CHERRY HILL, N.J. — Jay Wright may have traded in his designer suits for a network blazer as a television analyst, but the former Villanova coach still bleeds blue and white.
Wright feels for the Wildcats, especially head coach Kyle Neptune, as they struggle through a season in which they are 10-10 overall and 4-5 in the Big East heading into the second half of the league season.
“I’m feeling a lot better now because they’re looking good,” Wright said, referring to back-to-back wins over Georgetown and St. John’s that got the Wildcats back to the .500 mark. “I hope we can get Justin Moore back and really get it going. It’s like your kids. You don’t want them to go through any difficult times. You want to protect them but you know they have to go through it. I wish (Neptune) didn’t have to but it will make him stronger and it will be a part of his legacy.”
It’s been a roller-coaster ride. Villanova started the season 2-5, won five in row and then dropped five of six before winning its last two games.
Injuries have played a part. Moore is still out as he recovers from a torn Achillies’ tendon. Jordan Longino is recovering from a strained hamstring and missed a good portion of the preseason with knee soreness. Highly touted freshman Cam Whitmore sat out the first seven games with a broken right thumb.
“Who knew everybody was going to get hurt?” Wright said. “Longino being hurt, not just now but missing the preseason, and Cam missing the preseason, and not having Justin, that’s huge. We would have been in the same spot if I was here. Longino’s injury is huge. It was big for us in the Final Four last year.”
Wright, who led the Wildcats to two national titles and four trips to the Final Four, was honored as the Living Legend at the 118th Philadelphia Sports Writers Association banquet Monday night.
“It just means I’m getting old,” Wright said. “Being part of this here in Philadelphia, at the Sports Writers dinner, where all the Philadelphia athletes, coaches and sports world are here, this is where I’m from. This is home. It really means a lot. It’s fun to be a part of it.”
Source: Berkshire mont
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