. Pitt took the final shot, which bounced off the backboard to end the game. The last-second basket by Reynolds was widely hailed as one of the most exciting plays of that year's tournament, with Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis calling the victory "one of the great games in NCAA tournament history". Villanova advanced to the Final Four where they faced the North Carolina Tar Heels. Villanova fell to the Tar Heels in the National Semifinals at Ford Field in Detroit, MI, by a final score of 83–69. This would be the fourth time in five years that Villanova's tournament ouster would be by the eventual National Champion.
The Wildcat's record of 30–8 broke a previous high for most victories in a season, a distinction previously held by the 2005–06 Wildcats squad. The senior class of 2009, composed of forwards Dante Cunningham, Shane Clark, Dwayne Anderson and Frank Tchuisi, earned the distinction of being the winningest senior class in school history.
The Wildcats enjoyed another highly successful regular season, finishing with a record of 24–7 and earning a #2 Seed in the NCAA Tournament. They lost in the first round of the Big East Tournament to Marquette and required overtime to defeat 15th seeded Robert Morris University in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats were defeated in the 2nd round by the 10th seeded St. Mary's Gaels.
Scottie Reynolds ended his career as the second-leading scorer in Villanova history with 2,222 points, 21 points short of breaking Kerry Kittles's all-time record. He finished his College career with 472 assists and 203 steals. Reynolds was named to the 2010 AP All-American 1st team, but was not selected in the NBA draft.
- 1947 Joe Lord (Third Team)
- 1950 Paul Arizin
- 1952 Larry Hennessy (Third Team)
- 1953 Larry Hennessy (Third Team)
- 1954 Bob Schafer (Third Team)
- 1962 Hubie White
- 1964 Wali Jones
- 1966 Bill Melchionni
- 1969 Howard Porter
- 1970 Howard Porter
- 1971 Howard Porter
- 1972 Hank Siemiontkowski
- 1983 John Pinone (Third Team)
- 1983 Ed Pinckney (Second Team)
- 1995 Kerry Kittles (Second Team)
- 1996 Kerry Kittles
- 1997 Alvin Williams (AP Honorable Mention)
- 1997 Tim Thomas (AP Honorable Mention)
- 2001 Michael Bradley (Second Team)
- 2006 Randy Foye
- 2006 Allan Ray (Third Team, Naismith Award Finalist)
- 2010 Scottie Reynolds
National Freshman of the Year
- 1997 Tim Thomas
National Coach of the Year
- 2006 Jay Wright
Big East Coach of the Year
Big East Sixth Man of the Year
Big East Most Improved Player of the Year
NCAA Tournament history
Villanova has appeared in 33 NCAA Tournaments, beginning with the first in 1939. The Wildcats have amassed a Tournament record of 48-31 (.608), and were the National Champions in 1985. Villanova has won as the underdog (based on Tournament seeding) 15 times, more than any other program. Villanova is one of only two programs (the other being Ohio State) that has played in the NCAA Tournament in every decade since the 1930s.
NIT Tournament history
Villanova has appeared in 17 NITs.
- 2004, Final 8.
- 2003, Lost First Round.
- 2002, Final 8.
- 2001, Lost First Round.
- 2000, Lost Second Round.
- 1994, Champion.
- 1992, Lost First Round.
- 1989, Final 8.
- 1987, Lost First Round.
- 1977, Third Place.
- 1968, Final 8.
- 1967, Lost First Round.
- 1966, Third Place.
- 1965, Runner-up.
- 1963, Fourth Place.
- 1960, Final 8.
- 1959, Lost First Round.
colspan="6" style="text-align:left;"| Total Overall Record:
|Season||Head Coach||Overall Record||Conf. Record||Postseason|
|1938-39||Alexander Severance||20-5||-||NCAA FINAL FOUR|
|1948-49||Alexander Severance||23-4||-||NCAA Final 8|
|1950-51||Alexander Severance||25-7||-||NCAA Final 16|
|1955-56||Alexander Severance||14-12||-||NCAA Final 16|
|1958-59||Alexander Severance||18-7||-||NIT First round|
|1959-60||Alexander Severance||20-6||-||NIT Final 8|
|1961-62||Jack Kraft||21-7||-||NCAA Final 8|
|1963-64||Jack Kraft||24-4||-||NCAA Final 16|
|1968-69||Jack Kraft||21-5||-||NCAA First Round|
|1969-70||Jack Kraft||22-7||-||NCAA Final 8|
|1970-71||Jack Kraft||20-8||-||NCAA RUNNER-UP|
|1971-72||Jack Kraft||20-8||-||NCAA Final 16|
|1977-78||Rollie Massimino||23-9||-||NCAA Final 8|
|1979-80||Rollie Massimino||23-8||-||Second Round|
|1980-81||Rollie Massimino||20-11||-||Second Round|
|1981-82||Rollie Massimino||24-8||-||NCAA Final 8|
|1982-83||Rollie Massimino||24-8||-||NCAA Final 8|
|1983-84||Rollie Massimino||19-12||-||Second Round|
|1984-85||Rollie Massimino||25-10||-||NCAA CHAMPIONS|
|1985-86||Rollie Massimino||23-14||-||Second Round|
|1987-88||Rollie Massimino||24-13||-||NCAA Final 8|
|1989-90||Rollie Massimino||18-15||-||NCAA First Round|
|1990-91||Rollie Massimino||17-15||-||NCAA Second Round|
|1993-94||Steve Lappas||20-12||10-8||NIT CHAMPIONS|
|1994-95||Steve Lappas||25-8||14-4||NCAA First round|
|1995-96||Steve Lappas||26-7||14-4||NCAA Second round|
|1996-97||Steve Lappas||24-10||12-6||NCAA Second round|
|1998-99||Steve Lappas||21-11||10-8||NCAA First round|
|1999-00||Steve Lappas||20-13||8-8||NIT Second round|
|2000-01||Steve Lappas||18-13||8-8||NIT First round|
|2001-02||Jay Wright||19-13||7-9||NIT Second round|
|2002-03||Jay Wright||15-16||8-8||NIT First round|
|2003-04||Jay Wright||18-17||6-10||NIT First round|
|2004-05||Jay Wright||24-8||11-5||NCAA Final 16|
|2005-06||Jay Wright||28-5||14-2||NCAA Elite 8|
|2006-07||Jay Wright||22-11||9-7||NCAA 64|
|2007-08||Jay Wright||22-13||9-9||NCAA Final 16|
|2008-09||Jay Wright||30-8||13-5||NCAA FINAL FOUR|
|2009-10||Jay Wright||25-8||13-5||NCAA 32|
|2010-11||Jay Wright||21-12||9-9||NCAA 64|
|2012-13||Jay Wright||20-14||10-8||NCAA 64|
Basketball Hall of Fame
Paul Arizin '50, inducted 1978.
Retired numbers and jerseys
Villanova honors outstanding former players, coaches, and others by retiring their numbers or jerseys. For those honored, a replica jersey is hung in the rafters of the Pavilion. Uniform numbers of retired jerseys remain in circulation, while retired numbers are no longer used. Paul Arizin's #11 is the only retired number. As of 2011[update], 19 have been honored with a retired number or jersey, including 14 players, four coaches, and longtime trainer Jake Nevin.
The honorees include:
Al Severance, Coach.
Jack Kraft, Coach.
Rollie Massimino, Coach (1973–92). Jersey retired in 2005.
#1 Jake Nevin, longtime trainer. Jersey retired in 1984.
#2 Randy Foye (2003–06). Jersey retired in 2011.
#11 Paul Arizin (1947–50). Number retired in 1994.
#14 Larry Hennessy
#14 Hubie White (1959–62). Jersey retired in 2001.
#24 Wali Jones (1961–64). Jersey retired in 1995.
#24 Tom Ingelsby (1970–73). Jersey retired in 2006.
#25 Bill Melchionni (1963–66). Jersey retired in 1995.
#30 Kerry Kittles (1992–96). Jersey retired in 1998.
#33 Keith Herron
#42 Chris Ford (1969–72). Jersey retired in 2006.
#45 John Pinone (1979–83). Jersey retired in 1995.
#54 Howard Porter (1968–71). Jersey retired in 1997.
#54 Ed Pinckney (1981–85).
Villanova career records
Games Played: Scottie Reynolds - 139 games /// Doug West & Gary Massey - 138 games
Rebounds: Howard Porter - 1,325 rebounds
Assists: Kenny Wilson - 627 assists
Steals: Kerry Kittles - 277 steals
Blocks: Jason Lawson - 375 blocks
Points Scored: Kerry Kittles - 2,243 points
Villanovans in the NBA/ABA
Villanova's All-Time NBA/ABA Roster
Malik Allen '00, Paul Arizin '50, Alex Bradley '81, Michael Bradley '01, Thomas Brennan '52, John Celestand '99, Dante Cunningham '09, Chris Ford '72, Randy Foye '06, Stewart Granger '83, Larry Hennessy '53, Keith Herron '78, Tom Hoover '61, Tom Ingelsby '72, Wali Jones '64, Kerry Kittles '96, Herman Red Klotz '44, Jason Lawson '97, Kyle Lowry '06* (left for NBA after soph season), Dwayne McClain '85, Bill Melchionni '66, James Mooney '53, Richie Moore '64, Fran O'Hanlon '70, John Olive '77, Ed Pinckney '85, John Pinone '83, Howard Porter '71, Harold Pressley '86, Sherwin Raiken '50, Allan Ray '06, Bob Schafer '55, Rory Sparrow '80, Arthur Spector '41, Tim Thomas '97, Maalik Wayns '12(left after Junior season) Jim Washington '65, Doug West '89, Hubie White '62, Alvin Williams '97.
Members of Professional Championship Teams
- 1948 Baltimore Bullets (BBA) - Herman "Red" Klotz
- 1956 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA) - Paul Arizin, Larry Hennessy
- 1967 Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) - Wali Jones, Bill Melchionni
- 1974/1976 New Jersey Nets (ABA) - Bill Melchionni
- 1981 Boston Celtics (NBA) - Chris Ford
- 2000 Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) - John Celestand
Villanova Players Currently in the NBA
- Dante Cunningham - 2009-10 to Present
- Randy Foye - 2006-07 to Present
- Kyle Lowry - 2006-07 to Present
- Maalik Wayns - 2012-13 to Present
Villanova Records in the NBA
Games Played: Rory Sparrow - 836 games
Minutes Played: Paul Arizin - 24,897 minutes
Rebounds: Jim Washington - 6,637 rebounds
Assists: Rory Sparrow - 4,192 assists
Steals: Chris Ford - 1,152 steals
Blocks: Ed Pinckney - 435 blocks
Points Scored: Paul Arizin - 16,266 points
- 1958- Round 8, Pick 5: Tom Brennan (Philadelphia Warriors)
- 1959- Round 7, Pick 3: Joe Ryan (Philadelphia Warriors)
- 1960- Round 8, Pick 7: George Raveling (Philadelphia Warriors)
- 1962- Round 2, Pick 7: Hubie White (Philadelphia Warriors)
- 1963- Round 1, Pick 6: Tom Hoover (Syracuse Nationals)
- 1964- Round 3, Pick 2: Wali Jones (Detroit Pistons)
- 1965- Round 1, Pick 5: Jim Washington (St. Louis Hawks)
- 1965- Round 5, Pick 5: Richie Moore (Philadelphia 76ers)
- 1966- Round 2, Pick 9: Bill Melchionni (Philadelphia 76ers)
- 1967- Round 12, Pick 6: Frank Gadjunas (Cincinnati Royals)
- 1968- Round 16, Pick 8: Joe Crews (Philadelphia 76ers)
- 1969- Round 6, Pick 13: Johnny Jones (Philadelphia 76ers)
- 1970- Round 8, Pick 12: Fran O'Hanlon (Philadelphia 76ers)
- 1971- Round 2, Pick 15: Howard Porter (Chicago Bulls)
- 1971- Round 9, Pick 7: Clarence Smith (San Francisco Warriors)
- 1972- Round 2, Pick 4: Chris Ford (Detroit Pistons)
- 1972- Round 4, Pick 3: Hank Siemiontkowski (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- 1973- Round 2, Pick 9: Tom Ingelsby (Atlanta Hawks)
- 1973- Round 11, Pick 9: Ed Hastings (Boston Celtics)
- 1977- Round 8, Pick 20: John Olive (Philadelphia 76ers)
- 1978- Round 2, Pick 2: Keith Herron (Portland Trail Blazers)
- 1980- Round 4, Pick 6: Rory Sparrow (New Jersey Nets)
- 1981- Round 4, Pick 17: Alex Bradley (New York Knicks)
- 1981- Round 7, Pick 7: Tom Sienkiewicz (Seattle SuperSonics)
- 1982- Round 5, Pick 6: Aaron Howard (New York Knicks)
- 1983- Round 1, Pick 24: Stewart Granger (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- 1983- Round 3, Pick 11: John Pinone (Atlanta Hawks)
- 1983- Round 8, Pick 19: Mike Mulquin (Phoenix Suns)
- 1984- Round 8, Pick 21: Frank Dobbs (Philadelphia 76ers)
- 1985- Round 1, Pick 10: Ed Pinckney (Phoenix Suns)
- 1985- Round 2, Pick 3: Dwayne McClain (Indiana Pacers)
- 1985- Round 7, Pick 15: Gary McLain (New Jersey Nets)
- 1986- Round 1, Pick 17: Harold Pressley (Sacramento Kings)
- 1986- Round 6, Pick 14: Chuck Everson (Utah Jazz)
- 1987- Round 6, Pick 7: Harold Jensen (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- 1989- Round 2, Pick 11: Doug West (Minnesota Timberwolves)
- 1996- Round 1, Pick 8: Kerry Kittles (New Jersey Nets)
- 1997- Round 1, Pick 7: Tim Thomas (New Jersey Nets)
- 1997- Round 2, Pick 13: Jason Lawson (Denver Nuggets)
- 1997- Round 2, Pick 19: Alvin Williams (Portland Trail Blazers)
- 1999- Round 2, Pick 1: John Celestand (Los Angeles Lakers)
- 2001- Round 1, Pick 17: Michael Bradley (Toronto Raptors)
- 2006- Round 1, Pick 7: Randy Foye (Boston Celtics)
- 2006- Round 1, Pick 24: Kyle Lowry (Memphis Grizzlies)
- 2009- Round 2, Pick 3: Dante Cunningham (Portland Trail Blazers)
Most Villanovans count Georgetown as their most intense rivalry, having played a historic NCAA Championship game and many competitive Big East Tournament and regular season games against the Hoyas. Other rivals from the Big East include Connecticut, St. John's, Syracuse, and Providence who were all founding members of the Conference.
Villanova along with St. Josephs, La Salle, Temple and Penn banded together to create the Philadelphia Big-5 in 1954-55. From that date until the mid-1970s all Big 5 games were contested at the Palestra (cap. 9,208) on Penn's campus. The Five competed in a round-robin City Series. Additionally, all participated in numerous doubleheaders against non-Big 5 opponents. Most games were televised locally on WPHL-TV, broadcast by Harry Kalas.
Villanova basketball athletes traditionally remain enrolled four years, graduate, and go on to enjoy post-college success. Villanova has never had to fire a head basketball coach (men's or women's) for any reason. Villanova has won more NCAA tournament games as a lower seed than any school. Villanova won what has been called the greatest college basketball game ever played, defeating Georgetown 66-64 on April 1, 1985 to win the NCAA National Championship.
Villanova had a tradition of throwing paper streamers in the school colors of blue and white onto the basketball court at home games, particularly Big Five games, after the first Wildcat basket. This tradition was shared by other Big Five basketball teams, and at Big Five games, streamers were thrown by both teams following their team's first field goal. The tradition was stopped in the late 1980s after the NCAA declared that throwing streamers would result in a technical foul.
Hoops Mania has been an annual tradition to celebrate the start of basketball season. It was originally held in the Jake Nevin Fieldhouse for students and has since grown larger after the success of the 2005-06 season. For the past two years it has been open to the public and students.
The 2006-07 Hoops Mania was most noted for having special guest appearances by G-Unit members 50 Cent and Tony Yayo. The Pavilion was brought to their feet and the crowd erupted as the two rap artists entered.
The 2008 Hoops Mania featured a performance by T-Pain.
Public Address Announcer Kevin Scholla pumped up the crowd at four Hoops Mania events. He also got Nova Nation going during every home game on campus, at the Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia) (formerly Wachovia Center), and at the Wachovia Spectrum from 2007-2011. With Scholla behind the microphone, Villanova went 33-0 at the Pavilion. The Wildcats promptly lost at the Pavilion the very first season after Scholla left. The Fans especially seemed to like his game calls for Dante Cunningham, Antonio Pena, and Corey Stokes.
Hoops Mania 2011 had a guest appearance by Drake.
- 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball All-Time Winningest Teams
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- Philadelphia Inquirer Archive: Villanova 1985 NCAA champs