Women's Basketball Previews - Villanova Wildcats

WATCH NOW - Media Day Interview with Laura Sweeney
WATCH NOW - Media Day Interview with Heather Scanlon

The BIG Picture

Villanova returns seven letterwinners, including a pair of starters. Known for prolific 3-point shooting, the Wildcats shot just 29.0 percent from long range last season. Rebounding also must improve this year following last year's 30.6 per game average, which ranked last in the BIG EAST. But under the guidance of head coach Harry Perretta, who enters his 33rd season on the Villanova sidelines, the Wildcats trademark cutting offense again should provide an unenviable  look for opponents.

Who's Returning
Forward Laura Sweeney blossomed into one of the top young players in the league earning All-BIG EAST Freshman Team honors. Sweeney averaged 10.0 points and 5.3 rebounds. She also earned the league's Sixth Man Award. Center Heather Scanlon (5.5 points, 4.5 rebounds) is poised to hold a larger role with the team as well. Guard Lindsay Kimmel, a transfer from nearby Temple, also should provide an immediate impact.

Who's Gone
The team lost three starters due to graduation in Maria Getty, Kyle Dougherty and Tia Grant. Getty, arguably the team's most valuable player, averaged a team-high 11.6 points last season. She also earned All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention honors as well as the league's Sportsmanship Award. Dougherty chipped in 5.2 points and Grant added 6.1 points. Dougherty was one of the most improved players on the team last season. Grant was injured midway through the year. Center Shannon Elliott (4.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg) also departs.

Storylines
Villanova showed perseverance and maintained a strong work ethic despite the number of injuries that the team endured throughout the season. Villanova finished the season with 52 games missed due to injury, including losing two starters for the year during the month of December. Despite that, the Wildcats finished with a 14-16 mark. The team also used a 10-day trip to Italy last May to jump-start the 2010-11 campaign. VU went 4-0 during the trip and improved to 14-0 all-time in foreign tour play.