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My guy versus your guy

1/17/2010

PHILADELPHIA --This game was direct from the playground: my guy versus your guy, straight up.

In a battle between two of the three players at the top of my Big East Player of the Year list, Greg Monroe came up with more points, but Scottie Reynolds came up with the W.

(I know I'll hear it from Notre Dame fans about Luke Harangody, but I put extra value on a player doing great things for a very good, national team and Monroe and Reynolds (along with Wes Johnson from Syracuse) fit that bill).

Monroe got the Hoyas thisclose to all the way back from a 15-point halftime deficit but couldn't quite get the Hoyas over the hump.

The reason? Mr. Big Shot. Reynolds scored on a power drive to the hoop, tucking the ball under his arm like a fullback to put the Wildcats up, 71-69. They would never surrender the lead again.

The win leaves Villanova unblemished and atop the Big East standings at 5-0 and reaffirms that the Wildcats are every bit as good this year as they were last. The guards are scrappy and fearless and the defense pesters teams out of their rhythm if not into outright turnovers.

But there is no shame in this loss for Georgetown. A year after they were a team with an identity crisis, the Hoyas have a very definitive identity: They play hard and tough and have a guy in Monroe who is a bona fide superstar. Villanova tried everyone but the guy in section 124 on him but no one could stop him. He has dizzying post moves and a great passing touch for a big man. He can even drain a 3 in a pinch.

When Chris Wright and Austin Freeman are having better nights than this one, Georgetown will be a formidable force.