Teams should adopt ’Nova’s novel idea

<p class="p1">Maybe it was fitting in a year when the real star of the NCAA Basketball Tournament was a 98-year-old nun.</p><p class="p1">But your top-echelon coaches probably have to take a step back and reevaluate things now.</p><p class="p1">Wither the one-and-done?</p><p class="p1">Forget Sister Jean.</p><p class="p1">Mark one up — nay, notice that a trend has long been afoot — for experience, patience and teamwork over flashy one-and-done, dream-type collections of talent. </p><p class="p1">Villanova’s national championship victory over Michigan Monday night — it wasn’t as close as the 79-62 final — was just the crown jewel.</p><p class="p1">The whole Final Four bore testament to a stark reality, long suspected.</p><p class="p1">Villanova is just the best example. Runner-up Michigan might actually be Exhibit B. And if not, then surely Loyola of Chicago.</p><p class="p1">There’s clearly a danger in college basketball of collecting too much talent, especially if it’s so good that will be on campus only for the one-year plan before moving on to that NBA dream.</p><p class="p1">It’s not a problem for most.</p><p class="p1">But for those few who pick and choose on the recruiting trail, this tournament was their lives flashing before their eyes.</p><p class="p1">Maybe, there’s more to it than rounding up the Parade All-American team out of high school and renting them for a year.</p><p class="p1">Villanova is not only the new gold standard, but also, hopefully, the new blueprint. </p><p class="p1">For all the office-pool talk of a wide-open tournament and no clear favorite for a change, Villanova has to go down as one of the best national champions in memory, certainly one of the most dominant.</p><p class="p1">Anybody who didn’t have Villanova going all the way on their pool bracket must feel pretty silly right now.</p><p class="p1">Gosh, how obvious does it have to be? </p><p class="p1">All the upsets and Cinderellas and Sister Jeans -were mere sideshows — even a No. 1 seed (Virginia) losing to a No. 16 (Maryland-Baltimore County). In the end, few tournaments have been dominated from start to finish by a team the way Villanova waltzed through 2018. The Wildcats won every game by double digits, almost to the point of making the semifinal and championship games more victory-lap exhibitions of their excellence than competitive must-sees.</p><p class="p1">But here’s the part that must be sending shock waves through, say, the Kentucky Bluegrass right now.</p><p class="p1">Villanova started four juniors and a freshman (who by all accounts won’t be entering the NBA draft anytime soon).</p><p class="p1">It gets better. Four of Villanova’s starters had redshirts in their past.</p><p class="p1">And that doesn’t include the Final Four Most Outstanding Player, Donte DiVincenzo, who didn’t pout about the indignity of having to come off the bench to play his very large role.</p><p class="p1">DiVincenzo also had a redshirt year on his résumé — that’d be five of the top six players — which at most big programs is like wearing a Scarlet Letter. At Villanova it must be more of a rite of passage, a step in the process of building a true team. In this day and age, it’s a wonder the redshirts didn’t all transfer to “better showcase my talents.”</p><p class="p1">For that matter, Michigan, which somehow lost to LSU in December, started a senior, three juniors and a freshman.</p><p class="p1">The one-and-done junkies were sitting home during the Final Four long weekend.</p><p class="p1">Not that there wasn’t NBA talent in evidence in San Antonio. Reportedly even a lottery pick or two. </p><p class="p1">But evidently there are ways to get to the NBA other than by chilling through the league-mandated, one-year toe-tap in a college gym.</p><p class="p1">Who knew?</p><p class="p1">But this new model for excellence creates quite the dilemma for the one-and-done disciples.</p><p class="p1">The ultra-hot shots who create all the clatter and make social media hearts go pitter-patter during recruiting season may be an endangered species.</p><p class="p1">Maybe in college basketball there is too much of a good thing, particularly if they’re so NBA-ready that you know scant few will see a second year on campus to grow and patiently blend together a team.</p><p class="p1">But how does a coach just say no to too much talent?</p><p class="p1">“Sorry, kid, but we’ve already exceeded our quota of lottery picks. We’re now in the recruiting phase of looking for role players to fit in and that would be an insult to you.”</p><p class="p1">Yeah, like that’s going to happen.</p><p class="p1">But it is a giddy kind of fun to contemplate. </p><p class="p1">So here’s to you, Villanova. Good show.</p>

<strong>Scooter Hobbs</strong> covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com

      b00bef94-f66c-11e7-85b5-3f98999b73ba2018-01-11T01:13:00Znews/state,newsHospital says Scalise follow-up surgery ‘went well’ <a href="mailto:news@americanpress.com">The Associated Press </a>
      AssociatedPresshttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/847f947e4dcdd64d23ee1a5459357331?s=100&d=mm&r=g
      WASHINGTON — House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was seriously wounded during a shooting rampage in Virginia last June, is resting comfortably after follow-up surgery Wednesday.

      In a statement, MedStar Washington Hospital Center says the surgery went well and Scalise is listed in fair condition.

      The hospital says he is likely to remain there for several days and will then continue his recovery at home.

      The Louisiana Republican was struck by a bullet in the hip, shattering bone and damaging internal organs. He returned to the Capitol in late September.

      He issued a statement Wednesday saying the surgery had been planned for about a month and is a "continued part of my recovery."

      Scalise said before the surgery that he would return to the Capitol "within the coming weeks."

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