Listening to Jay Wright, it’s very easy to see how he keeps getting good recruiting classes to the Villanova in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I’m not kidding when I say this, he might be the most likable interview guest I’ve heard. It never truly seems like an interview, it just seems like he’s talking with a buddy about the game.
Wright’s Villanova Wildcat squad is heading to the Final Four after destroying Duke and then beating Pitt on a last second shot by Scottie Reynolds. In a tourney lacking drama, the Villanova/Pitt game was by far the most entertaining game of the tournament. It doesn’t get any easier as they have to play the North Carolina Tar Heels and their ridiculously efficient offense.
Jay Wright joined ESPN Radio Philadelphia on Monday to discuss Villanova and the Final Four.
On a congratulatory text from Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies:
“He’s inspirational in his texts. He sends me inspirational stuff to share with the team. He’s done this even during the season…he’ll reference points in the baseball season or things they did last year during the playoff race and things he said to his team and he’ll reference that at certain points and say your game was like that.”
“He gave me one recently on a book to give to Scottie Reynolds that he read during his 0 for 10 stretch during the playoffs. It was actually a mental book about tennis. He’s a great leader that guy. I take some of his stuff and I copy it and share it with the team. He’s a great inspirational leader, I’m serious.”
On how he gets his players to play so hard every possession:
“That is what is unique about this group. We’ve really only been doing it maybe the last 7 or 8 games…which is kinda cool because it’s almost like it’s fresh for them. We were a good team all year, but we would have our lapses defensively. It’s having seniors, Dante Cunningham, Dwayne Anderson, Shane Clark, Frank Tweeze really demand it of everybody. We’re not the type of team that’s so talented we’re going to go up and down, take a few possessions off…we gotta be focused in for every possession. It’s hard to do that.”
On early prelimary plans for North Carolina:
“The best thing we can do is play our game the best we can. At this point in the year if we’re going to make adjustments for Carolina, we’re not going to be as good at that. However, we don’t want to get into a flat out up and down race with them. This team we have to pick our sports. We like to run too, but no one is going to run with them and outrun them. We have to be smart about picking our spots when we run and getting into our halfcourt sets when we can.