Wright intends to stick with same formula for success at Villanova
Despite another disappointing early exit, Wildcats coach Jay Wright says he won't do anything different with the program.
WHEN YOU LOSE in your second NCAA Tournament game for the second time in 2 years as a 1 or 2 seed, and third time since 2010, there will be fallout.
Maybe even a whole bunch. And much of that will be directed at the guy in charge.
That's the way the world spins.
In the last 27 seasons, Villanova has made it to the second week of the Madness four times. All of those happened from 2005 to '09. Jay Wright was part of that, too.
Now, everyone wants to know what he's doing wrong, even though the Wildcats have won 62 of their last 70 games. It's that 3-5 record in the four-letter tourney since '09 that's the issue.
So how do you change that part of all this?
"I don't think we need to do anything differently as a program," Wright said yesterday, 2 days after his 33-win team was eliminated, 71-68, in Pittsburgh by a North Carolina State team that's lost 13. "We've got to play better in those games. We know what we're supposed to do. We do it during the regular season.
"We've been in this long enough to kind of try everything. In recruiting. Our philosophy. We look at the success we've had in the NCAA Tournament, and the failure, and what is really the best way to do it at Villanova. And we feel like we're doing it the best way. It's not in an arrogant way. It's more out of experience. We tried to adjust things based on the NCAA Tournament before [after 2009], and it didn't work. We'll stick to who we are and be the best Villanova program we can be. That'll give us the best chance to advance in the tournament.
"We know what we need to do. I don't think it's based on changing what we do as a program."
From 2005-09, the Wildcats went 11-5 in those games people remember most. And nobody questioned their legitimacy. Times change.
"[An early exit] definitely becomes a stigma," Wright acknowledged. "It's something we can't . . . argue with. It's not going to be what motivates us. Because we did get there before, and we know we were doing the same things.
"There's definitely pressure that comes with it. When you're a 1 or a 2 seed, there's a lot of variables that affect how you handle that. Each team's different.
"I have to accept [the criticism]. People deserve to have an opinion. They've watched the games. I have to respect that. It's their right. But you can't let that change what you know has been successful and you know can be successful. You look to make adjustments, but you have to stick with what you believe in."
The problem is, we'll never know for sure until they can put themselves in a similar position again.
"We've got to start all over," Wright said. "I love the group coming back, I love the guys coming in. I love where our program is. But in the fall, we'll be 0-0. What you did the year before doesn't matter. We're already starting to talk about that."
Because really, what else is there?