Commentary

It's all about Villanova's backcourt

Updated: November 24, 2009, 2:36 PM ET
By Dick Vitale

To win big in college basketball today, guard play is so important. When you look at the sport's environment, perimeter play can make or break a team.

In looking at backcourt depth, the most dominant team in that area is Villanova. I am not talking about top guard tandems, but as a group.

Who else could put out five perimeter players who are big-time performers that way Jay Wright can? The Wildcats have veterans in Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes, plus newcomers Taylor King and Dominic Cheek. All five of those guys can flat-out play.

Villanova's Wright gets the most out of his guard talent. That makes up for a lack of an inside game. Antonio Pena is one of the most improved players up front, but let's face reality... this is a perimeter-oriented team that will have four guys on the court often this season.

The guards showed something while winning a tournament in Puerto Rico over a solid Mississippi team. Let me tell you, the Rebels will be a club to keep an eye on in the SEC.

Why did the Wildcats win that tourney? Guard play, and this group can hurt you in many ways. Villanova's backcourt can hit the three, drive and dribble-penetrate, attack the basket. They have confidence and they know how to win.

Just look at what happened last year. In the Sweet 16, the Wildcats blew out Duke. In the Elite Eight, Reynolds went coast-to-coast in a win over Pittsburgh.

Wright is a great teacher who works well with perimeter players. His team is the favorite to win the Big East title.

At Villanova it all starts in the backcourt.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.