Monday, March 29, 2010

Scottie Reynolds: From Freshman Phenom to First-Team All-American

I've been perhaps one of Scottie Reynolds' biggest critics over the past four years. Up until last season's tournament, which he highlighted with the shot heard round the Main Line, he always seemed to leave a little more to be desired. One game, he's going off for 40 against UConn as a freshman, the next game he's getting stymied against Pitt in an important Big East battle.

But this season, Scottie put it all together. He was, in a word, magnificent. After leading the Wildcats to the Final Four last season, he followed it up with his best year yet, truly saving his best for last. Reynolds' senior campaign saw him post career highs in points (18.2), field goal percentage (45.7) and free throw percentage (83.8). He shot 38.5 percent from three, averaged 2.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals. For a large portion of the year, he was flirting with shooting 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from three, before defenses started targeting Reynolds with double teams. He truly became the leader for Villanova, and he was without question the team's best, most important player, leading the Wildcats to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. And in the process, he leaves school as Villanova's second-leading scorer in school history, trailing only the great Kerry Kittles.

For his efforts, Reynolds was named First Team All-America by the Associated Press, joining John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Evan Turner and Wes Johnson on the first team.

James Anderson, Sherron Collins, Greivis Vasquez, Jon Scheyer and Da'Sean Butler were named second team. Greg Monroe, Cole Aldrich, Damion James, Luke Harangody and Darington Hobson were named to the third team.

It was an honor Reynolds is certainly deserving of. I know he'd much rather still be playing right now, but this has to be a nice way to wrap up his Villanova career. Despite his and the team's struggles down the stretch and in the tournament, the Wildcats would have never been anywhere close to the top of the Big East without him this year. He had an excellent season and provided a tremendous example for the underclassmen that dominated the roster. Now it's his time to ride off into the sunset and potentially the NBA, while he passes the torch to Corey Fisher, Maalik Wayns and the rest of the Wildcats.

Congrats, Scottie. The Nova faithful will surely miss you.

BallHype: hype it up!

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